Do you have unnatural-looking gaps between your teeth? Are your teeth discolored, chipped, or even odd-shaped? If you have any of these cosmetic dental concerns that keep you from smiling, porcelain veneers can help you achieve a beautiful smile you can be happy to show off. At New Leaf Rohnert Park, we understand the importance of a beautiful and healthy smile, and we will work with you to create your personalized porcelain veneers and make sure they are what you want before we bond them in place. Once porcelain veneers are bonded, reshaping is not always possible and often requires replacement veneers.
What are porcelain veneers and why do you need them?
Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that bond to the front surface of your natural tooth in order to improve the tooth’s appearance. You can choose to get a single veneer to reshape a chipped tooth or improve the discoloration of a single tooth. On the other hand, you can choose to get veneers for all your teeth to create an even, symmetrical smile. Veneers can treat many different cosmetic concerns, including broken, chipped, discolored, or smaller-than-average teeth.
How can dental veneers benefit you?
The biggest benefit to porcelain veneers is to improve the appearance of your teeth when you smile. If you suffer from tooth discoloration that does not respond to tooth whitening treatments, veneers can give you that bright white smile you desire. Small gaps between your teeth don’t always require braces or other orthodontic care. In some cases, veneers can close those gaps and give you a more even and uniform smile. Because veneers bond directly to your tooth, they are made to last for more than a decade when cared for properly, giving you a long-term investment in your smile.
How do dentists apply veneers?
Before considering veneers, your dentist will likely take x-rays and perform a full exam to make sure your teeth are healthy. Signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other dental concerns may need treatment before veneers are an option. Once your dentist approves veneers, it is time to have them made. To do this, your dentist will use special tools to remove a small amount of the surface enamel of the teeth receiving veneers. Once complete, the dentist will make a mold of your teeth that the lab will use to make your veneers.
Once your veneers are ready, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth before using a special tool to grind the tooth’s surface down, creating a rough texture. The dentist then uses dental cement to bond the veneer directly to the tooth.
The cons of dental veneers
While porcelain veneers offer huge cosmetic benefits, there are some downsides to porcelain veneers. These can include:
- The process cannot be undone. Once porcelain veneers are in place, you will have to replace damaged veneers with new veneers or some other cosmetic option. This is because your tooth’s enamel is removed during the application process, and this will not grow back.
- It cannot be repaired if chipped or broken. If your veneer becomes damaged or chipped, it will require replacement.
Sensitive teeth. Because enamel is removed, you may experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks.
- Teeth with veneers can still experience tooth decay. You may need to replace the veneer or have a full crown put in place when this happens.
- These are not good for those that grind or clench teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, veneers are not a good option as they are likely to crack or chip.
Can dental veneers be filed down or reshaped?
Composite veneers, made from composite material, can be reshaped and filed as needed. Unfortunately, in most cases, your porcelain veneers cannot be reshaped or filed down after they are bonded to your teeth. While some dentists may be able to lightly file down a porcelain veneer, there is a high risk of veneer failure, and filing will damage the polished smooth surface of the veneer. In most cases, your dentist will recommend complete veneer replacement.
Taking care of your dental veneers
Porcelain veneers typically last for 10 to 15 years with proper care. While regular brushing and flossing are essential to care for your teeth and veneers, additional precautions are taken to prolong your veneers’ lifespan. These include:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects, such as pens, fingernails, ice cubes, and hard candies
- Never use your teeth to open packaging, such as ketchup packets
- Avoid chewing with your front teeth. Eat harder foods with your back teeth and consider cutting harder foods into bite-sized pieces instead of biting into them
- Wear a mouthguard or splint if you grind your teeth at night
- Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports
Let porcelain veneers give you a beautiful smile.
You don’t have to hide behind your smile any longer. At New Lear Rohnert Park, our team of dental professionals is here to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile you can be proud of. If you want to learn how porcelain veneers can give you a smile you want, visit us online or call our office today at (707) 586-1549 to schedule a consultation.