Get a Natural Looking Smile with Porcelain Veneers
Perhaps you’re looking to improve the look of your smile, but you’re not sure where to start. Fortunately, you already know what you want—a beautiful smile that looks like it always belonged to you. Porcelain veneers are the perfect cosmetic dental solution for achieving this result: whether your teeth are permanently discolored; mildly worn down, chipped, or fractured; misaligned and irregularly shaped; or if you want to close unsightly gaps between your teeth, veneers can safely correct these dental flaws without compromising your dental health.
Today’s porcelain veneers are resilient, ultra-thin ceramic shells that are custom made to fit your mouth and face with advanced computer imaging. Most patients prefer this type of dental veneer because of the obvious advantages:
- Since porcelain mimics the look of natural tooth enamel, it is undetectable to the human eye.
- Porcelain is very stain resistant, even with daily smoking and coffee drinking.
- In contrast to dental crowns, veneers require minimal tooth alteration, leaving most of your original tooth intact.
And most importantly, porcelain is generally bio-compatible with your gums, which reduces possible allergic reactions or complications.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right for Me?
Though these type of veneers are an excellent cosmetic solution for most patients, whether or not you will benefit from them depends on your individual condition and your desired results. To be a good candidate for porcelain veneers, you must have reasonably healthy teeth and gums, with sufficient tooth enamel for your dentist to work with. It is also important to understand that this is not a reversible procedure. Once your original tooth is altered, there is no “restoring” it back to its original condition. Furthermore, you may experience increased tooth sensitivity as a result of having your enamel reduced. Porcelain veneers are a commitment to periodical replacement (usually between 5 to 10 years) and better dental habits to preserve the condition of your smile. Though no special care is required, basic common sense should be followed, i.e. don’t chew hard objects like ice and bottle caps and wear a bite guard if you clench or grind your teeth at night. Otherwise, porcelain veneers are the ideal corrective procedure for any patient who wants a gorgeous, natural looking smile.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Here at Glacier Creek Dental, we only create smiles that are as unique as our patients. To ensure the most natural looking results, we use advanced computer imaging to analyze your smile and create “diagnostic mock-ups” which allow you to see what you would look like with veneers. By making sure the veneers complement your face, we can prevent awkward cookie cutter results that look unnatural or unattractive.
The treatment process usually takes three visits:
- The first visit is the consultation phase. This focuses on smile analysis, computer imaging, and possibly digital x-rays and impressions of your teeth and gums.
- In the second visit, your teeth are prepared for the veneers. The tooth will be carefully shaved (only about 1/2 millimeter will be removed), which should preserve its basic strength and integrity. You may also opt for local anesthetic during the procedure to minimize any discomfort. Afterwards, your dentist will make a model of the shaved tooth, which is sent to the laboratory that constructs the veneer. The manufacturing process can take between 1-2 weeks. Until then, temporary veneers may be requested for an additional charge.
- On the third visit, the new veneers are examined for fit and color. If the size or color needs some fine-tuning, the dentist can trim and shape the veneer on the spot and adjust the shade of cement to be applied. Once the shape and color are finalized, your tooth is cleaned and etched to encourage proper bonding to the veneer. The veneer is then bonded to your tooth with a special cement, which is “cured” with a special laser to accelerate drying and hardening. Excess cement is removed as the dentist scrutinizes your new bite before sending you on your way. A follow up visit may be recommended to ensure that you’re adjusting properly to your new veneers.