What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are a common cosmetic dentistry
procedure that can improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. Think of porcelain veneers as a permanent contact lens for your teeth. In this procedure a very thin piece of porcelain is applied to the front of each tooth, which improves its size, shape & color.
What do porcelain veneers fix?
Dental veneers are a great option for updating your smile to meet your aesthetic appearance. Whether you are just unhappy with the shape of your smile, or you are looking to fix imperfections in your teeth, Dr. Bowyer can advise on how veneers may help. Veneer appearance can be customized to meet your needs and aesthetic.
Just a few of the imperfections that veneers can solve:
- Chips and/or cracks in your teeth
- Minor misalignment of teeth, this is especially a great option if Invisalign is not a good fit for your lifestyle.
- Gapped teeth
- Yellow, gray or stained teeth, especially those that are resistant to Zoom Teeth Whitening.
Who are good candidates for porcelain veneers?
The main thing to keep in mind when considering whether you might be a good candidate for porcelain veneers would be your overall dental health. You should have a good routine of dental hygiene prior to receiving the veneers and be in good dental health. Part of the procedure will involve removing a thin layer of your teeth’s enamel, and you will need to have enough healthy enamel for this to occur. Once you’ve had the procedure you will need to maintain your dental hygiene routine.
One thing to keep in mind is that a porcelain veneer procedure is a lifelong decision. As enamel is removed from the teeth, you will not be able to simply get rid of the veneers, though they will need regular maintenance from your dentist. You will need to expect to restore and replace your porcelain veneers in your lifetime.
If you have gum problems, tooth decay or root canal infections, you will need to have these issues addressed prior to receiving porcelain veneers, as these issues will not be solved by getting veneers. Another sign that porcelain veneers may not be right for you would be if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. While porcelain is a strong material, you can expect grinding to cause the veneers to break.
If you are concerned about your eligibility for porcelain veneers and whether you could be a good candidate, Dr. Bowyer would be happy to consult. It is possible that any issues preventing you from being a good candidate can be resolved so you can successfully pursue a dental veneer procedure.
What is the process of getting veneers?
The process for receiving veneers typically involves multiple trips to Dr. Bowyer’s office. Your first consultation will involve an examination of your teeth to ensure that you are a good candidate for veneers alongside a discussion of your desired appearance. You will want to ensure that you are aligned on the limitations of the veneer procedure and design of your new smile.
Once you have a plan in place, Dr. Bowyer will remove your teeth’s enamel and shape your tooth for the desired effect. An impression of your teeth will be taken from which your veneer will be created. In the meantime, you will receive temporary veneers.
Once the veneers have been created, typically a few weeks after the impressions were taken, Dr. Bowyer will bond the porcelain to your teeth. Cement will be used to bond the porcelain to your tooth, after it’s been cleaned & polished. This cement can help determine the color for your veneer, and can be customized to match your desired appearance. Once placement and shaping has been finished, a UV light will be used to quickly harden the cement and adhere the veneer to your tooth.
One of the most surprising aspects of the veneer procedure is the recovery period. You will be numbed for the procedure, but once the anesthetics have worn off, you will be able to eat and drink normally. Your veneers may feel a bit rough for the first few days, but should smooth out with regular eating and brushing.
How to maintain your porcelain veneers
Veneers can last anywhere from 5-15 years, but will eventually need to be replaced. However, there are things you can do to increase the longevity of your veneers:
- Cavities are still a possibility for your natural teeth underneath the veneers. Ensure that you keep up your dental hygiene and do not develop decay.
- Don’t use your teeth to tear open packages, etc
- Don’t chew on hard objects such as your finger nails or ice chips.
- Wear a mouthguard while playing both contact and non-contact sports to avoid accidents
- Avoid chewing hard foods with your front teeth, or ones with veneers. You will want to use your natural back teeth for chewing.
- Avoid foods and activities that could cause staining. While the veneer is hard to stain, it is possible for the cement underneath to become discolored.
Want to learn more?
Dr. Jared Bowyer has been helping the Vancouver community become more confident in their smiles with dental veneers for years and is currently accepting new patients. He uses porcelain veneers instead of resin veneers, as they are more stain resistant, and therefore will keep the desired appearance for a longer period of time. If you are considering getting dental veneers, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Bowyer’s office.