Porcelain Veneers

When people speak of “bonding” their teeth to make them look better, they are usually referring to porcelain veneers. Veneers cover only the outside portion of the tooth, the part that shows when you smile or talk. It can be compared to an acrylic “false” nail that women have on their fingers. Porcelain veneers are placed in order to correct slight or severe defects in tooth alignment, shape, or color. One indication is for restoring teeth with discoloration that have been unaffected by the more conventional tooth whitening approaches, such as bleaching. Some examples of this are teeth that have severe tetracycline (an antibiotic) staining or discoloration from a previous injury to the tooth.

They are also placed when teeth have been moderately restored and the teeth have been weakened. Veneers are sometimes considered a less expensive alternative to Invisalign. If the teeth are in very poor alignment or there is insufficient enamel remaining, bonding to improve the appearance is not possible. At that point Invisalign or full-coverage crowns must be considered. The most common use for veneers is to improve the cosmetic appearance of the patient.

Without question, porcelain veneers look the best and last the longest. They are indicated when the teeth are in fair to good alignment or when a more pleasing tooth color is desired. They are not usually placed in a patient under 16 years of age. The procedure usually requires some slight to moderate tooth preparation (drilling). Local anesthesia is usually necessary. The procedure requires two separate appointments, approximately 14 days apart to complete. This is because the veneers are constructed in an offsite laboratory. Once bonded into place, the porcelain veneers become very strong. The success rate is high, and they can last up to 12 or more years. Anything that will break your natural teeth can break the porcelain veneers, for example, hard candy or frozen candy bars. Veneers are highly stain resistant. They are a good treatment choice when all the front teeth are being restored. Porcelain biting surfaces can cause more rapid wear of opposing natural teeth.

Basically, porcelain looks better, lasts longer, is stronger, more expensive, and requires two dental appointments to complete.

It is very important to come in for regular preventive care reservations when a veneer is placed. This way, we will be better able to quickly correct any problems that develop. A 3- to 4- month interval between hygiene reservations is customary.

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