The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) states that smiling can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and potentially increase your life span by seven years.
But if you feel your teeth aren’t as white as you would like them to be or if they have other issues that mar their appearance, like a slight crack in your front tooth, you probably don’t want to smile.
Luckily, with cosmetic dentistry you can have the smile you’ve always wanted.
Cosmetic dentistry can enhance the color, shape, and size of your teeth to enhance your smile and bring back your self-confidence. One of the most common cosmetic dental techniques is porcelain veneers.
To help you decide if they are right for you, here’s what you need to know about porcelain veneers.
What’s the Procedure of Getting Porcelain Veneers?
Having porcelain veneers applied to your teeth is generally a simple, pain-free procedure. A wafer-thin piece of porcelain is affixed to your tooth with an adhesive bond, and then hardened into place with a special light. Each porcelain veneer is custom-made to exact specifications (color, shape, and size) to create the look you want for your teeth.
The procedure for porcelain veneers usually takes two dental visits. During your first visit, your dentist will assess your teeth and make a mold of the tooth (or teeth) that the porcelain veneer(s) will be fitted to. The veneer(s) will then be custom-made to fit you.
On the second visit, etches are made in the enamel of the tooth to create a rough surface so the cement adhesive and veneer can bond to the tooth. The porcelain veneer with the adhesive is then applied to the tooth. A blue light is used to help the adhesive harden and form a strong seal between the veneer and the tooth. After the adhesive sets, your dentist will remove any excess adhesive cement, make sure your bite is correct, and that the overall look is consistent with your natural teeth.
What Types of Problems Do Porcelain Veneers Fix?
Porcelain veneers can fix a variety of cosmetic dental issues:
- They can be applied to discolored or stained teeth to even out and whiten the color, giving your teeth a more uniform appearance.
- They can also reshape or lengthen uneven or irregular teeth to even out your bite.
- Your dentist can apply porcelain veneers to cover and protect worn-down, chipped or broken teeth.
- If you have unwanted spaces, or gaps between your teeth, porcelain veneers can also be used to fill these spaces.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are a relatively simple, pain-free way to improve the appearance of your teeth. The same procedure can also help to level out your teeth to form a more even bite.
You care for your porcelain veneers the same way you do your natural teeth. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, rinsing with a dental mouthwash, and going to your dentist twice a year for regular checkups. With good care your porcelain veneers can last approximately 10 to 15 years.
A Few of the Downsides to Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers aren’t as strong as your natural teeth. They can crack or break with excessive clenching or grinding of your teeth. They can also crack if you bite down on hard objects such as ice, pens, or your nails.
Once porcelain veneers are adhered to a tooth the procedure is permanent. The process requires removing some of the tooth’s enamel, which can’t be reversed. If the porcelain veneer cracks or breaks it has to be replaced with a new one.
After the procedure, your teeth may become sensitive, especially the tooth that the porcelain veneer was placed on. The sensitivity generally goes away in a day or two.
How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?
Although the cost of porcelain veneers can be less than other cosmetic procedures, the cost can vary. This is because each veneer is custom-fitted to your teeth and your unique dental needs. After a thorough dental examination, your dentist can give you an estimate of what your porcelain veneers will cost.
A professional dental office, such as Signature Dental, can help you decide if porcelain veneers are right for you. They will evaluate your dental health and provide options to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Signature Dental can answer any of your questions about cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers.