For people who are unhappy with the aesthetics of their smile, porcelain veneers are a great way to improve the look of teeth without being too intrusive.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made, thin shells that are placed on the front surface of natural teeth. They can be used to repair teeth that are crooked, chipped, worn, stained or misshapen, as well as close unwanted gaps between teeth. Porcelain veneers are also resistant to stains and have light reflecting properties that give them the appearance of natural teeth.
The process of getting porcelain veneers generally takes three appointments over the course of one month. First is the initial consultation in which the patient explains to the dentist the results they are hoping to achieve and their teeth are examined to determine if veneers are the best course of action. Dental radiographs may also be done at this time.
At the next appointment impressions will be made of the patient’s teeth. A small amount of enamel will be removed from the surface before the mold is placed, about the thickness of the veneer that will replace it, and temporary veneers will be made for the patient. The mold will then be sent to the lab for the veneers to be custom-made from it. Custom tooth shapes and colors for the veneers will be selected to achieve the patient’s desired look and level of whiteness. It’s important to note that the color of porcelain veneers cannot be changed once they are placed, so whitening may need to be done on surrounding teeth prior to the procedure.
During the final visit the porcelain veneers are placed into the patient’s mouth. The dentist will first clean and etch the teeth to help create a durable bond. Cement is then applied to the veneer, and the veneer is placed on the tooth. After the best positioning is achieved a special light beam is used to cure the cement and set the bond. The dentist will then evaluate the patient’s bite and make any necessary adjustments.
People considering porcelain veneers should keep in mind that the process is not reversible, and they will likely need to be replaced after about 10 years. Patients with gum disease or teeth grinding habits may not be good candidates for veneers. For those who are, porcelain veneers are a great way to see a drastic improvement in the look of their smile. If you’d like to set up a consultation for porcelain veneers or have questions about improving your smile, give us a call at 501-753-7366 or fill out our Contact Form today.