People with bright and shiny smiles aren’t afraid to show them off. Though, the same can’t be said for those with discolored or crooked teeth, as well as those whose teeth have chips, cracks and other aesthetic problems.
The good thing, though, is that there are various treatment options available for those with less than perfect smiles, with porcelain dental veneers chief among them.
What Is a Porcelain Veneer?
Porcelain veneers are strong, thin pieces of porcelain that’s shaped to fit over the front teeth. They’re made with aesthetics in mind, with both their color and shape matching that of the patient’s teeth. However, even so, they are very durable and are known to last for decades, if cared for properly.
While considered better in many ways compared to crowns and dental bonding, the one drawback about porcelain veneers is that dentists will have to remove around one millimeter of enamel from each tooth’s surface to prepare the teeth for veneers. It’s worth noting that this process is irreversible and permanent.
Once the teeth have been prepared, the dentist then takes an impression of the insides of the patient’s mouth. The dentist then sends the mold to a dental laboratory where a dental technician will make the veneers according to the specifications of the mold.
When ready, the dentists then bond the veneers to the teeth using a special cement. The veneers are then polished for good measure.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Aside from significantly improving your smile and making you feel much more confident about yourself, the best thing about porcelain veneers is that very little tooth structure is lost. True, the process or removing a millimeter of tooth enamel is irreversible. However, that’s small compared to how much tooth structure is lost and affected in other dental procedures. Also, the materials used to make porcelain veneers are much more resistant to staining.
Veneers, however, are not perfect. While strong and very durable, they can be damaged if you regularly chew on hard objects. This is bad news for those who like to chew on ice or bite their fingernails, as well as those who are suffering from bruxism, or those who habitually grind or clench their teeth, especially when asleep.
It’s also important to keep in mind that creating porcelain veneers regularly takes time, so expect around two visits or more and at least a week before they can be applied.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Taking care of porcelain veneers is really simple. You just have to treat them as you would your original teeth, which means that brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing is highly recommended. Though, it may be necessary to switch to a soft-bristles toothbrush and use a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste.
If you suffer from bruxism, or if you habitually grind or clench your teeth, you may want to ask your dentist to fit you with a night guard so as you do not damage your veneers while you sleep. Also, on another note, you may want to have your bruxism checked by a specialist to see what its underlying cause may be.
Most important of all, you may want to start making a habit of visiting your dentist more often for professional cleanings and checkups. This not only benefits your oral health in general, but also your dentist will have to use a specially formulated non-abrasive paste to keep your veneers from looking dull.
If you’re interested in enhancing your smile with the help of porcelain veneers, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today. For additional information regarding porcelain veneers visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com.