Porcelain veneers are categorized under dental aesthetics or cosmetic dentistry.

Let us understand what they are, how they work, whether or not you should opt for them, and how to prolong their lifespan—starting with the fundamentals.


What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers, also known as dental ceramic veneers, are ultra-thin shells of dental-grade ceramic material that are customized to fit over the front surfaces of teeth.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers

They are highly durable and resistant to chipping, cracking, and staining.

They are custom-crafted to match the color, shape, and contours of the patient’s existing teeth.

The application of porcelain veneers requires minimal to moderate enamel removal.

Porcelain veneers typically involve a higher initial investment.

Some patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity following the placement of porcelain veneers (resolves within a few days to weeks).

Enamel removal during the veneer application process is irreversible.


How Porcelain Veneers Work

Porcelain veneers are custom-made in a dental laboratory based on impressions of the patient’s teeth. This makes the application require two or more dental appointments.

During the initial consultation, a cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth, discuss treatment options, and determine if porcelain veneers are the most suitable solution for achieving your desired smile enhancements. If so, the dentist will then develop a personalized treatment plan based on your needs and goals.

With digital imaging and mock-up models, an impression of your teeth is taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where the porcelain veneers are fabricated by skilled technicians.

In the subsequent appointments, before the veneers are applied, the dentist prepares the teeth by removing a small amount of enamel to accommodate the thickness of the veneers. The veneers are then attached to the front surface of the teeth using dental cement. A curing light to harden the adhesive and bond the veneers firmly in place.

After the veneers are bonded, any excess material is removed, and the edges of the veneers are polished to create a seamless transition between the veneers and natural teeth.


Who is a Suitable Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers offer a versatile solution for addressing various cosmetic dental concerns, but not everyone may be an ideal candidate for this treatment. Here’s a closer look at the factors that determine suitability for porcelain veneers:

Suitable candidates typically have cosmetic concerns or imperfections such as:

     Discoloration: Stained or discolored teeth that do not respond to teeth whitening treatments.

     Chips or Cracks: Minor chips, cracks, or fractures that affect the appearance of the teeth.

     Gaps or Spaces: Small to moderate gaps or spaces between teeth (diastema) that detract from the smile’s aesthetics.

     Misalignment: Minor misalignment or irregularities in tooth shape or size that can be corrected with veneers.

Candidates should have a foundation of good oral health, including:

     Healthy Teeth and Gums: The teeth and gums should be free from decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues.

     Sufficient Enamel: Adequate enamel is necessary for bonding the veneers securely to the teeth.

     Stable Bite: Candidates should have a stable bite and occlusion to ensure the longevity and functionality of the veneers.


Practices to Prolong the Lifespan of Porcelain Veneers

Brushing and Flossing: Maintain a diligent oral hygiene routine. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching or damaging the surface of your veneers. Also, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Avoid Hard Foods and Habits: Refrain from biting down on ice cubes or any hard food, as this can chip or damage your veneers. Similarly, avoid habits like nail-biting or chewing on non-food items that can put undue stress on your veneers.

Protective Mouthguard: If you participate in contact sports or grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your veneers from potential damage.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule routine dental check-ups and cleanings with your dentist every six months. During these visits, your dentist can assess the condition of your veneers, address any concerns, and perform professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Fluoride Treatment: Consider incorporating neutral fluoride treatments into your oral hygiene routine to strengthen your natural teeth and protect the integrity of your veneers.


Empower Your Smile Journey with Porcelain Veneers

What else do you want to know about porcelain veneers? Do you perhaps want to share your dental journey? Drop, a comment below and let’s engage further. Your experiences and insights can inspire others in their quest for dental excellence.

In the end, remember this: your smile shines when you care for your teeth! Embrace and nurture it with Inner West Dental. Your journey to a brighter smile starts here, and we’re excited to be a part of it.