The shapes and shades of people’s teeth vary dramatically from person to person. Some people are born with very yellow teeth while others, for instance, may have been given tetracycline as a child which may have resulted in very dark grey teeth. If professional teeth whitening doesn’t work for you or you find your front teeth to be worn down, cracked or not quite the shape that you want, porcelain veneers may be what you are looking for.
What are veneers?
All ceramic veneers are one of the quickest and least invasive ways to improve your smile. A veneer preparation requires us to take a small amount of enamel off of the facial side of your tooth to make room for the ceramic. Unlike a crown, the enamel is removed only on the visible surface of your tooth and the required reduction is significantly less than it would otherwise be. After the teeth are prepared, final impressions are taken and sent to the lab for final fabrication. In between visits, you will be provided provisional or “temporary” veneers. After a week or so, once your veneers return from the lab, they are checked for shade match and patient satisfaction. If satisfied the veneers are then bonded to the teeth where they gain significant strength and support.
All ceramic veneers are a great treatment option for some. They are a quick option that can be used to make teeth appear straighter, whiter and more shapely after only two visits. They have very good long term success rates with one study showing their ten year survival to be 93.5%*.
* Beier US, “Clinical performance of porcelain laminate veneers for up to 20 years”, Int J Prosthodontics 2012-Feb; 25(1), 79-85, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22259802
Veneers are a great option for many patients but they are not the right choice for everyone. When considering a veneer restoration patients should be aware that, although minor, some tooth structure must be removed to facilitate the new ceramic and this may not be ideal in some younger patients. Although uncommon, veneers can debond from the tooth structure underneath. Patients must also be aware that practicing good oral hygiene is the biggest thing you can do to improve the long term success of any dental restoration material.