Everything You Need to Know About Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers offer a convenient, non-invasive, and highly effective way to enhance your smile by improving the colour, shape, size or length of your teeth. These custom-made shells are applied to the front surface of your teeth and are suitable for a wide range of oral health concerns, from discolouration to chips and cracks.
In this article, we’re answering your common questions about porcelain veneers, including what they’re used for, how they’re applied, and the best way to care for your veneers. So if you’re keen to upgrade your smile in order to boost your confidence, read on to learn how porcelain veneers could be just the ticket.
What are porcelain veneers?
A porcelain veneer - also called an indirect veneer - is a wafer-thin, tooth-shaped shell made out of porcelain that’s bonded to the surface of the tooth. The porcelain material is extremely strong and durable, offering natural, long-lasting results if cared for properly.
What are porcelain veneers used for?
Porcelain veneers can be a simple and relatively quick cosmetic solution for people looking to change their smile by addressing a range of oral health issues.
Here are some of the common dental problems that porcelain veneers can help with:
● Tooth discolouration that can’t be treated with traditional teeth-whitening solutions
● Worn-down teeth
● Minor damage such as chips or cracks in teeth
● Misaligned or uneven teeth
● Minor gaps between teeth
Remember, veneers are a cosmetic solution that improve the appearance of your teeth without treating them. More serious oral health issues such as tooth decay will need to be addressed before you get veneers.
Are porcelain veneers suitable for everyone?
While porcelain veneers can benefit most people experiencing minor tooth damage, discolouration or alignment issues, in some cases veneers won’t be the most suitable treatment option.
Instances in which porcelain veneers may not be recommended include the following:
● You have poor quality tooth enamel or don’t have enough enamel for bonding (called limited tooth substrate)
● You suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching) which can lead to veneers chipping, breaking, or detaching from the tooth
● You’ve previously undergone large restorations - if the tooth has already been restored numerous times, a crown may be more suitable than a veneer
● You have poor oral hygiene or severe gum disease
Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best treatment option to address your oral health issues, as well as outlining the pros and cons of porcelain veneers.
For veneers to be effective and long-lasting, you need to have excellent periodontal and general oral health, so this is important to bear in mind if you’re considering veneers.
What’s the difference between porcelain veneers and composite veneers?
You may have heard of composite veneers and wonder how they differ from their porcelain counterparts. Composite veneers are used to address minor cosmetic issues and are popular for their lower cost and fast application.
Porcelain veneers are a better choice for large cosmetic issues and teeth misalignment. Their light-reflective and translucent appearance are designed to mimic the natural tooth enamel, and they tend to be better at resisting stains compared to composite veneers.
How are porcelain veneers applied?
You’ll usually need to have your porcelain veneers attached over two appointments. During your first appointment, your dentist will prepare your tooth for the application and make an impression of your tooth.
If your tooth is scanned using a digital scanner, your veneer can be made on the same day - otherwise, your dentist will install a temporary veneer to be worn until your permanent veneer is manufactured.
Once your porcelain veneer is ready (generally within two weeks), you’ll return for your second appointment to have the veneer installed. Your dentist will use special dental cement to attach the veneer to your tooth, with an ultraviolet light used to harden the adhesive.
How do I care for my porcelain veneers?
One of the convenient features of porcelain veneers is the fact that they don’t require extensive care. You’ll simply need to maintain good oral hygiene, ensuring you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once per day.
To extend the lifespan of your veneers, your dentist may recommend you wear a bite guard at night. It’s also a good idea to avoid eating extra-hard foods or dishes that are likely to stain your teeth, such as rich curries.
How much do porcelain veneers cost?
The cost of your porcelain veneers will depend on the nature of your teeth and oral health. Your dentist will be able to talk you through the process for porcelain veneers, as well as how much your treatment will cost.
If you’d like to find out more about enhancing your smile with natural-looking porcelain veneers, contact your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice - you can book online now.