Customized porcelain veneers can be attached to the front of a tooth to improve its shape, size, or color. Veneers can be made from different materials, but porcelain is the most stain resistant. Porcelain also looks realer and more natural than other options.
Common Problems That Porcelain Veneers Can Address
Porcelain veneers can be used to:
- Close gaps between your teeth;
- Improve the color of your teeth;
- Cover chipped or broken teeth; and
- Hide tooth misalignment and irregularly shaped teeth.
The Procedure for Getting Porcelain Veneers
Getting veneers usually requires at least three visits to the dentist. Before getting veneers, Dr. Labib will want to meet with you for a consultation to determine your goals. You can then schedule appointments to have your veneers customized and applied. You can have multiple teeth veneered during the same session, so Dr. Labib may treat several problem areas simultaneously.
Before veneers can be attached, Dr. Labib must remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of the tooth. Local anesthetic may be provided to prevent any discomfort. He’ll then make an impression of your teeth and send it to a laboratory where your veneers are crafted.
After 1 to 2 weeks, your personalized veneers will be ready. Dr. Labib may have to perform some additional trimming to make sure your porcelain veneers look perfect and natural in your mouth. The teeth receiving the veneers will then be cleaned and polished. After attaching the veneers using a special cement, Dr. Labib will use a light to harden the material and permanently bind the veneer to the tooth’s surface. He’ll then test your bite and make any final adjustments that may be necessary. A follow-up visit is usually recommended a few weeks after the procedure to make sure there aren’t any complications or to make any needed alterations.
The Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are popular for the following reasons:
- They can make teeth look whiter;
- They’re easier to apply and more attractive than crowns;
- Porcelain doesn’t irritate the gums; and
- Porcelain looks natural and resists stains.
The Limitations of Porcelain Veneers
- Teeth covered by veneers can still decay, so oral hygiene is always important;
- Patients with active decay or gum disease must be treated before they can be fitted for veneers;
- Veneers can’t be removed once applied;
- Teeth with veneers may feel slightly more sensitive to hot and cold due to the removal of enamel;
- Because the color or your veneers can’t be altered, you should first undergo tooth whitening;
- To prevent damage to your veneers, you should avoid biting your nails and chewing on hard objects such as ice cubes; and
- Patients who regularly clench or grind their teeth are not good candidates for porcelain veneers.
Taking Care of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers require no special care. Simply continue practicing good oral hygiene including flossing and rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash. Although porcelain is stain resistant, it’s recommended to avoid things that typically cause tooth discoloration such as smoking and excessive consumption of coffee or red wine. Veneers should be replaced every 5 to 10 years.