Are you unhappy with the appearance of your smile? Do you long for a smile that is bright, white and even? If so, then dental veneers could be just the solution for you.
Most cosmetic dental treatments address specific dental improvements. Invisalign, for instance, improves teeth alignment, composite bonding improves the shape, and teeth whitening improves colour. However, for those looking to improve size, colour, shape and alignment, there’s one treatment that can make several cosmetic changes all at once and that’s porcelain veneers. So how do veneers work?
Before delving into the whys and wherefores of veneers, here’s a brief explanation of what they are.
Dental veneers are custom-designed thin covers or shells that are designed to enhance a smile. They’re made from porcelain or other composite materials and bonded to the front surface of the teeth. Once they have been affixed to the tooth enamel, the two become one, dramatically improving the appearance of the teeth and providing additional strength. If you prefer to stay out of photos then porcelain veneers provide a powerful option to improve your smile.
So, getting back to how do veneers work?
Dental veneers are mostly used for cosmetic purposes to improve the size, shape, and colour of a patient’s teeth, usually the front teeth. This is achieved by reshaping, improving the structure or colour of the teeth, and closing small gaps.
Veneers have been around for several decades and although techniques have evolved, their purpose remains much the same. Dr Charles Pinctus, an early pioneer of cosmetic dentistry used veneers in the late 1920s to improve the teeth of Hollywood actresses including Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and Mae West during filming and photoshoots. Unlike today’s veneers, these were removable caps that had to be taken out for eating and sleeping. They were not intended to be permanent.
Nowadays, this is no longer the case and dental veneers are designed to be a long-term solution to improve the appearance of a person’s smile.
So, how do veneers work and what’s involved in the process?
The process for getting porcelain veneers is relatively simple and can usually be achieved with an initial consultation and just 2 dental appointments.
The initial consultation
This is a comprehensive consultation whereby our dentist will listen to your smile goals and concerns. You’ll also undergo a thorough examination of your entire mouth as well as your head and neck. X-rays will be taken as well as photographs of your smile to create a treatment plan. This helps us to determine if porcelain veneers are the best treatment for you.
We will also provide you with an estimated cost of the porcelain veneers treatment. If you are happy with the plan and the cost, we will schedule your first appointment.
It’s only natural that the dental veneers process creates some anxiety with regards to the outcome. Fortunately, at Beyond Infinity Dental, we believe in involving patients right from the start of their treatment and use digital smile design software to give you an on-screen view of how your smile will look before you have treatment. We also find this software makes it easier for patients to convey how they want their smile to look.
Once you have approved your new smile, the teeth will be carefully and minimally prepared by removing a tiny amount of tooth enamel from the surface. This is to ensure that the veneer and the natural teeth are the same thickness and to help the veneer bond to the tooth.
A digital impression is then taken of your teeth, the colour of the porcelain is selected, and the impressions are sent to the lab where your custom porcelain veneers will be crafted.
You will be fitted with temporary porcelain veneers for a couple of weeks while your permanent veneers are being made. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for your teeth. The temporaries will be a similar size and shape as the permanent veneers only minus the finer details.
This temporary phase also gives a patient the chance to adjust to wearing veneers and discuss any changes which may be necessary before the permanent veneers are finalised.
What happens next?
Once your dental veneers have been made it’s time to bond them to your teeth. First, the teeth are cleaned, polished and roughened on the surface. This helps them form a firm and reliable bond. A special adhesive combined with a high-intensity light ensures the adhesive hardens quickly. Finally, the bite is checked and we make sure that you’re delighted with how your veneers look. If necessary, we can make any final adjustments.
So now you have the answer to “how do veneers work”, in particular porcelain veneers, you may be wondering about the composite veneers we mentioned earlier.
These are more affordable than porcelain veneers because they’re made from the same tooth-coloured resin that we use for tooth fillings. They bind to the teeth to reshape them and have a similar effect to porcelain veneers although they are not as durable and tend to stain more easily.
So, how long do dental veneers last?
Veneers wear in a similar way to natural teeth and just like natural teeth, they are not indestructible. They can chip or crack or fracture. In addition, cavities can still occur around the veneer or beneath it. So it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene at all times to ensure they last as long as possible.
When cared for well, porcelain veneers can last between 15 and 20 years whereas composite veneers have a shorter lifespan of between 4 to 8 years.
If you’d like to know how veneers could work for you, then do contact the friendly experienced dental team at Beyond Infinity Dental to schedule a consultation. We can discuss all of your options for dental treatments, tailored to your needs, preference, and budget.
Call us now on (02) 8806 3799.