What is a Porcelain Veneer?

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What is a Porcelain Veneer?

Porcelain veneers have become a popular and attractive cosmetic dentistry procedure for people all around the world. Many people have an interest in veneers but are uncertain of what the procedure entails to improve their smile. Porcelain veneers are made from custom designed wafer thin pieces of porcelain. They are bonded to the front of your teeth giving the dentist the ability to change the color, shape, length, and size of your teeth. Porcelain veneers look very natural. Veneers can be done on any teeth but are most commonly done on the front 2- 8 teeth. Some people may only require one to correct an imperfect tooth.

Porcelain veneers are used to correct cosmetic issues with a person’s smile and made with a translucency that mimics natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” for their ability to correct mildly crooked or small teeth. They also have the ability to close spaces between teeth, restore chipped teeth, or even to change the color.

Many people are good candidates for porcelain veneers, however, patients with tooth decay, periodontal disease, heavy clenching, or severe misalignment of teeth are usually not good candidates. Patients with a history of bruxism (tooth grinding) may end up cracking their veneers, although if you only grind at night you can wear a mouth guard to protect the porcelain veneers.


At the Appointment...

During the appointment for porcelain veneers, study models are taken first. This allows the dentist to show you how your teeth with look when the veneers are in place. You will be able to discuss with the dentist what size, shape, and color you will want for your new veneers. Once everything looks good, the next appointment will be set up to start the procedure. At this next visit, a small amount of tooth structure may be removed if needed to prepare the tooth for the veneer. This preperation is not always needed depending upon each individual patient's teeth. Local anasthesia is given to avoid any discomfort during the process. When the teeth are prepared, the dentist will take an impression of the teeth that can be used for the dental labratory to create your custom veneers. Once they are completed by the lab, you will have you final appointment for the seating of the veneers. At this appointment the dentist wil place the veneers on your teeth so you can see that the size, shape and color fits your expectations. If all looks good, the veneers will be bonded to your teeth to create your brand new smile.

Dental hygiene visits should continue as usual. Home care is more important than ever, brushing and flossing will help prevent decay around your veneers. Porcelain veneers are quite strong but it is possible to break or fracture them. The following activities should be avoided: breaking nuts with teeth, tearing open packages, biting and tearing it hard items, and ice chewing. A soft electric toothbrush could be helpful in polishing them and keeping looking like new.


The Lifespan of Porcelain Veneers

The life of porcelain veneers will vary by each individual. The general rule is they last about 10-15 years although some can expect a longer lifespan for them. If a porcelain veneer chips, cracks, or shows any wear they can be replaced. Veneers are resistant to coffee, tea, and wine stains so color change should not be a problem.


Porcelain veneers can transform an ordinary smile into an extraordinary one. The information we have provided should give everyone an idea on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. As always, continue regular dental appointments and professional cleanings to maintain your current and future smile. Sofferdentistry does many custom porcelain veneers and is more than happy to help anybody that is interested in getting their own.

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