Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials, designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance
Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size, or length. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
Advantages of dental veneers
- They provide a natural tooth appearance
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
- Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
- Cover small chips
- Hide stains or discoloured fillings
- Hide small gaps between teeth
- Cover slight crookedness
- Whiten and brighten stained or yellowed teeth
- A quick fix to straighter teeth
- The colour of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter
- Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s colour and shape; veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative
Why porcelain veneers could be just right for you
Since they require approximately 0.5mm of tooth reduction, porcelain veneers are not considered a reversible form of treatment. Occasionally, the preparation of a porcelain laminate veneer does not necessitate the use of a local anaesthetic. However, for those patients that are particularly sensitive or anxious, a local anaesthetic is advisable. The laboratory time required for the fabrication of a porcelain veneer is about two weeks.
Dental veneer shade guide
Dentists use a shade guide to determine the best veneer colour for a patient’s teeth. The insertion or cementation of your veneers can be accomplished once again with or without local anaesthetic. This visit is usually longer in length. The laminates are placed with a light-sensitive resin hardened with the use of a white light, effectively bonding them to your teeth.
Once placed, your laminate veneers are very strong and will resist most of the forces placed upon them by a normal diet. Porcelain is a glass and like glass, it is strong but brittle. Therefore, you should avoid anything that will tend to stress the veneer. Opening pistachio nuts with your teeth, chewing on bones or candy apples is probably not a good idea. As with most things, common sense should prevail.
Frequently Asked Questions
The integrity of veneered teeth is only marginally compromised, and the veneer is bonded to the existing teeth. There is no higher incidence of decay provided the veneers are properly cared for as previously mentioned with regular flossing and brushing with toothpaste. In general, it is good dental advice to keep your sugar consumption low and confined to meal times to prevent decay.
They can last from seven to twenty years. While the veneer itself is inert and non-living, the tooth or teeth to which they are attached and the surrounding gum tissues are living and may change. For example, gum line shrinkage may expose or reveal root surfaces. If a veneer comes off it can generally be re-bonded. If it chips it can sometimes be re-bonded or otherwise replaced.
3. If I have my upper teeth treated with porcelain veneers, will my lower teeth still be a different colour, or more yellow?
This is certainly a factor that will be discussed during your evaluation and smile design so that everything matches and blends well. Most patients usually whiten the lower teeth with whitening (bleaching) procedures to ensure a good match.
Porcelain veneers should never stain; however; if your teeth have a propensity to stain you should try to avoid or minimise the behaviours that lead to staining and look after them as recommended above with normal hygiene and maintenance procedures.
Some insurance companies will cover up to 50% of the fee they deem customary. However, it depends upon what your employer has contracted for with your insurance company rather than what your dentist is charging. Don’t forget your dentist also has to pay the dental technician who actually fabricates the veneers, a critical component in the fee.
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