What are Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an attractive, permanent solution to stained, chipped, or otherwise damaged, unsightly teeth. Lasting around ten years before requiring replacement, they can quite literally put a new face on a tooth that cannot otherwise be fixed (or cannot be fixed without extensive intervention). If you have a tooth that makes you want to hide your smile from the world, you might want to talk to your dentist about the possibility of getting a porcelain veneer. The thin layer of porcelain that they are composed of can make your teeth look as good as new for over a decade.

Composition of a Porcelain Veneer

Like other kinds of veneers, which include composite resin veneers and Lumineers (a new ceramic form of veneers), porcelain veneers are essentially a thin, tooth shaped shell that are made to fit over the top of one’s existing tooth. Before the veneer is placed, some of the enamel of the tooth that it shields is shaved down in order to provide a good surface upon which to adhere the veneer. For this reason, veneers are permanent even if the veneer itself lasts only about ten years; by the time the veneer is adhered, the appearance and function of the tooth has been permanently altered and will require a veneer going forward.

Held in place with dental cement, they provide the appearance of a perfectly shaped, shaded tooth. In most cases, this is done because the tooth it masks is so damaged, cosmetically or otherwise, that repair is not possible.

Problems Solved with Veneers

Tiny though they are, veneers can solve a wide range of dental woes, including the following:

Stained Teeth

Even with the many forms of dental whitening that are available today, from bleaching to special UV treatments, there are some stains that simply cannot be lifted from one’s teeth. These often include stains that have occurred due to certain medical conditions or as the result of certain medications; in some cases, simple staining that has taken place over the course of decades as one ages simply cannot be removed. In these cases, veneers can provide a welcomed solution, covering the stain with an attractive façade that is designed to last.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Usually, chipped, broken or otherwise damaged teeth can be fixed in your dentist’s office; she or he uses a composite dental amalgam to fill in the missing chip or crack and it is then hardened into place with a special UV light. Some chips or breaks, however, can be resistant to this kind of repair, usually due to placement. While a veneer will not remedy the chip or break itself, it will provide the mirage of a perfectly shaped tooth that covers and disguises the damage.

Misshapen or Problematically Spaced Teeth

For those who have unsightly gaps between their teeth, a tooth that is smaller than others, or severely crooked or misshapen teeth that cannot otherwise be remedied, veneers can provide the perfect solution, covering the unsightly tooth with the shell of one that is perfectly formed.

What is the Porcelain Veneer Procedure