Porcelain Veneers For Convenience

Friday May 10, 2013 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored shells, created for the purpose of improving the appearance of one’s teeth. Made from porcelain, the shells are fixed to the frontal part of the teeth. This hides any damage to the shape, size, length or color of the teeth. Since the materials used for creating veneers are tooth-colored, they appear quite natural among your teeth. This way, people are less likely to notice that you have had some treatment work. Porcelain veneers can be added to a single tooth or a number of teeth at the same time, depending on the needs of the patient.

Problems Porcelain Veneers Can Fix

There are many problems that can cause the appearance of your teeth to deteriorate. This may include discoloration and chipping. Commonly, porcelain veneers can fix issues like:

  • Irregular or misaligned teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Space or gaps between teeth
  • Discoloration caused by excessive fluoride, drugs or root canal treatment

Dentists recommend getting porcelain veneers for patients who want to change the shape of their teeth.

Alternatives to Porcelain Veneers

Generally, there are two types of dental veneers. Patients can opt for veneers made out of resin as well. However, they don’t give off the natural appearance porcelain veneers do. If a patient does not want veneers, bonding and crowns are viable alternatives.

Procedure for Installing Porcelain Veneers

A patient will need to visit the dentist at least three times for the entire process of installing porcelain
veneers. The first trip is regarding checkup and consultation as to whether the patient actually needs
them. The second and third trips are for creating the veneers and applying them.

There are three steps involved in the procedure:

1. The dentist will take measurements of your mouth and make impressions of your teeth. X-rays may also be taken at this stage. These are used for custom-creating the porcelain veneers for an individual.

2. A very small portion of the affected tooth/teeth will be removed by the dentist. This is the part which will be replaced by the veneer. Once again, the dentist has to take impressions of the tooth so that the veneers can be created accordingly.

3. The final step is bonding porcelain veneers. Here, the dentist will place the veneer on the affected tooth to measure whether it is of perfect size and shape. Modifications will be made on the spot to make it appear as natural as possible. Then, the veneer is bonded to the tooth using special cement, made for this purpose.

Care and Maintenance

One of the advantages of using porcelain veneers is that they don’t require any special care. Patients only need to follow routine oral hygiene practices to keep the veneers in top shape.

Porcelain veneers usually cost $500 to $1,300 a tooth but can be covered by insurance. They are built to be used for 5 to 10 years but may be replaced earlier should the need arise.