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Porcelain Veneers

What are Veneers?

Dental veneers are for those seeking a beautifully shaped white smile.  Dental veneers are custom made shells of tooth-like material made from porcelain or resin composite.  Veneers are bonded to the front of the tooth to improve the appearance of discoloured teeth, uneven alignment, spacing, chips or cracks.  In deciding whether dental veneers are right for you, there are many questions you should consider beforehand.

What are Dental Veneers used for?

Veneers correct discoloured teeth which can result from root canal procedures, food and drink stains, excessive fluoride or the presence of large resin fillings.  Veneers are also used to cover teeth worn from grinding, chipped or broken teeth, unaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped teeth, and to correct overly large gaps between teeth.

Porcelain or Composite Resin Veneers

Dental veneers are made from porcelain or composite resin.  The advantage of porcelain veneers is that they resist stains better than composite resin veneers and better mimic the reflecting properties of natural teeth.

How long do Dental Veneers Last?

Dental Veneers can last between 5 and 10 years, after which they need to be replaced.

How should I Care for Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers should be taken care of as if they are your natural teeth.  Therefore continue brushing twice a day and flossing as normal.  Although porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may advise caution i.e. excessive use of stain causing foods and beverages like red wine, coffee and tea.

What is the Procedure for Getting Dental Veneers?

The procedure begins with your dentist shaving off the appropriate amount of enamel, which is about equivalent to the thickness of the veneer that will be placed on the tooth’s surface.  Next, an impression is taken of your tooth and is sent to the dental laboratory that makes the veneer.

Finally, the dental veneer is permanently bonded to the tooth using cement. Excess cement is removed and an evaluation of your bite is taken to determine any needed adjustments.

What are the disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers?

 a) Porcelain veneers have the potential to break or come off.

One of the more significant disadvantages associated with porcelain veneers are that they do have the potential to break or come off. If a porcelain veneer has broken there is no way for your dentist to repair it, the only option will be to make you a new one.  If however it simply comes off, there is a chance that your dentist will be able to re-cement it.

b) Having porcelain veneers placed is not a reversible process.

Another disadvantage of porcelain veneers is the fact that this technique is not a reversible process.  Although minimal, a noticeable amount of tooth enamel is trimmed from the front side of a tooth when a porcelain veneer is made.  This means that once a tooth has been prepared to be veneered its appearance and shape will never be the same unless the veneer remains in place or some other type of dental restoration has been created for the tooth.

When are Porcelain Veneers not an appropriate treatment?

  • Porcelain veneers cannot be placed on unhealthy teeth.
  • Or if a tooth is too heavily filled, a crown may be the best treatment option.
  • Porcelain veneers must be bonded to tooth enamel i.e. some teeth as a result of excessive wear or previous attempts at dental bonding may have little or no enamel remaining on their front side.  These teeth do not make good candidates for porcelain veneers.

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