Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your front teeth? Porcelain veneers are quickly becoming one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for patients who are looking to revamp their smiles, and it is no surprise why. This option can provide a dramatic smile transformation in less than a month — and it’s a change that will last for years and years with proper maintenance. We are happy to offer porcelain veneers to our patients at Indy Dental Group. Keep reading to learn more about porcelain veneers, including what they are, what they fix, how long it takes to get veneers, whether or not you are a candidate, and more. And when you are ready to get started, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our office. We can’t wait to get started on your most attractive smile!
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
A porcelain veneer is a thin porcelain covering that is custom-built to look just like an individual tooth — but, of course, better. A veneer can be affixed to the front surface of any of the teeth that show when you smile. This treatment works by simply masking a cosmetically imperfect tooth, enhancing it with a customized covering that looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth. You may need several veneers to improve the appearance of your smile, or you may only require one or two to improve its overall appearance. And yes, porcelain veneers are as sturdy as they are beautiful. Even though we associate porcelain with finer things like dolls and tea sets, a restoration made out of porcelain can withstand the normal forces of chewing and speaking. You can feel free to enjoy life as usual after getting porcelain veneers.
What Can Porcelain Veneers Fix?
Porcelain veneers are so popular precisely because they can be used in such a wide variety of cases. With dental veneers, your cosmetic dentist is able to fix just about every visible imperfection that may be affecting your healthy front teeth. However, if you have serious structural issues that are the result of injury or disease (like broken, decayed, or severely worn down teeth), you may require a restoration that offers a little more support. Dental crowns, cosmetic bonding, and inlays/onlays are a few alternative options for structurally damaged teeth. You and your cosmetic dentist will discuss your particular case in depth to determine which method may be best for your smile.
Just a few of the cosmetic issues that are easily fixed with porcelain veneers include:
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Stains or discoloration that have not responded to teeth whitening
- Odd texture — like pitted and grooved teeth
- Teeth that appear too short or stubby
- Pointy teeth that look like fangs
- Slight gaps between teeth
- Slightly misaligned or off-center teeth
Consider the last two points for a moment — porcelain veneers are a wonderful option for teeth that are slightly gapped or misaligned, which means that choosing this option can help you avoid the need for orthodontics altogether. In these cases, dental veneers have an “instant braces” effect.
What Are the Advantages of Porcelain Veneers?
Dental veneers offer a number of advantages for patients who are unsatisfied with the appearance of their front teeth, and we have already mentioned several of them. We have listed some of the most common benefits associated with dental veneers below — which one(s) will you enjoy most?
- Porcelain veneers instantly transform your smile with a single treatment. That means you won’t have to see your dentist for multiple individual procedures to improve the size, shape, color, and overall appearance of the teeth that show when you smile. Dental veneers take care of it all in just two visits to the dentist’s office (find more on the process for veneers below).
- Dental veneers are highly customizable to match the size, shape, and overall appearance that will suit your smile best. You do not have to worry about getting a smile that’s too white or unnaturally perfect with veneers (unless, of course, you would like that). You and your cosmetic dentist will discuss your treatment plan in-depth to ensure you get the look that suits your unique facial structure best.
- Dental porcelain is highly resistant to stains. Unlike your natural tooth enamel, porcelain is not porous — and that means it will not absorb the shades of highly pigmented foods and beverages like red wine, ripe berries, tomato sauce, and other items. In fact, dental porcelain is so stain-resistant that you can think of veneers as permanent teeth whitening.
- Porcelain also reflects light in the exact same way as tooth enamel, for the most natural-looking results possible.
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
When cared for properly, dental veneers can stay strong and healthy for up to 20 years. They will eventually need to be replaced due to natural movement and changes in your teeth and gums. If a veneer breaks or is otherwise damaged, it will usually need to be completely replaced — most veneers cannot be repaired, since they are a single piece of porcelain. Maintaining proper oral hygiene techniques will help to ensure that your veneers last for as long as possible. These include:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, and floss daily. While your veneers will not develop tooth decay, the teeth behind them are still vulnerable — and your gums are always at-risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease.
- Brush your teeth gently to avoid gum recession, which can cause the gum tissue to pull away from where it should be against the veneers.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to remineralize your tooth enamel and protect your teeth from plaque and bacteria.
- Wear a customized mouthguard if you play contact sports or grind your teeth at night. Repeated pressure caused by sports or nighttime teeth grinding (the condition known as bruxism) can cause the veneers to chip or break.
- Avoid biting directly into hard, crunchy, or chewy foods.
- Visit your dentist as recommended for routine checkups and cleanings.
- If you feel like a veneer is damaged or loosening, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
How Long Is the Procedure for Veneers?
Dental veneers are completed over the course of two visits to your dentist, and in total the process usually lasts from two to three weeks. You and your cosmetic dentist will discuss the particulars of your treatment plan in your initial consultation, so you will know just how much time to plan for your veneers.
In the first appointment, your dentist will begin by putting together your treatment plan and preparing your teeth to receive the veneers. In most cases, we will need to remove the very outermost layer of tooth enamel from each tooth that will receive a veneer. Without this important step, we run the risk of the veneers looking bulky or the lips puffing out once an extra layer has been added. After enamel has been removed, we will take an impression of your teeth — this is a model that the laboratory will use to craft each veneer out of a single piece of porcelain. We will place temporary veneers on each tooth in the time between appointments. Once the veneers have been created and are ready for placement, you return to our office for the final procedure, when we remove each temporary veneer, check to make sure each veneer looks just like it should, and then securely bond them onto your prepared teeth. And the end result? Fabulous — we know you will love your new smile.
Am I a Good Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
If you are an older teen or adult and wish to improve the appearance of the teeth that show when you smile, chances are good that you are a great candidate for porcelain veneers! We recommend that this procedure be performed on patients over the age of 18, as we want to make sure that the teeth are finished forming before placing veneers to avoid the need to replace them after a surprise last growth spurt. Remember that veneers are also most effective for teeth that are otherwise healthy — we will recommend a checkup and cleaning before undergoing any elective procedure. Any existing issues should be treated in advance of getting porcelain veneers.
Learn Even More About Veneers Today!
We have covered a lot about veneers in this post, and if you would like to learn more, please do not wait to get in touch with Indy Dental Group for more information on porcelain veneers! This option may be just what you need to love your smile again — and the only way to know for sure is to schedule an appointment with your trusted cosmetic dentist today.