Get A Beautiful Smile With Porcelain VeneersGet A Beautiful Smile With Porcelain Veneers

Not all teeth hold up well over time. Even with good dental care and oral hygiene, teeth can crack, chip or become discolored, and sometimes they can even be uneven or irregularly shaped. With the help of porcelain veneers, all of these issues can be solved, and you can have a white, bright smile and teeth without chips, cracks, or even gaps, with just three visits to your dentists.

Porcelain veneers are thin wafers of porcelain that are custom-designed to fit over your natural teeth, but can reshape them and change their color and appearance. And these veneers are stain resistant, so with good oral hygiene, they will retain their white, healthy appearance for typically five to ten years at which time they will need to be replaced.

On the first visit to your dentist, explain what you are trying to do and the results you hope to achieve. Your dentist will then examine your teeth and gums to ensure that porcelain veneers are a good choice. Veneers will not work if you have cavities, gum disease, or teeth that are weak or have thin enamel on the surfaces. And patients who grind their teeth are also not good candidates for porcelain veneers because the grinding action can cause the veneers to chip or crack.

Once an examination helps determine that porcelain veneers are a good option for a patient, the process can begin. During the second of the three-step process, the patient's teeth are prepared to hold the veneers. In this step, enamel is removed from the surface of the patient's teeth to make room for the veneer that will be placed on them. A model or impression is made of the tooth or teeth that will be covered. Any tooth reshaping that needs to be done will be taken care of at this point.

After the impression is created, it is sent to a dental laboratory where the porcelain veneers are made. It normally takes about one to two weeks for the veneers to be created and sent back to the dentist's office. In the meantime, your natural teeth will still be very functional, even with the small amount of enamel that was removed. If necessary, for aesthetic reasons, temporary dental veneers can be placed over your teeth.

On your third visit of this process, your dentist will temporarily place the veneers to ensure that they fit correctly and that the color is right. Any trimming that needs to be done is accomplished at this point. Once the veneers fit to the satisfaction of both you and your dentist, they will be permanently fastened to your teeth.

The bonding process is done with special cement that is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. At this point, the cement is till pliable and the veneer can be moved around to achieve the correct position. And if the color of the veneer needs to be adjusted, that can be done with the shade of cement that is used. Once the veneer is correctly placed, a special light beam is used to activate the chemicals in the cement, causing it to quickly harden, making the veneer permanent.

Porcelain veneers are a very good option for teeth that need some aesthetic improvement because they look, feel and function like natural teeth, gum tissue interacts well with porcelain and the veneers are stain resistant. Once dental veneers have been placed, they only require the normal oral hygiene care of brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist.
by Dr. Susan Wells
References and Bibliography
Susan Wells DMD has been practicing dentistry in Warrior, Alabama since 1978.  She treats patients for all aspects of general dentistry including preventive dental care oral hygiene instruction and full scale exams and cleanings. To find out more visit her site at
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