What is a Veneer?
In dentistry a veneer is a thin layer of dental restorative material, usually porcelain that replaces enamel.
Before a patient can successfully receive veneer treatment, certain aspects related to his or her dental health and tooth structure must exist, verified by a smile analysis:
- The teeth are in more or less normal position;
- Sufficient tooth structure needed for veneers exists;
- Symmetrical gingival (gum) contours are present, which allow for the proper “framing” of the teeth necessary for a beautiful cosmetic result.
What can Veneers do?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent solution for correcting small or medium spaces between teeth, imperfections in tooth position (e.g., slight rotations), poor color, poor shape or contours, as well as some minor occlusal (bite) related problems. Porcelain veneers can allow for dramatic improvements for patients who have worn their teeth by bruxism (grinding of one’s teeth through habit patterns) or fractured teeth
What can’t Veneers do?
Veneers cannot correct poor tooth position, large discrepancies in root position, poor bite relations and poor profile.
What happens to my teeth after veneers, and will I ever get cavities?
The integrity of veneered teeth is only marginally compromised, and the veneer is bonded to the existing teeth. There is no higher incidence of decay provided the veneers are properly cared for as previously mentioned with regular flossing and brushing with toothpaste. In general, it is good dental advice to keep your sugar consumption low and confined to meal times to prevent decay.
How long will porcelain veneers last?
They can last from seven to twenty years. While the veneer itself is inert and non-living, the tooth or teeth to which they are attached and the surrounding gum tissues are living and may change. For example, gum line shrinkage may expose or reveal root surfaces. If a veneer comes off it can generally be rebonded. If it chips it can sometimes be rebonded or otherwise replaced.
If I have my upper teeth treated with porcelain veneers, will my lower teeth still be a different colour, or more yellow?
This is certainly a factor that will be discussed during your evaluation and smile design so that everything matches and blends well. Most patients usually whiten the lower teeth with whitening (bleaching) procedures to ensure a good match.
Do porcelain veneers stain with normal things like tea, coffee and wine?
Porcelain veneers should never stain; however; if your teeth have a propensity to stain you should try to avoid or minimize the behaviors that lead to staining and look after them as recommended above with normal hygiene and maintenance procedures.
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