Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment that helps you achieve a healthier-looking, more attractive smile, but how do porcelain veneers work?
You’ve probably seen scores of celebs with their perfectly white, straight teeth and wondered how you, too, can get a brighter, younger-looking smile? Well, most of them have likely had veneers—so read on to find out what they are, what’s involved in the treatment, and how they work to transform your smile into a thing of beauty.
Firstly, what is a dental veneer?
A dental veneer is a thin shell that is permanently bonded to the front surface of a tooth—essentially disguising the tooth’s imperfections. Porcelain veneers have long been considered the gold standard in cosmetic dental work and can quickly change your smile. Porcelain veneers are durable, resistant to staining, and can last for many years with proper care.
How do porcelain veneers work to fix your smile?
Veneers are used to improve the overall appearance of your smile and work to correct a variety of dental problems, including:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth that are too small, large, or have a strange shape
- Gaps between teeth
- Teeth that are worn down
- Misaligned teeth
- Discoloured or stained teeth
They can be used singly to improve just one tooth or applied in rows to transform a crooked smile without orthodontic work.
What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers possess a translucent quality that mimics natural teeth and provides a flawless appearance. They offer the perfect quick-fix solution (unlike braces, which may take two years).
Our patients love porcelain veneers because they can help them restore self-confidence. Porcelain veneers work to make smiles whiter, straighter, and more attractive.
So, what’s the process for getting porcelain veneers?
Consultation and assessment
When you go in for a consultation for porcelain veneers, the dentist will start by asking you some questions about what the problems are with your teeth and why you think veneers are the solution. They’ll also examine your mouth and teeth to assess their condition and check that you have no oral health issues, such as active gum disease or tooth decay. If you have oral health problems, these will need to be dealt with before veneers are fitted.
If you are considered suitable for porcelain veneers, the next step is to prepare the teeth and take impressions of them. Impressions are used to make moulds used to create your made-to-measure veneers.
The teeth receiving veneers are prepared by removing a thin sliver of enamel from the front of each tooth. Enamel removal is done so that the veneers do not protrude from the tooth’s surface, thus sitting flush within your smile. This part of the treatment is carried out under a local anaesthetic, meaning you won’t feel any discomfort.
Once the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken and sent to the laboratory. You may be fitted with temporary veneers to wear until the permanent porcelain veneers are ready to fit.
Placement of veneers
When the dentist receives your porcelain veneers from the lab, you will need to take a trip back to the dental clinic to have them attached to your teeth. The dentist will check them for fit and colour by holding them against your teeth and adjusting them as required.
Veneers are affixed to each tooth with a unique light-activated adhesive that bonds them securely to its surface, which completes the procedure.
How porcelain veneers work compared to composite resin veneers?
Composite resin veneers are also a popular treatment option for repairing chipped, cracked, or stained teeth, but there are significant differences between the two.
- Porcelain veneers are a long-term option. As the tooth’s structure is altered to accommodate them, they are a permanent treatment that cannot be reversed. However, composite veneers are reversible because the tooth’s structure isn’t changed. So, you can have them taken off, reverting to your tooth’s natural appearance if you desire.
- Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, whereas composite is less resistant to stains and discolouration from food and drinks, such as curries, red wine, coffee, and tea.
- Porcelain veneers are long-lasting and have a lifespan of up to 15 years with good care. Composite veneers tend to last for around 5-7 years.
- Porcelain is renowned for its strength, whereas composite can be prone to chipping.
- Porcelain’s translucent qualities resemble the lustre of your own teeth to give a natural appearance.
- Although porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite, they do not need replacing as often because they last longer. Therefore, they can be a cost-effective option over the long term.
Who is not suitable for porcelain veneers?
Any cosmetic dentistry procedure requires a great deal of thought—especially one that alters the structure of your teeth forever.
For this reason alone, they are not for everyone.
There are a few things to consider when determining if veneers are the right choice for you: your budget, the condition of your teeth, your aesthetic goals, and whether you suffer from bruxism (tooth grinding or jaw clenching) that can damage your veneers.
As veneers are a cosmetic treatment, they’re not covered by dental insurance, so they may not be the best option for you if you’re on a tight budget.
How do porcelain veneers work – Conclusion
If you consider getting veneers, it’s a good idea to learn more about the process and how they work before taking the plunge.
By understanding how they are placed and the materials used, you can make an informed decision about whether or not this dental treatment works for you. If you have any questions, speak to our experienced team. Contact our office on to schedule a consultation and determine if porcelain veneers are right for you.
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