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 Are Porcelain Veneers?

dental veneersPorcelain veneers, also known as dental veneers, are thin porcelain 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. Porcelain veneers are stain resistant and many people feel porcelain has a more natural look than veneers made of resin.

What 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. Porcelain veneers can also cosmetically correct some gaps between teeth.

How Dental Veneer Procedures Are Done

Porcelain veneers generally will require about 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, 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 examine your teeth, ensuring that veneers are the right course of action. Your dental professional will thoroughly outline procedures for 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 temporary veneers. This will involve the removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel. 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 porcelain veneers will be custom constructed. The construction and return of your new veneers is generally a 2-4 week process.

The Benefits Of Dental Veneers

In general, you will find that the gums tolerate dental veneers quite well. 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 solution than a dental crown.

What To Know About Veneers Before Deciding

Permanence

It’s important to understand that getting porcelain veneers is a permanent solution that cannot be reversed. Generally speaking, should a veneer become chipped or cracked, there are incidents where repair or reconstruction is all that will need to be done.

Color

Also, once the veneers are permanently placed their color cannot be adjusted without redoing the veneer..

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.

Tooth Decay & Avoiding Potential Problems

Remember, tooth decay is as possible with dental veneers as without them. So continue to practice good dental hygiene after getting your 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

Porcelain veneers are not 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, in most cases, should not have dental veneers.

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, and some cases can last over 20 years. When your porcelain veneers come to the end of their wear, as with all dental restorations,  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. This is a precaution people should also take with their own natural teeth if they would like to avoid staining.

Your Alternative Options To Dental Veneers

If it’s determined that you’re not a good candidate for 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, Marinis, Ahn 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, general dentistry for the entire family and more.

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) 941-8398 or use our Contact Us Page.