Dental veneers are a common solution for people who are not completely happy with their smile. They are very thin (equivalent to a contact lens) shells made either from porcelain or a resin composite that adhere to the front of the tooth. Veneers change the shape, colour and size of the natural tooth to fix a number of dental problems. Chipped, broken and worn down teeth are easily repaired and strengthened with veneers. They can also fix tooth discolouration and irregularly shaped teeth with minimal alteration to the original enamel. For people who don’t want to invest time and endure discomfort by wearing braces, veneers are used to make an even, straight smile. Speak with your dentist to determine if veneers are the right solution for you and learn more about the following key benefits of porcelain veneers.
When deciding between a crown and a veneer, the latter is a more conservative approach to changing the appearance of a tooth. While a crown requires extensive shaping of the original tooth, porcelain veneers require substantially less. A dentist needs to only remove approximately half a millimetre of enamel from the front of the tooth. And in many cases, the application of a temporary veneer isn’t necessary while awaiting the laboratory’s completion of a patient’s custom veneer.
Porcelain veneers also have a natural tooth appearance. Colour variation in the casting replicates the dynamic appearance of an unaltered smile. Translucent areas in the porcelain imitate the clear biting edges of enamel teeth. Patients can also custom select the colour of their veneers when using porcelain, so dark teeth or teeth with uneven colour can be lightened and given a uniform appearance. However, once veneers are applied, teeth can no longer be whitened. Patients planning on whitening would have to do so before the application.
Another great benefit of porcelain veneers is their ability to strengthen and reinforce broken and cracked teeth. By the timely addition of a veneer, teeth that might have needed to be removed or crowned in the future are more conservatively repaired. Veneers also help to protect the covered tooth from additional tooth decay. For the life of the veneer (five to ten years before replacement is necessary) teeth are strengthened and fortified.
Porcelain veneers comfortably integrate into a patient’s mouth. Gum tissue readily accepts porcelain, as long as there isn’t pre-existing gum disease or decay. Porcelain is also highly durable though patients should exercise caution and avoid chewing on pencils, ice and other hard objects. With veneers, patients can continue to practice their oral hygiene habits with regular brushing and flossing.
A considerable number of dental problems are easily solved with minimal restructuring of a patient’s original tooth. Dynamic colour variation and translucency give veneers the appearance of natural enamel teeth. Weakened, chipped and cracked teeth can be repaired and strengthened for years by the addition of porcelain veneers, and protected against further decay. They integrate naturally and comfortably into a patient’s mouth and require minimal lifestyle adaptation.
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