Porcelain veneers are an effective, long-term
solution for transforming discolored or misshapen teeth into a beautifully
white and perfectly aligned smile that will last for decades. The procedure
involves thin pieces of porcelain (veneers, or laminates) that are hand-crafted
by a lab technician into the shape of perfect teeth. The laminates are then
bonded to your natural teeth to correct the their imperfections and create an
authentic, uniform smile.
Orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign
or braces can straighten misaligned teeth, and
are important for improving your bite, jaw structure, or strength of your
teeth. However, they cannot correct chips, permanently stained, or misshapen
whitening procedures can brighten your smile to an extent, but some
tooth discoloration cannot be corrected by these treatments, and the effects
are always temporary. Porcelain veneers are quick, easily applied by a restorative
dentist, and, when properly cared for, will last for years.
As with any dental procedure, cosmetic or otherwise, it is
important to discuss with your dentist whether or not the course of treatment
is right for you. Are you considering porcelain veneers? These seven
requirements might indicate that you’re an ideal candidate.
1.) Discolored teeth
If you have teeth with deep, tough
stains, traditional whitening procedures may not be enough to remove them.
Mottled teeth with lines or bands that leave the enamel rough collect plaque
and other debris that make stains more prominent. Laminates bond to the enamel
and cover over the unsmooth surface.
2.) Misshapen teeth
Some people have naturally misshapen
teeth, like incisors that curve at an odd angle or front teeth with ridges on
the ends. Porcelain veneers are smooth and uniform, creating the appearance of
aligned teeth that are all properly shaped.
3.) Fractured teeth
Fractured teeth are misshapen, not by
the natural development of your teeth, but by accidents or other factors that
actually break or crack your tooth. While it is important to seek the proper treatment for fractured teeth to prevent more
serious issues, you may still be left with a tooth that is noticeably
different. If this has happened to more than one of your teeth, you might
consider porcelain veneers to cover up traces of other dental work.
4.) A properly aligned bite
Crooked teeth are certainly a reason
that some people elect to receive porcelain veneers. However, porcelain veneers
are only an option for mildly misaligned teeth. People with crooked teeth that
result from issues with the formation of their jaw, or those who have a
seriously misaligned bite, require orthodontic treatment such as braces or
5.) Healthy gums
Gum disease is a serious issue that
can cause various complications, and can even sometimes require surgery to
correct. If you have a history of gum disease, or believe you may be exhibiting
symptoms, consult with a periodontist to determine the proper course of
treatment. Gum disease can weaken your teeth and the surrounding bone, and
porcelain veneers would not be a solution.
6.) Healthy tooth enamel
Porcelain veneers are bonded to the
enamel of your teeth, and therefore require a strong enamel to support them. If
you have weakened enamel, your dentist will need to determine if your teeth are
strong enough for porcelain veneers.
7.) You don’t grind your teeth
Habitually grinding your teeth not
only weakens your enamel, which can preclude you from porcelain veneers, but it
also means that once you have veneers,
you may cause damage to them. If you use a mouthguard at night or are otherwise
seeking ways to avoid grinding your teeth, your dentist might still decide that
porcelain veneers are the answer, but if it is a chronic habit that causes
other issues for you, then you might not be a candidate.
Porcelain veneers are a lasting, affordable,
and quick cosmetic fix for imperfections in your teeth that prevent you from
having the winning smile you’ve always wanted. Speak with your dentist today to
see if your teeth require other forms of restorative treatment, or if porcelain
veneers are right for you.