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Porcelain Veneers: An Overview

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Your smile says a lot about you. Not only can it heighten (or diminish) your appearance and looks, but it speaks of your personality. Dentists can help keep your smile healthy and beautiful through the use of porcelain veneers.

What are veneers?

Porcelain veneers, sometimes simply called dental veneers, are very thin shells that are custom designed to go over your existing teeth. The veneers are meant to improve the overall look of your teeth and may change the size, shape, length, or color of the teeth that make up your smile.

Porcelain veneers are favored by dentists due to certain benefits. First of all, they will resist stains better than resin-made veneers. Porcelain also mimics the light-reflection qualities of natural teeth better than resin ever could. And although more of the original tooth surface will need to be stripped away, porcelain veneers will look like the real deal.

What will veneers fix?

Veneers can fix many problems associated with the smile. For people that have stained or discolored teeth, whether that be from previous dental procedures or certain drugs like tetracycline, veneers will create a uniformly white smile.

Veneers also fix teeth that are worn down, broken, or misshapen due to various issues. Veneers will allow the smile to be more uniform. Finally, veneers will fix the smiles of people with gapped teeth. Veneers will go over the tooth surface, allowing for the gaps to be closed up.

What does the procedure entail?

There are usually three visits associated with receiving veneers. The first visit will be all about discussing the veneers, taking x-rays of your teeth, and making impressions of your mouth. These will all be used to better custom design the set of veneers for your perceived perfect smile.

During the next visit, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the adhesion of the veneers. Less than a millimeter of enamel will be scraped away from the surface of the teeth that need veneers (your mouth will be numbed). The dentist will take impressions of your teeth after this process to ensure the veneers aren’t too thick.

On the last visit, you will be receiving your veneers. This visit should occur one or two weeks after the preparation visit. The dentist will size the veneers to your teeth and trim and shape them as needed. Your teeth will also be cleaned, polished, and then etched to ensure the bonding process is permanent. A special type of cement will be used to bond the veneer to the tooth, and a unique light will dry the cement. Any finishing touches will be done, and then you’ll have your veneers for a permanently beautiful smile.