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Minimally-invasive yet still capable of delivering stunning results, porcelain veneers are tiny restorations that can make a world of difference in your smile.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about porcelain veneers so that you can find out.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Just exactly what are veneers?

Dental veneers are thin individual cosmetic restorations that cover only the fronts of front teeth. You could get a veneer or two on your lower front teeth, if needed, but veneers tend to hold up the best on upper teeth.

veneers cosmetic alternative

Veneers look like slim curved shells or wafers. They’re very thin and range from around 0.5 millimeters down to just 0.2 millimeters in thickness. They can either fit right over teeth or they can replace a layer of enamel on the front of teeth. Veneers are dyed to either make your teeth look whiter or to match your current natural tooth color.

The purpose of veneers is to enhance your appearance by covering up the flaws in teeth that show when you smile.

Porcelain is the most common material used to make veneers. If you’re interested in getting porcelain veneers, then your local cosmetic dentist can help you out.

What Is Porcelain?

The dental industry’s porcelain definition refers to tooth-colored non-porous ceramic restorations. In fact, “ceramic” and “porcelain” are usually interchangeable terms when it comes to dental materials.

Porcelain teeth veneers are strong, smooth, stain-resistant, and can be designed to imitate the exact color, thickness, and translucency of natural tooth enamel.

Porcelain Veneers Uses

Why should you think about getting porcelain veneers?

If you have yellow teeth or a small gap in your smile, then veneers could probably work great for you.

Veneers correct a variety of cosmetic dental issues including:

Porcelain veneers are the shortcut to a beautiful smile when you don’t want to take the time to try other methods.

For example, you could skip months in braces and make your crooked front teeth look straight by covering them up with veneers. Or if your teeth aren’t responding to teeth whitening treatments, then you can make them permanently whiter by masking them in dental veneers.

While veneers can instantly transform a smile and make it look whole and healthy, they do have their limitations.

Porcelain Veneers Uses
uses porcelain veneers

For one thing, veneers aren’t a solution for teeth with large cavities. Dental decay is an infection that needs to be stopped with a regular dental filling.

Additionally, veneers are too thin to provide structural support to weak teeth. Teeth that have significant damage should be repaired with other treatments like fillings or crowns.

But as long as your dental problem isn’t a major one, veneers can be the perfect instant fix.

Porcelain Veneers Procedure

Traditional dental veneers, although quite thin already, can make your teeth feel bulky if they’re placed on top of your existing enamel. Your teeth will have to be prepared to make room for the veneers to lay smoothly against your teeth. This preparation involves removing a slim layer of enamel from the parts of your tooth that will be covered by the porcelain veneer.

Once your teeth are prepared, the veneers will be custom-designed to fit them. They’re then bonded directly to your teeth to create a tight seal.

The Porcelain Veneers Process

What can you expect when you visit your dentist to get fitted for porcelain veneers?

Your treatment will go something like this:

  1. You’ll have a consultation with your dentist to find out how many veneers you need, what they should look like, and how much your treatment will cost.
  2. At the next appointment, your dentist will prepare your teeth by grinding away some enamel from the fronts of the teeth that are getting veneers. Your dentist will give you some anesthetic to keep you comfortable during this part.
  3. Next, the dentist will create a mold of your teeth using dental impression material. This mold is sent to a lab that will design veneers to perfectly fit your teeth. You’ll be sent home with a set of temporary veneers cemented to your teeth to protect them, in the meantime.
  4. You’ll visit the dental office one last time where the dentist will remove your trial veneers and let you try out your permanent ones. If you like the way they look and feel, your dentist will bond them permanently to your teeth.

This process is typical for porcelain veneers, but it doesn’t go the same exact way for all types of veneers.

Composite veneers are made from a material that’s very much like the one used in tooth-colored fillings. These affordable veneers are usually quicker to place than porcelain ones but they don’t always achieve the same level of realism.

What about a porcelain veneer vs Lumineers?

Lumineers dental veneers are actually made from porcelain, but it’s a special kind that’s designed to be especially strong while being thin enough to fit over a tooth without the need for alterations. So you should be able to skip the whole tooth preparation appointment and go straight to wearing your new porcelain veneers when you go with the Lumineers brand.

Recovery After Porcelain Veneers

before and after porcelain veneers procedure

Getting classic porcelain teeth veneers is a mildly invasive dental procedure since it involves numbing shots and permanent alterations to your teeth. It’s normal to experience some sensitivity and discomfort after the anesthetic wears off, but the recovery period is brief and the results will be instant and dramatic.

Your dentist can recommend a desensitizing agent like a sensitivity toothpaste to help your teeth adjust to their new veneers. Your teeth will feel back to normal in a short amount of time.

In the event that you need to get multiple veneers at one time, then there’s a chance you might experience some temporary gum discomfort.

How Much Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers cost more than any other kind of dental veneer. This is due to the fact that the best quality materials and highest degree of dental artistry go into the making of porcelain veneers. Cosmetic dentists who place these veneers usually take great pride in their work and will charge for their expertise accordingly.

There are other factors that influence the total cost of veneers including:

While the price of porcelain veneers varies from dentist to dentist, most porcelain veneers start out at around $1,000 each. Dental insurance doesn’t typically cover veneers since they’re a non-essential treatment. But if you still need help paying the price out-of-pocket, then ask your dentist about a dental financing payment plan.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

A set of porcelain veneers should last you anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Porcelain is stain-resistant and strong enough to avoid chipping, but an entire porcelain veneer can fall off the tooth if the bond weakens.

Home Care Tips for Porcelain Dental Veneers

Get the most out of your investment and make your porcelain veneers last as long as possible by following these tips:

The Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Pros of Porcelain Veneers

Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers have both advantages and drawbacks when compared with other kinds of veneers. While any kind of veneers can help you to have a more beautiful smile and enjoy a huge confidence boost, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and determine whether porcelain veneers are the right choice for you.

The most important thing to remember is that porcelain veneers are a superficial solution to cosmetic problems. They aren’t a treatment you can request as an alternative to other restorations like crowns. So if you’re not sure whether to get a crown vs veneers, then consult your dentist first.

Porcelain Veneers Before and After

And, do porcelain veneers look good? Probably, the most important thing for you (and the factor that is going to make you decide if whether or not to get porcelain veneers) is if they will look good or not. Well, here’s are some picture of the before and after:

Sources

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Written by Haleigh Pouliot

Formerly a dental hygienist, currently a dental writer, forever a bookworm. Haleigh put down her scaler and picked up a pen in 2015 and has been crafting dental copy ever since. She’s often on the road and loves learning new languages and meeting new people. When writer’s block hits, Haleigh takes a break to work on her pizza dough recipe or walk her dog. Haleigh was born and raised in the United States but today she lives in Nepal with her husband. She still flosses (almost) every day.

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