Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. It is often the material of choice for those looking to make slight position alterations, or to change tooth shape, size and/or color.
Visiting your local prosthodontist is the best way to determine if porcelain veneers are the best option for you, and to see if there are any alternative options available.
Your prosthodontist will begin with a smile analysis to determine what steps are necessary to achieve the smile you desire. Additionally, your dentist may create a diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try on” veneers and other procedures to see if the final result is actually what you’re looking for.
Porcelain laminate veneers consist of a compilation of several thin ceramic layers which replace the original tooth enamel and adhesive layer. To apply a veneer, a small amount of the original tooth must be removed, usually less than a millimeter. This creates the space for the porcelain veneer to fit within the mouth and restore the natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance.
Since veneers are customized for each patient, I t is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth – unlike natural teeth, custom-made veneers resist coffee and tea stains, and cigarette smoke because they are made of high-tech materials.
With veneers, your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount being altered to fit the veneer.
Maintaining porcelain veneers is actually quite simple: Treat them as you would your original teeth, with routine brushing and flossing. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste will typically be suggested by your dental professional.