Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth for an immediate smile transformation. Individually crafted for each patient, these cosmetic enhancements are made from advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of natural dental enamel. Dentists can use veneers for an impressive number of cosmetic corrections, ranging from teeth whitening to orthodontic adjustments. Thanks to their lifelike appearance and wide array of functions, porcelain veneers rank among the most trusted and popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry.
Patients who are considering porcelain veneers are typically looking to address multiple structural or cosmetic issues with their teeth, such as:
Gaps between teeth.
In order to have porcelain veneers placed, patients should:
Have good periodontal and overall oral health.
Be committed to proper oral care and hygiene.
Have specific cosmetic goals, which they can articulate to their dentists at their initial consultations, as well as realistic expectations.
Have a sufficient amount of healthy enamel, as dentists usually remove a thin layer of enamel before placing veneers.
As stated above, patients must have healthy teeth and gums to qualify for dental veneers. Patients with conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and root canal infection typically do not qualify for veneers. However, after a dentist successfully treats these issues, patients are usually cleared for cosmetic enhancement. Those who are considering porcelain veneers should remember that the procedure is typically a permanent one. Because the dentist usually removes a layer of enamel before attaching the porcelain, patients will eventually need to replace their veneers or choose an alternative restoration to take their place. Therefore, no one should receive veneers unless they are certain about their decision. Some patients who habitually grind their teeth and clinch their jaw may be disqualified from receiving veneers. Although dental porcelain is quite strong and durable, the forces of bruxism can put incredible strain on veneers, causing them to break or come off entirely. In many cases, however, a dentist may be able to treat the underlying causes of bruxism, eventually enabling patients to receive veneers. Additionally, newly developed dental materials allow ceramists to create stronger restorations that may be suitable for such patients.
The only way a patient can fully determine his or her candidacy for veneers is by scheduling an appointment with a skilled cosmetic dentist. After evaluating health history, current dental health, and the condition of a patient’s enamel, a dentist can make an informed decision regarding a patient’s suitability for this treatment. He or she can also recommend alternative treatments for non-qualifying patients.