We would all like to have perfect teeth but that doesn’t often happen – most of us will suffer tooth damage at some point in our lives, and one way to fix it is through the use of porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are quite common and they are used to fix a number of dental conditions. As their name suggests, they are thin veneers made out of porcelain that are capped onto the top of the damaged tooth. Veneers look very much like real teeth and so can be used to correct a number of problems including chipped teeth, cracks, slight discolorations, slightly crooked teeth and more. You can have just one veneer installed, but if you have several damaged teeth your dentist may decide to cap them all with porcelain veneers.
What are the benefits of dental veneers?
When you visit your dentist for an improvement on your smile you will be presented with several options of procedures that you can use, and one of those will be veneers. As you compare the options think about the following benefits of veneers:
• They are one of the most natural looking materials used to cap teeth. Porcelain veneers are designed to be translucent just like teeth, and they can be colored to look just like the rest of your smile. It is for this reason that many people choose veneers to brighten up their smiles.
• Porcelain veneers are preferred by many dentists because of their long lifespan. If they are installed in the right way and properly taken care of your veneers will last for more than 10 years. That said, you may have to change some of your habits if you want to maintain their pearly color – it isn’t recommended that you drink lots of coffee or red wine, and you also cannot bite down on hard objects such as candy.
• Taking care of dental veneers is not hard – all you need to do is brush your teeth twice a day as recommended by your dentist and floss at least once a day to minimize the buildup of tartar. You will be required to go for your dental appointments as scheduled.
• Many people choose dental veneers because compared to other procedures, like crowns, they are minimally invasive. All the dentist needs to do is file down a small surface off the top of the tooth to make room for the veneer.
Are there drawbacks to porcelain veneers?
When considering any dental procedures it is important not just to look at the benefits but the drawbacks as well. When it comes to porcelain veneers there are some disadvantages that you should know about:
• The biggest drawback to dental veneers is their cost – you will need to pay a few hundred dollars for every tooth you have capped. This can vary depending on the dentist you are using and his location. More experienced dentists who are located in big cities tend to charge more because there is a higher demand for their services. Also, if you want the latest technology in veneers (it looks better and is longer lasting) you will have to pay more. That said, most good dentists understand that many people who would like to have veneers installed cannot pay for them all at once and so they offer payment plans – you will pay a small amount to start with and then make monthly payments on the rest. You can also choose to cap your teeth one at a time.
• Veneers cannot be used in some cases. It is very important that the patient have healthy gums before they can have porcelain veneers installed. For that reason, they are not recommended for people who have gum disease, tooth decay or those who are candidates for a root canal. Your dentist will do a proper check and take x-rays to determine whether veneers are right for you.
• While it is true that porcelain veneers last a long time, some people are not impressed by the fact that they have to be replaced every 10 years or so, especially when you consider the cost.
• Veneers are an irreversible procedure. Your dentist will have to file off a bit of your enamel to install the veneer, so once you have them you cannot go back on your decision. You need to be sure that dental veneers are the solution for you before you go ahead with the procedure.
What is the procedure for getting porcelain veneers?
The first thing that your dentist will do is examine your teeth and determine the extent of the damage and also whether veneers are the right solution for you. He will also discuss what you would like to see your smile look like.
There isn’t much preparation to do when you what to get dental veneers. All you need to do is make an appointment with your dentist and be there on time. In most cases there is no need for anesthesia, but if you are nervous about the procedure talk to your dentist and they will give you something to help you calm down.
The dentist will take molds of your teeth and from those he will make veneers. He will be careful to get the color right so that the veneers match with the rest of your teeth. Once the molds are ready your tooth or teeth will be filed down to make room for the veneer after which a special kind of glue will be applied to the surface and the veneer attached. The dentist may use laser to make sure that the veneer sticks properly.
Once the veneers are in the dentist will check to make sure that the color is right. If they need a bit more lightening he will bleach them. He will also ask you to feel whether they fit properly – they often require minor adjustments that can be made using a special file. If your veneers feel right and the color matches your other teeth you have successfully installed porcelain veneers.