Protecting the appearance and health of your teeth should be a priority, but accidents can and will happen. From the foods that we eat every day to a minor accident that causes a chip or crack, there are now more options than ever when it comes to reinventing a smile. While some patients will be able to revitalize their smile with minor services such as teeth whitening, others will require a comprehensive smile makeover with porcelain veneers.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers have been around for quite some time, but it was not until porcelain veneers were invented that they became a popular aesthetic treatment. Veneers are very thin porcelain strips that are custom made for every patient. After the patient’s teeth have been measured and the veneers are ready, they are then attached directly to the front of the teeth. This is typically done for all of the teeth so that the shapes and colors match perfectly.
Conditions That Are Treatable with Veneers
Porcelain veneers are designed to help with any cosmetic issues that cannot be easily treated with other minor services. For many patients, this comes down to uneven or crooked teeth. Those that would like to avoid wearing orthodontic devices for years on end may benefit from veneers as an alternative. Veneers are also an excellent option for anyone with internal tooth stains and discoloration. While whitening treatments are very effective for external stains, they cannot go below the enamel layer. In these cases, veneers may be the best choice for brightening the patient’s smile.
Patients are often surprised to hear that they could have a new smile with porcelain veneers in as little as a few weeks. This two-step process begins with an initial consultation and inspection of the teeth and gums. If there are major issues within the patient’s mouth that will affect the veneers, these issues might need to be treated first.
Once the mouth has been inspected, impressions will be made of the teeth for a comfortable and secure fit. Temporary veneers may also be put in place while the long-term veneers are being made.
During the patient’s second visit, the temporary veneers are removed, and the long-term veneers are attached to the teeth with a powerful bonding agent. Final touches are then made to ensure that the veneers fit properly, and the patient is satisfied with their teeth. The dentist will also instruct the patient on how to care for their veneers properly in the coming months.
Protecting Your New Smile
Just as with your natural teeth, it is important for you to understand how to care properly for your veneers so that they last as long as possible. Primarily, you want to avoid any habits that could chip or dislodge the veneers such as biting hard objects or opening packages with your teeth. With the proper care and oral health habits, patients can often enjoy their bright and straight new smile for 15 years or longer.