Finding The Right Porcelain Veneers For You
You’ve heard of porcelain veneers, you probably even know several people who have them. But maybe you have questions about what they are, exactly, how safe they are for your teeth and if they’re a good idea for you. Are veneers all you need, or should you consider teeth whitening instead or cosmetic dental bonding? Kopp Dental Associates in the Chicago area takes you through the basics so you can make the right decision for you.
What Porcelain Veneers Are
Porcelain veneers, also known as dental veneers, are wafer-like coverings that are professionally affixed by a dental professional to the front of your teeth. They can be used to create a whiter, brighter smile as well as cosmetically alter the appearance of the shape, length or sizing of your teeth.
Veneers are made from a specific dental-grade porcelain. Dental veneers can also be made from a high-quality resin composite. In porcelain veneers’ favor, is that they’re more stain resistant than those made from resin. Many people also feel porcelain has a more natural look than veneers made of resin. In resin’s favor, though, is the fact that a resin veneer is somewhat thinner, requiring less of the tooth’s surface to be removed prior to the placing of the veneer.
Which is best for you? Both porcelain veneers and those made of resin are of good quality and very safe. Deciding which would be the better choice for you is something that you and your dental professional at Kopp Dental will discuss during consultation.
The Kinds Of Tooth Conditions Do Veneers Correct
Dental veneers can correct a variety of cosmetic situations. Discoloration, teeth with enamel that has worn down, chips or breaks, misalignments, unevenness or irregular tooth shape. Both resin and porcelain veneers can also cosmetically correct an gap between teeth.
How Dental Veneer Procedures Are Done
Whether resin or porcelain veneers, the process generally will require 3 visits to your dental professional. The first will be your consultation, where you and the doctor will determine if veneers are the right decision for you. If so, you’ll also discuss shape, color, material and other cosmetic preferences you want. The second is when the process of tooth preparation is done, and the third is when the veneers will be applied. Let’s take a closer step-by-step look at the full process.
Diagnosing Your Dental Situation & Designing A Treatment Plan
During your consultation, you and your dental professional will discuss the results you’re looking for with your dental veneers. Your doctor will inspect your teeth, ensuring that veneers the right course of action. Your dental professional with thoroughly outline procedures for resin and porcelain veneers and help you understand any limitations. The doctor will likely have X-rays done during this visit, as well, and may have dental impressions (a mold of your gums and teeth).
Preparing Your Teeth For The Veneers
On your second appointment, your teeth will be prepared for the resin or porcelain veneers. This will involve the removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel: approximately half a millimeter. This matches the veneer’s thickness that will overlay the tooth. Prior to this process, you and your dental professional will discuss any need for local anesthesia for numbing the area being worked on.
After this, an impression of your teeth will be made. This is delivered to a dental lab, where your resin or porcelain veneers will be custom constructed. The construction and return of your new veneers is generally a one-to-two week process. In cases where the patient’s teeth are particularly unattractive, provisional veneers can be put in place for an added price.
Having Your Veneers Bonded In Place
To assure that your new dental veneers are the right fit, shape and coloring, your dental professional will do a temporary placing of the veneer. The doctor will re-fit, trim and tweak the coloring as needed until you are comfortable with the results.
After this, your teeth will receive a cleaning, polishing and some etching in preparation for the resin or porcelain veneers. The etching will roughen the surface of your teeth, which allows for the veneers to bond strongly. Dental bonding cement formulated for veneers will be put on the veneers before they’re affixed to the teeth.
At this point, the bonding material will still be soft enough to allow for any changes in positioning that is needed. When the veneers are positioned as desired, a specialized light will be aimed at the veneers. This light will activate the bonding material, curing it rapidly and securely. Once your resin or porcelain veneers are in place, any surplus bonding material is removed then a final evaluation and any minor adjustments will be addressed. More than likely a follow-up appointment will be recommended in about 2 weeks to make sure the fit is still secure and there is swelling or irritation at the gum line.
The Benefits Of Dental Veneers
Whether you are fitted with resin or porcelain veneers, the benefits are many. While some prefer the look of porcelain, both types of dental veneers offer a natural look. In general, you will find that the gums tolerate dental veneers quite well. Both resin and porcelain veneers resist staining, though porcelain does so better. Veneers whiten a discolored smile, aesthetically shape or even-out a crooked tooth line, and cosmetically correct cracks and minor chips. Very often, dental veneers can be a better solutions than a dental crown.
What To Know About Veneers Before Deciding
It’s important to understand that getting resin or porcelain veneers is a permanent solution that cannot be reversed. Should a veneer become chipped or cracked, the veneer will likely need to be fully replaced. Generally speaking, veneers can’t be repaired.
You should also be prepared for the fact that neither resin nor porcelain veneers’ color is not likely be an exact match to your natural teeth. Also, once the veneers are permanently placed their color cannot be adjusted.
Whitening your teeth prior to have your dental veneers put in is permissible. In fact, if your natural teeth are a bit dull, whitening them can enhance the color of the veneers.
Sensitivity, Tooth Decay & Avoiding Potential Problems
Though not an absolute, you should be aware that there is a possibility your teeth might experience more sensitivity to cold or hot food and beverage. This possible side effect is due to the removal of thin layer of enamel in preparation for your resin or porcelain veneers.
Remember, tooth decay is as possible with dental veneers as without them. So continue to practice good dental hygiene after getting your resin or porcelain veneers.
Avoid biting your fingernails, chewing on hard objects like pencils or ice, or subjecting your resin or porcelain veneers to excessive pressures. While it isn’t likely, there is still a possibility of dislodging a dental veneer under such circumstances.
How To Decide If You’re A Good Candidate For Dental Veneers
Neither resin nor porcelain veneers are meant for persons whose teeth are not healthy (i.e., have tooth decay or gum disease). If teeth have been weakened due to decay, have been fractured or have teeth larger than usual fillings. Additionally, persons whose teeth have very worn or insufficient enamel should not have dental veneers.
It’s also recommended that persons who suffer from bruxism ( the clenching or grinding of one’s teeth, either awake or during sleep) avoid opting for porcelain veneers in particular, as bruxism can crack or chip them.
If you only have one or two teeth that need correction, such as a minor chip or some discoloring, opting for composite resin bonding may be a better choice.
The Care & Life Span Of Your Dental Veneers
Dental veneers usually wear very well between five and ten years. When your resin or porcelain veneers come to the end of their wear, they will need replacing.
Your veneers need only the same proper oral hygiene you practice with your natural teeth. Continuing good oral habits will help ensure that your dental veneers last as long as they can. Brush, floss and rinse with a quality antibacterial mouthwash.
Porcelain veneers in particular are good at resisting stains. Even so, your dental professional is likely to advise you to avoid food and drink that is known for staining; such as blueberries, coffee or dark wines.
Your Alternative Options To Dental Veneers
If it’s determined that you’re not a good candidate for either resin or porcelain veneers, you still have excellent options for improving your oral health and brighten your smile. Dental bonding or crowns are good examples. Your dental profession will discuss all of these with you during your consultation.
Dental Veneers At Kopp Dental Associates
Dr. Kevin Kopp, his associates and their staff are dedicated to helping you know that your faith in Kopp Dental is well placed. From each dental specialist to every member of our office team, you are working with the most qualified, experienced and caring dental professionals in the greater Chicago area.
Located in Elmhurst, Doctors Kopp, Guzaitis and Elia are skilled and compassionate professionals, serving you with extended weekday hours and some weekend hours. We always provide extraordinary care, with strong expertise in a wide array of dental procedures, including cosmetic dental bonding and more.
But you don’t have to take our word for it! Hear from our patients over on our Testimonials Page. And please feel free to call us with any questions at (630) 941-8393 or use our Contact Us Page.