Porcelain Veneers are thin, semi-translucent laminate material permanently bonded to teeth. At Accolade Dental Centre, we use porcelain veneers exclusively. They are stronger than other laminates, and will not change in colour over time (or stain). Porcelain veneers also last longer than other materials. In general, the procedure to apply veneers takes two dental visits – however, situations vary with each patient.
From an aesthetic point of view, porcelain veneers are an excellent option, and depending on the specific dental condition, the outcomes are highly satisfactory. Your dentist may recommend the application for various conditions, including spaces between the teeth (diastema); teeth that are crooked, broken or chipped; or teeth that are stained and discoloured teeth, and can’t be otherwise whitened.
For porcelain veneers, your dentist might administer a local anaesthetic to freeze the area of the application. Following this, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the tooth, in order to prepare the surface for the veneer. In most cases, and for most patients, your dentist will apply temporary veneers until the final application, when your fully customized porcelain veneers are ready to apply.
Temporary veneers are actually quite fragile, so great care should be taken during eating, and especially during brushing. At the follow-up visit, your dentist will be removing the temporary veneers and preparing your teeth for the final porcelain veneers. The customized veneers are “glued” to each tooth separately using special cement, and when the procedure is complete, the teeth are as good as new.
Unfortunately, not every patient is a good fit for veneers. Your dentist will decide, based on your condition, and may then recommend a different treatment that better suits the case. For example, if teeth are decayed, or if there is sufficient evidence of gum disease, these conditions are not conducive to veneers. As well, if the patient grinds the teeth (bruxism), this can result in chipping or breaking of the veneers.
Your dentist will guide you and advise you on the best course of action. If you are a suitable candidate, veneers will be the answer, however, once veneers are applied, the treatment cannot be reversed. And in the event that the porcelain veneer breaks away, or chips, the veneer must be re-applied. The bottom line for every patient is proper dental maintenance, both for existing teeth, and teeth that have been treated.
During an examination, your dentist will explain the benefits of porcelain veneers. Of course, the aesthetic improvements are obvious – in fact, this procedure is known to provide the best outcomes in terms of aesthetic restoration. Porcelain veneers are also the most “bio-compatible” substance that could be used in and around the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth. It’s a treatment that is safe all around.
Porcelain veneers should really last a lifetime, but it all depends on how well one takes cares of the teeth. The application is stronger than most other treatments, and tends to be more impervious to unwanted stains and accidental chipping. But again, proper care is key – routine oral hygiene; consistent tooth maintenance; and regular visits to the dentist for cleaning and examination.