Porcelain veneers are very thin, shells of porcelain, or a composite resin material, that are custom-fitted and bonded to the front of your teeth. They are an option for correcting a variety of issues, including stained, yellow, chipped, misshapen or crooked teeth, or teeth that have spaces between them. Veneers, placed on the top of your teeth, can easily improve the look of your smile.
Veneers are custom-made in a dental laboratory from high-quality dental porcelain, because they are so thin, light can shine through them and they blend in with your teeth for a natural result.
The Porcelain Veneer Procedure
You will need three appointments for placement of your porcelain veneers. The first appointment is to diagnose and plan your treatment. Your dentist will discuss the advantages and limitations of the procedure with you. At your second appointment the teeth that are being veneered will be lightly buffed to allow for the thickness of the veneers. An impression of your teeth will be taken and sent to the dental laboratory for the creation of your veneers. To lessen any discomfort, temporary veneers will be placed if needed. Your veneers will be ready at your third appointment, which will usually take place one to two weeks after your impression has been taken. Your dentist will determine if there needs to be any additional adjustments to ensure that the veneers are the right color and fit for your teeth. A bonding agent will be applied to your teeth to optimize the bonding of the veneers and a dental cement is applied between the teeth and the veneers and a special light will be shined to help harden the cement.
Care and Maintenance of Porcelain Veneers
Because of the reduced enamel on your teeth, you may be sensitive to hot and cold after the placement of your veneers. This should go away one to two weeks after the placement of your veneers.
You should care for your porcelain veneers the same way you care for your natural teeth. Brush and floss your teeth using a non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid foods or beverages that may cause discoloration, such as coffee, tea, or red wine. While they are very strong, porcelain veneers are also brittle so you should avoid putting stress on them by chewing ice or biting your fingernails. With home care and regular visits to your dentist, so your veneers can be inspected for potential failure and be professionally maintained with a specially formulated non-abrasive polish, your veneers should last for 10 to 15 years, or more.