Porcelain veneers are an extremely versatile tool in any cosmetic dentist’s toolbox. Dr. Chris McDonald fits these ultra-thin sheets of porcelain over the front of the teeth that show when smiling to cover up aesthetic blemishes or reshape the teeth. Not only are porcelain veneers beautiful, they are also quite strong. On the right candidates, veneers can transform a smile and last for years.
When Are Porcelain Veneers Recommended?
Porcelain veneers are often used to:
- Cover up stubborn tooth stains or discoloration
- Conceal minor chips or cracks
- Reshape unsightly teeth
- Lengthen abnormally short teeth
- Hide worn tooth edges
- Rejuvenate worn teeth
- Camouflage small gaps between the teeth
Sometimes veneers are used to hide minorly misaligned teeth or slightly crooked or rotated teeth. This is an appealing solution if you do not want to spend a year or more undergoing treatment with Invisalign or braces.
Veneers can be used as a standalone solution, or can be combined with other cosmetic dentistry services for a complete smile makeover.
Gum Disease Considerations
Veneers are only used on healthy teeth that are free of decay. They are not used in cases where there is active periodontal disease. If you are interested in veneers but have untreated tooth decay or gum disease, Dr. McDonald will need to treat those problems before proceeding with veneer placement.
The Process of Getting Porcelain Veneers
Normally two or more dental visits are required to plan and place porcelain veneers.
During the first appointment, Dr. McDonald prepares the tooth or teeth being veneered by removing a small amount of tooth enamel. This creates room to accommodate the veneers. He removes as little enamel as possible, and this part of the process is not painful because the tooth is numbed.
Next, Dr. McDonald takes impressions of the prepared tooth to send to the dental laboratory that crafts your custom veneer. The two of you will use a shade guide to select the most suitable color for your veneer. While your customized veneer is being fabricated at the lab, you will wear a temporary veneer over the prepared tooth.
Once your permanent veneer is ready, the next dental visit takes place. Dr. McDonald removes the temporary veneer and “tries on” the permanent veneer over your tooth. If you are happy with the look and feel, Dr. McDonald bonds it over the tooth with a strong dental adhesive.
How to Ensure Best Dental Veneer Results
Veneered teeth should be brushed and flossed daily and checked at least every six months by Dr. McDonald. Veneers are strong, but you should take some precautions to avoid chipping or cracking the porcelain material. Do not bite down on any hard objects (e.g., ice, shells) or use your teeth to open bottles or packages. If you have a history of grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep, get fitted for a custom nightguard to protect your veneers as well as the rest of your teeth.
Veneers are considered irreversible. Since the tooth being veneered is slightly reshaped, it will always need to be covered with a veneer or another restoration (e.g., a crown).
Dental Veneers FAQs
How do veneers differ from crowns?
Unlike crowns, veneers do not encapsulate the entire exterior of the tooth. They are applied to the front surface of the teeth (usually the front teeth).
Also, veneers may be strong, but they are not used for restorative or functional reasons. A crown enhances a weak tooth’s function and protects it from further damage, and a veneer will not — it simply enhances the aesthetics of an imperfect tooth.
How many veneers do I need?
The number of veneers you need depends on the aesthetic issues you wish to address and the current condition of your natural teeth. You may benefit from as few as two veneers on your front teeth or as many as 10 or 12 veneers on all of the teeth that show when you smile.
The best way to determine the number of veneers required to achieve your goals is to meet with Dr. McDonald for a consultation.
Can veneers stain?
It is not likely; the porcelain material used to construct veneers is highly stain-resistant.
Will I experience discomfort during the veneer placement process?
You should feel very little (if any) pain when Dr. McDonald places your veneers. He will numb the affected area of your mouth prior to preparing your teeth and placing the restorations.
Will veneers make my teeth extra sensitive?
You may experience slight sensitivity in the days immediately following veneer placement. Most of the time, this sensitivity goes away quickly. Avoiding hot and cold beverages and foods should help prevent some sensitivity. If sensitivity persists, reach out to Dr. McDonald to let him know.
If I get veneers, will I have to watch what I eat?
Veneers are strong and durable and can withstand normal chewing forces. However, it is recommended that you avoid biting on extremely hard foods, such as popcorn kernels or ice, with your veneers.
Are there any drawbacks to getting veneers?
The process of getting veneers is not reversible, so the affected tooth or teeth will always require a restoration. If you don’t want to commit to an irreversible treatment, consider dental bonding instead. Bonding involves reshaping or resizing teeth using a composite resin material; the process is completely reversible if you don’t like the results.
How often do veneers require replacement?
Veneers only need to be replaced if they crack or chip, or if you decide you no longer like the look of them.
Will grinding my teeth damage my veneers?
Repeated tooth grinding or clenching can damage your veneers. Dr. McDonald can create a custom mouth guard to protect your veneered and natural teeth from the forces of grinding or clenching.
Can veneered teeth develop cavities?
Veneers themselves cannot develop decay, but the natural tooth structure beneath the restorations can. For that reason, Dr. McDonald encourages you to be diligent about your at-home oral hygiene and routine teeth cleanings and exams.
Will I be able to tell the difference between my veneers and natural teeth?
Dr. McDonald will carefully match your veneers to the rest of your teeth, so the veneers will not stand out in your mouth. If you want an overall whiter smile, he may recommend whitening your non-veneered teeth and selecting veneers to match.
Contact Us for More Information
For more information about porcelain veneers, please call or send us an email today.