Porcelain veneers can completely makeover your smile in a short period of time. While veneers aren't right for everyone, if your teeth and gums are in good condition but you're unhappy with the way they look, porcelain veneers are one of the best cosmetic options available. If you’re considering veneers to improve your smile, here’s what you need to know about the process.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are used to improve the appearance of your natural teeth by covering over imperfections. Veneers are thin shells made with porcelain layers that mimic the layers of enamel in a natural tooth; they curve over the bottoms and sides of your teeth to give them a realistic appearance. When it comes to veneers, porcelain veneers are the gold standard since they not only look natural, but they are also long-lasting, strong, and stain-resistant.
Your dentist will design your porcelain veneers, which will then be created by a skilled technician at a dental laboratory. The shade and size of your veneers are meticulously matched to the rest of your teeth so they blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile.
What Can Veneers Correct?
Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of aesthetic imperfections, including:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth that are uneven in length or shaped irregularly
- Gaps between two teeth
- Minor tooth misalignment and malocclusion
- Teeth that have abnormal wear from jaw clenching or grinding
- Stains and discoloration
What Happens When You Get Porcelain Veneers?
The first stage in the process of getting porcelain veneers is taking digital impressions of your teeth and bite so we can create a 3D model of your smile. This model is used to design your custom-made veneers and predict how they will interact with the rest of your teeth when you bite down.
After the dental lab fabricates the veneers and sends them to us, you'll come back to our office so we can bond them to your teeth. We thoroughly clean your teeth before removing a small amount of tooth enamel. The veneers are affixed to your teeth with a bonding agent, which is then hardened with a specialized curing light.
Do Veneers Ruin Your Teeth?
Many patients are concerned that most of their original tooth’s enamel must be removed before a veneer can be placed, which is a common myth. Only a very small amount is removed to accommodate the veneers, and this doesn’t impact the overall health of your teeth or compromise their structure.
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
With good oral hygiene habits and regular dental checkups and cleanings, porcelain veneers can last 15 to 20 years, or even longer. Although the veneers themselves do not get cavities, the teeth under them are still susceptible to decay, so brush twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day.