Dentists use porcelain veneers to improve the cosmetic appearance of teeth. Veneers can correct discolouration, misalignment and cracks or chips.
Whether you simply want to optimise your smile or need help with a serious dental issue, veneers may represent your best option. In this blog, we answer three common questions about porcelain veneers.
1. How Do Porcelain Veneers Work?
A dental veneer consists of a thin piece of cosmetic porcelain. Dental professionals use porcelain intended specifically to mimic the colour and texture of healthy, white and straight teeth.
To apply veneers to a patient’s teeth, your dentist may start with taking moulds. This step ensures that the final product looks as natural as possible. Once your dentist knows the desired shape for the veneers, he or she creates smooth porcelain covers intended to adhere directly to a tooth’s surface.
Before placing the veneer, your dentist may remove a small layer of enamel from the tooth’s surface. The enamel change gives each veneer an optimal surface to attach to and less chance of protruding in an unnatural way.
Then, your dentist will use an oral adhesive, similar to what’s used to secure braces, to attach the veneers to your teeth. Once the veneers are in place, your dentist may use a precision drill tool to further shape the veneers.
On rare occasions, your dentist may also need to make minor adjustments after your initial appointment. In these cases, the adjustments simply ensure that you can brush, floss and eat normally without interference due to veneer shape.
Veneers require care similar to your natural teeth. Additionally, your dentist may also recommend wearing a mouthguard if you participate in contact sports and abstaining from food and drink that may stain your veneers.
2. Which Issues Can Veneers Correct?
While most people only think of veneers as a tool to correct broken or cracked teeth, these durable porcelain covers can make numerous changes. Your dentist may use veneers to address any of the following concerns:
- Chips, cracks and other types of tooth trauma
- Discolouration that whitening alone cannot correct
- Malocclusion, such as small gaps between teeth
- Misalignment that isn’t severe enough to require orthodontia
- Visibly worn down enamel caused by diet, lifestyle or bruxism
For many patients, veneers offer a cost-effective way to make dramatic, cosmetic changes to their smile. Because veneers require one to three appointments on average, they represent a small time investment with beautiful results.
3. Who Is Eligible for Porcelain Veneers?
Most patients easily qualify for veneers. However, your dentist will likely recommend other forms of minimally invasive treatment for your concerns first.
Ideal recipients of porcelain veneers meet the following criteria:
- All adult teeth have fully erupted.
- Any other serious dental treatments have concluded.
- They practice good oral hygiene that maintains enamel as much as possible.
- They have good overall oral health, which reduces the risks of oral procedures.
As you consider the steps you can take to achieve your best smile, keep your budget in mind as well. Many patients feel some concern about the cost of veneers, which can be higher than some other forms of treatment. Veneers also may not be covered under your insurance.
However, dental veneers offer the most effective treatment for many types of dental issues. Ask your dentist for recommendations based on your specific situation.
If you think porcelain veneers could be the perfect solution to your dental concerns, talk to your dentist. He or she can help you decide on procedure specifications, including how many individual veneers you need to achieve the desired look.
For more information about oral health for you and your entire family, read our other blog posts. To learn more about other common cosmetic dental procedures, browse our patient guide.