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Porcelain Crowns / Veneers

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Enhance the shape and shade of your teeth with custom-fitted veneers.
Authored By: Greg Johnstone
Reviewed By: Dennis J. Wells, DDS
Dental veneers are custom-designed shells of tooth-like ceramic material that, when applied over the surface of a tooth, can cover worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing and chips or cracks.
Dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Even better, the translucent ceramic quality of today's veneers provides a more natural look than what’s been available in the past. 
Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:

  • Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, hard white substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled, and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or the result of a genetic predisposition; however, it is often a result of your habits (soft drink, tea, or coffee consumption, smoking, medication use, etc.).
  • Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.
  • Genetics: Certain people may be born with abnormal spacing between the teeth that grows wider as they age.
  • Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.

Porcelain Veneers and Composite Resin Veneers

The two most common materials used in the manufacture of dental veneers are composite resin and porcelain veneers. Both porcelain veneers and composite veneers can be fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory; composite veneers can also be directly fabricated inside your mouth at the dental office.
Dental veneers that are indirectly fabricated — fabricated in a dental laboratory — are bonded to the teeth with various types of resin cement. Of the two options, porcelain veneers are longer lasting and more expensive.

When are Veneers Appropriate?

Bonding often serves as an inexpensive and effective restoration for small chips and cracks in the teeth. Such minor problems may be functionally and cosmetically repaired with a composite "white filling." A composite resin material is bonded to the tooth in order to fill in the chip or crack and better protect the surrounding tooth structure. But for more severe cases of dullness, wear, discoloration, mild chipping, cracking, spacing, or uneven teeth, dental veneers may be recommended as a more appropriate solution.

Veneers or Whitening?

Teeth whitening may provide a white smile for mildly discolored teeth. Some people who are interested in veneers will find that their cosmetic dentist will steer them to the simpler alternative of whitening, perhaps combined with some simple orthodontic alignment. The placement of dental veneers requires the “shaping” or “prepping” of all teeth being fitted with the custom-designed shells. This process permanently alters the teeth that are treated and is therefore not recommended if your natural teeth are functionally and esthetically adequate.
If you have a severe case of dull or discolored teeth, you may have to opt for dental veneers. Veneers do have the added benefits of longevity and a proven ability to enhance the appearance of the mouth, smile, and possibly other areas of an aged face that would be better supported by properly shaped teeth. Although veneers require a much larger commitment than teeth whitening, the results are typically well worth it.

A Restorative Benefit to Veneers

In addition to being esthetically pleasing, dental veneers can also serve a functional purpose by protecting the surface of a damaged tooth. In some cases, veneers may replace the need for a dental crown, eliminating the need for more invasive tooth preparation.
Because dental veneers are so thin, they might require little-to-no tooth reshaping when bonded onto the tooth. Once veneers are bonded into place, they are relatively strong and durable; however, care must be taken so as not to abuse veneers because the thin porcelain shells can damage or break. Your dentist may advise you against certain uses or dietary tendencies (such as eating carrots) and may recommend you wear a protective appliance while your sleep, especially if you are a bruxer.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can dramatically change an entire smile. They can change the shape, color, size and arrangement of teeth or any combination of these factors. They can often be used as an alternative to orthodontic treatment. Excellent results can be created from veneers in a matter of weeks as opposed to wearing braces for months or years. That's why we call it «instant orthodontics». The technique consists of shaving a thin layer of the outer tooth structure. An impression of the prepared teeth is taken and is sent to the dental laboratory. The ceramist will make very thin porcelain facings consisting of all the changes in shape, size, colour and tooth arrangement that are needed to get a great looking smile. At the second visit, the laminates are bonded onto the prepared teeth with the blue light gun. The bonding material acts as an adhesive for the laminates. Porcelain laminates is the most popular technique used for dramatic smile makeover.

 

 

 

 

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