Patients may consult with a cosmetic dentist to correct any number of aesthetic flaws in their smiles, including chips, cracks and staining. Porcelain veneers are a versatile treatment option that can be appropriate for use in any of these situations. Learn more about the basics of this intervention and the types of cases when veneers may be used.
Porcelain Veneers: An Overview
Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped shells that are bonded on top of a patient’s biological tooth to conceal defects. Although these devices are made of porcelain, they become quite strong when supported by the underlying enamel. Therefore, porcelain veneers can last for a decade or more when the patient takes good care of them. Porcelain is also a desirable material for this purpose because it shares many optical qualities with tooth enamel, giving these veneers a lifelike appearance.
Porcelain Veneer Treatment
The porcelain veneer treatment process takes place over the course of a series of at least two appointments. At the first session, the cosmetic dentist will evaluate the case and gather information needed to design the veneers, which are custom-made according to each patient’s specifications. That assessment may involving taking photos, x-rays or dental impressions.
Depending on the thickness of the veneer, the patient may need to have the teeth prepped for veneer placement, which involves removing a thin layer of enamel to make room for the veneer. The patient may be able to wear temporary veneers in such cases while awaiting the permanent devices.
When the veneers are ready for placement, the patient returns to the office for the final step in treatment. The veneers can still be modified to improve the shade or shape prior to placement, but after they are bonded to the teeth, they can no longer be changed. So be sure you are satisfied with their appearance before you give your dentist the go-ahead to place them.
When Porcelain Veneers Can Be An Option
Porcelain veneers can hide chips or cracks, as well as dark or deep stains that do not respond to teeth whitening treatments. When a tooth is noticeably smaller than its neighbors, porcelain veneers can be used to create the appearance of the proper proportions in the smile. Similarly, if some teeth are slightly crooked, veneers can be used to “straighten” the teeth in a matter of weeks rather than the months (or years!) needed for orthodontic treatment.
To learn more about the many uses of porcelain veneers, call the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow and speak to one of our well-informed staff members or schedule an initial consultation.