Procelain VeneersIf you have ever admired the perfect smile of a film star or celebrity, the chances are that it has been enhanced with porcelain veneers. But, this treatment is certainly not just reserved for the rich and famous, and it is an affordable procedure that could help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of porcelain made to fit precisely over the front surfaces of teeth, providing a relatively non-invasive way to enhance the appearance of your smile. Although a veneer is typically 0.5mm or less in thickness, it is relatively strong and especially once it is bonded onto the tooth. The porcelain used to create veneers has a natural-looking translucency, but unlike real teeth, the porcelain will not stain or discolor and remains looking just as good as the day it was fitted until the end of its life.

When to Choose Porcelain Veneers?

You might want to consider porcelain veneers1 if you have teeth that are significantly discolored or stained, and which will not respond to teeth whitening treatments, for example, if the stains are internal rather than on the surface of the tooth. Internal staining can occur because of old root canal treatments or might be due to exposure to tetracycline while the tooth was developing. Veneers are useful for covering up teeth that are worn, cracked or chipped but which don’t need covering up entirely with a porcelain crown. You could have porcelain veneers to create a more pleasing appearance, hiding teeth that are too small or oddly shaped, or which aren’t quite as attractive as you’d wish. Veneers can close or minimize unsightly spaces in between teeth. They can also correct the position of teeth that are only slightly out of alignment, for example, where one or two teeth are too protrusive or rotated, but where it isn’t necessary to have adult orthodontics to re-position these teeth.

How Many Veneers to Have?

Some people will choose to have multiple veneers, covering up all or most of the teeth visible when they smile. If this is the case, you can choose a lighter and more flattering tooth shade if desired. Others will only decide to have one or two veneers, and it is a treatment which can be combined with a professional tooth whitening treatment. With this approach, our dentist Dr. Donald Nimz can first safely whiten your teeth using professional strength whitening products, before making your new porcelain veneers to match. It is a very versatile approach which can provide excellent results, extremely cost-effectively.

Who Can Have Porcelain Veneers?

You can have porcelain veneers if your teeth are generally healthy and strong and if they don’t have any large fillings or cavities. Otherwise, teeth that are more severely damaged might benefit from being entirely covered up with a porcelain crown which will provide much more protection for the tooth. Dr. Nimz2 can determine your suitability for treatment during your initial consultation for veneers.

How Can I Be Sure Porcelain Veneers are the Right Treatment for Me?

Dr. Nimz will spend some time just chatting with you to discover how you would like to change your smile and which aspects of your teeth you most dislike. It can be helpful to make a list before your appointment, or you might want to cut out photos of smiles that appeal to you, but please bear in mind that what looks great on someone else might not be quite the right look for you. However, the more we understand your aims and desires, the better we can design your treatment plan. One way we can do this is by modifying a plaster model of your existing teeth with tooth-colored wax, creating what is called a diagnostic wax-up and which will provide you with a 3D model of your new smile. It is a technique that allows you to adjust and modify the appearance of the wax-up until you feel happy with its appearance. We can even create temporary veneers using this model so you can test-drive your smile. A considerable advantage of this approach is the ability to adjust these temporary restorations in the mouth until you have a look you love, and these will provide the template for your permanent restorations which are made by our skilled technicians in the dental laboratory.

What is the Procedure for Porcelain Veneers?

Although porcelain veneers are very thin, it is generally necessary to remove a tiny amount of tooth structure in preparation for treatment. If the teeth weren’t prepared in this way, the veneers could look and feel too bulky and unnatural in the mouth. Your teeth are carefully shaped using a local anesthetic to ensure you don’t experience any discomfort, and once shaped, a detailed dental impression is taken of the teeth. Your prepared teeth are protected with temporary veneers. If you have opted for a diagnostic wax-up, the veneers are fabricated using this template. You will wear the temporary veneers until your new porcelain veneers are ready to be fitted onto your teeth.

How Do I Care for My Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are super easy to care for because you just need to brush and floss them exactly as you would your natural teeth. It is essential to keep them meticulously clean, and regular check-ups and hygiene appointments will help to prolong their natural life. Just like your natural teeth, your veneers can be damaged if you bite into very hard foods that could chip or crack them. If you clench or grind your teeth, you must wear a nightguard to protect them because this habit could damage your veneers. Also, avoid using your teeth as tools to open packets. If a porcelain veneer does chip or crack, it cannot be mended and must be replaced.

Eventually, you will need to replace your porcelain veneers, but with the right care, they might last for ten years or more. One thing to bear in mind about porcelain veneers is that this treatment is usually irreversible. Once any of your natural tooth structure is removed, the tooth must always be protected as the tooth will never regrow. It is unlikely to be a problem because your veneers will be custom-designed to provide you with the teeth you have always dreamed of, giving you a movie-star smile you’ll love showing off.