Today, dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures if you are looking to reinvent your smile completely. Since they are usually made of tooth-colored ceramics like porcelain, dental veneers are often also referred to as porcelain veneers or porcelain laminates. Porcelain veneers are thin shell-like covers that are cemented onto the front surface of the tooth. They serve as the perfect solution to fix any tooth defect like stains, chips, cracks, teeth misalignment, or even age-related wear and tear of the teeth.
Uses of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are made up of translucent shells that can be tinted to look exactly like your natural teeth. Since porcelain veneers are placed only on the front teeth and cannot be placed in high-stress areas like the teeth at the back of the mouth, they primarily serve the purpose of esthetic enhancement of your smile.
A wide range of cosmetic dental issues can be fixed with the help of dental veneers. Instead of getting braces for gaps or crooked teeth or dental bleaching for stains, dental veneers help to transform your smile entirely through one procedure instead of getting multiple dental treatments.
Procedure for Porcelain Veneers
The procedure for getting porcelain veneers can take 2-3 appointments spread over a period of a few weeks. After an initial examination, your dentist will evaluate your smile and your teeth to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for receiving dental veneers. You may need some amount of dental restoration work like fillings or dental implants, which are taken care of first. Additional dental work can increase the duration of your dental veneer procedure.
Once your teeth are ready for the procedure, the dentist will prep your teeth by shaving down about half a millimeter of your enamel layer. This is done to make room for the porcelain veneers, which makes it one of the most conservative cosmetic dentistry procedures.
An impression of the prepared teeth is taken and sent to the dental laboratory for fabrication. The patient is given temporary veneers that are placed onto their teeth till the final restoration arrives from the laboratory. The temporary veneers protect the prepared teeth from sensitivity and also allow the patient to get a good idea of what their final teeth will look like.
Once the porcelain veneers arrive from the lab, which can take 2 to 4 weeks, the temporary veneers are removed and replaced by the porcelain laminates. They are cemented onto the teeth using a dental bonding agent, followed by any necessary adjustments that may be needed.
The dentist may request a follow-up appointment after a few weeks to make sure that your gums are responding well to the veneers, and there are no adverse issues.
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
On average, porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10-15 years. While they do not require any type of extraordinary maintenance, taking care to maintain good oral hygiene by regular brushing and flossing can help prolong the life of your porcelain veneers. Additionally, porcelain veneers are designed to resist stains. Nonetheless, it is advised to keep the consumption of stain-causing foods like wines, tea, or coffee to the minimum.
Please schedule an appointment with us at LeSueur Family Dental for a cosmetic consultation with our expert staff and find out whether you are a suitable candidate for dental veneers.