What Are Porcelain Veneers

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain dental veneers are thin sheets of lustrous porcelain that are bonded onto the surfaces of the teeth, where they correct aesthetic and physical imperfections in the teeth and enhance the appearance of the smile. Dental veneers can be made of porcelain or dental composite resin and are considered a permanent cosmetic dental treatment that is bonded to the teeth with dental cement. If you have discolorations on your teeth that can’t be corrected with traditional whitening treatments, porcelain veneers can mask these stains and make your smile luminous and white. If your teeth are cracked and fractured due to injury or decay, porcelain veneers can mask these structural imperfections and even protect the surfaces of the teeth, much like tooth enamel would. Because they rely on healthy tooth structure for support, however, porcelain veneers can’t be used to repair significant damage or replace substantial amounts of missing dental structure.

Stained teeth often respond well to at-home bleaching treatments, and clinical tooth whitening is even more successful. In some cases, however, the teeth don’t respond to whitening treatments, and, even when they do, they won’t stay freshly white forever, especially if you eat or drink dark-colored things or smoke cigarettes. Porcelain dental veneers make the teeth appear white and bright, and they’re more resistant to staining than dental enamel, so you won’t have to get them whitened, though it’s still a good idea to quit smoking if you want to protect your oral health and your overall health. If your dental enamel is worn away because of aggressive brushing or repeated exposure to acidic foods or stomach acid, which occurs because of acid reflux, porcelain veneers can also help protect the structure and vitality of the teeth, like enamel does, while reviving their appearance.

While veneers aren’t a substitute for orthodontic treatments all of the time, they can help cover teeth that are crooked or have gaps between them and camouflage minor orthodontic issues. They can also be used to cover chips or fractures in the dental enamel, defending against additional cracking and protecting the sensitive interior of the tooth. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment is recommended before dental veneers; for example, if you have a significant gap between your teeth and you try to mask this with veneers, the veneers would need to be absurdly large to make up for the gap. Orthodontic treatment can narrow the gap, and porcelain veneers can compensate for narrower teeth or for other reasons to help fill in the gap.

The cost of porcelain veneers can be a challenge, and it’s unlikely that your dental insurance plan will cover porcelain veneers, as they’re considered a cosmetic dental procedure. Because the tooth surface must be modified in order to accommodate a dental veneer, some people experience increased sensitivity in the teeth after veneers are placed, particularly when exposed to extreme temperatures. This can be expected to go away after a few days, and discomfort is easily managed if you follow your dentist’s recommendations. Because porcelain veneers are considered a permanent solution and are irreversible, it’s important to consider all your pros and cons before beginning treatment, so talk to your dentist about the factors that matter, and be on your way to a flawless smile.