If you have teeth that have become discolored, are chipped or broken, have become worn, or are misaligned, porcelain veneers can restore your smile. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are created from porcelain. They cover the front surface of the tooth – think of them as protective hats for your teeth! They’re bonded to the surface of the tooth, and can change color, size, shape or length.
Typically, you’ll need to visit the dentist three times – once for a consultation, and then twice to have the veneers made and applied. The dentist will likely take X-rays, and may also make impressions of your teeth.
When the tooth is being prepared for the veneer, the dentist will scrape off about half a millimeter of enamel from the tooth. This is about the same thickness as the veneer, so you won’t have to worry about your teeth looking bigger than they should. Next, the impressions are made, and they’re sent to a dental lab. In a week or two, your dentist will get the veneers back from the lab, and it’s time to begin creating your new smile.
Before the veneer is permanently bonded, the dentist will place it on your tooth to make sure it’s the right color and fit. Then he or she will trim it to ensure the right fit, and adjust the color using the cement that will also be used to attach the veneer. Now your tooth will be cleaned and polished. Finally, it will be etched – this is a process that roughens up the tooth so that the veneer can bond securely. The cement is applied to the veneer, and it’s attached to your tooth. Then the dentist uses a special light that activates the chemicals in the cement, and causes the veneer to bond securely and quickly to the tooth. The excess cement is removed, and final adjustments are made to ensure that your bite is comfortable.
Porcelain veneers look natural, resist staining, and won’t cause discomfort in your gums. They’re also stronger than crowns, and don’t require the shaping prior to installation that crowns do. They’ll last a long time, and require no care other than what you give your other teeth.
If you’re not happy with your smile, porcelain veneers can correct a multitude of problems. The procedure is painless, and the results speak for themselves. In very little time, you can have a natural-looking smile that will last you for many years to come. At Tribeca Smiles, we’d be happy to meet with you and talk more about how porcelain veneers can benefit you.