Porcelain veneers are sought by many people who have chipped, uneven, or discoloured teeth. This often causes many people to become self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth and they often even avoid smiling. Porcelain veneers can help to solve all of the above problems and can help to give people a real feeling of self-confidence.
Porcelain is an extremely durable material that has similar properties (colour, transluscence, texture) to the enamel that naturally coats teeth, however, porcelain does not stain or decay like natural teeth. A thin shell of porcelain is applied to the teeth to hide any damage, discolouration, or altered alignment. It is not susceptible to decay and resists staining while maintaining a natural appearance.
Porcelain veneers procedure
The first part of the porcelain veneers procedure involves roughening the surface of the teeth so that the porcelain veneer bonds to the teeth better. A mould of your teeth is then made, and this is used to create veneers that fit perfectly. At a second appointment, the dentist will check that the veneers fit properly, and that they are the correct colour and size for the patient's mouth. If necessary, further shaping and trimming can be done before continuing. After this, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned, and then the veneers are permanently bonded to the teeth using a composite resin.
Porcelain veneers usually require at least two appointments to be completed, and the length of time necessary at each appointment will depend on the extent of the procedure. It is done in the dentist's office under local anaesthetic and is relatively pain-free.
After your porcelain veneers procedure
Once veneers are permanently placed, they feel like a natural part of the teeth, and can be used in the same way as natural teeth. However, to protect the veneers from chipping, biting into hard substances, chewing on hard objects, and clenching or grinding teeth should be avoided.
Long term outcome
Porcelain veneers are permanent and, generally, last a very long time. Depending on the structure and layout of the teeth, and the health of the gums, crowns or orthodontics may be recommended instead of, or in addition to, veneers in order to achieve the best results.
If your natural teeth are discolored, you may want to consider whitening your teeth before veneers are applied, since extremely dark stains could show through the thin porcelain shell. Whitening after will not change the color of the porcelain veneers.
Risks and limitations of porcelain veneers
All procedures carry some risks and these should be discussed with your dentist prior to having the procedure. Your dentist will be able to explain the risks of the procedure, and it is important to maintain good oral hygiene afterwards. It is important that you follow all of your dentist's instructions, both before and after the procedure, and to inform your dentist of any pre-existing medical conditions.
Porcelain veneers cost
The cost of the treatment will range from dentist to dentist and will depend on the difficulty and extent of the procedure. Talk to your dentist at the consultation to get an estimate of the costs. There is a very wide range in cost for veneers, because of the many variables involved with each patient, and the approximate costs of porcelain veneers range from $700 up to $2000.