Few of us are born with perfect teeth. Most people state that they would like to change one or more details in their smile. This could be a gap between the two front teeth or unevenness that makes some teeth appear longer or wider than others. Some problems aren’t handed out by Mother Nature but are the result of something external. For example, a tooth may develop a white spot due to fluorosis, or a chip may occur unexpectedly.
Cosmetic flaws can make you feel dissatisfied with your smile. They don’t have to. The team at Kravitz Dental can create lifelike porcelain veneers to bring more beauty into your smile.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
A dental veneer is a thin covering of material that is made to lie over natural enamel. Porcelain veneers are carved from dental porcelain, a substance that has been developed to withstand the specific force of biting and chewing. One or more porcelain veneers can be affixed to the front surface of anterior, or front, teeth in order to hide the appearance of:
- Discoloration such as tetracycline stains
- Uneven lengths
- Textural irregularities
- Oddly shaped teeth
- One or more mildly crooked teeth
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Dental veneers weren’t and aren’t always made of porcelain. Composite material is also available for cosmetic improvement. The characteristics of porcelain that patients appreciate include the translucency and sheen of this material. When you look at your teeth, you will notice that the edges are slightly see-through. Porcelain veneers can be situated over teeth without obstructing this.
How Do Porcelain Veneers Differ from Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding can be a wonderful solution to small injuries or flaws such as a chip on a front tooth. Bonding is considered a direct veneer treatment. It is completed in a single office visit by applying a small amount of composite resin to the tooth. This material is shaped and then cured, or hardened. After composite has been hardened, it can be polished to blend in with surrounding enamel. Because composite resin is opaque (not see-through), dental bonding may be more appropriate for small corrections to the central area of a tooth.
Are Veneers Permanent?
For porcelain veneers to look natural on teeth, it is necessary to reduce a small amount of enamel from the surface. For this reason, a standard, lab-made porcelain veneer is considered a permanent fixture. If a veneer chips or wears down, it will eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain Veneer Treatment Process
Porcelain veneers can makeover your smile in two to three office visits. Before commencing with treatment, we conduct a thorough exam and cleaning. If needed, restorative procedures or cosmetic ones, like teeth whitening, may also be performed before we begin the veneer process.
The first step of veneer treatment is to prepare your teeth. The teeth that will receive veneers are reduced by about .5 millimeter (about as thick as a fingernail). An impression is taken of each tooth using a putty-like material. After teeth have been cleaned of all impression material, temporary veneers will be affixed to wear until the following appointment.
The model of your teeth is sent to a dental lab along with detailed information regarding the shape and size of the desired veneers. Shading instructions are also sent to the lab to ensure your final veneers match the color of your natural teeth. The final product is usually delivered to our office in approximately 10 days.
When veneers are ready, we schedule a second visit for placement. This visit may take one to two hours depending on the number of veneers to be placed. After removing your temporaries and cleaning all cement off of your teeth, the new veneers will be temporarily affixed so we can observe them together. You will be able to see the final results before veneers are bonded into place. If minor revisions are needed to shape or size, we may make them on the spot. Once you are completely happy with your smile, we bond your veneers into place using a special cement and light to harden that substance.
What are the Risks of Porcelain Veneers?
The primary risks of porcelain veneers include breaks, chips, and decay. It is important to know that veneers will wear down just like natural enamel. If hard objects are bitten, there is a chance that a veneer can pop off the tooth completely. If possible, we simply reattach the same veneer. Veneers that break or chip may not be able to be reattached. If a cavity develops at the margin of a veneer, a completely new covering may be needed. A less common risk of porcelain veneer treatment is that teeth become slightly sensitive. Usually, this resolves within a few weeks.
Schedule Your Consultation
We would love to help you get the smile you deserve. Call our Miami or Pembroke Pines office to schedule your consultation to learn more about porcelain veneers.