Porcelain veneers are one of the more popular cosmetic dental options due to their reasonable price, durability, aesthetics, and other benefits. If your smile is less than perfect and you want to finally get the healthy-looking, pearly white smile you've always wanted, porcelain veneers may be the right choice.
Before you schedule your appointment, check out these four facts to determine whether porcelain veneers are the right choice for you.
They Are a Great Solution for Stains
They Are a Great Solution for Stains
If you have dingy or stained teeth, you may be considering tooth whitening, and this procedure is a great way to instantly eliminate organic stains from tobacco, food, beverages, age, etc. Unfortunately, teeth bleaching doesn't always work on inorganic stains, such as:
- Discoloration from trauma to the tooth's dentin
- Discoloration from exposure to tetracycline antibiotics during tooth formation (which can affect the enamel and dentin)
- Discoloration from fluorosis or an overexposure to fluoride
These teeth, however, are excellent candidates for dental veneers. Unlike teeth bleaching, the veneers don't change the color of your tooth. Instead, they cover the tooth with a thin shell that looks almost exactly like real tooth tissue. The material is resistant to stains, so porcelain veneers should stay white for a long time.
They Can Remove Most Imperfections
Some teeth have imperfections that affect the appearance of your smile. Common imperfections include:
- Small cracks in the enamel
- Larger cracks and chips
- Uneven teeth or oddly shaped teeth
- Mild gaps and crookedness
- Mildly rotated teeth
- Ugly fillings
Veneers cover these imperfections, hiding them. Unfortunately, veneers can only be used on front teeth, so while they give you a beautiful smile, they can't fix every tooth. If you do have back teeth you want corrected, you may want to consider a combination of porcelain veneers and porcelain dental crowns.
They Are a Permanent Choice
Porcelain veneers are a permanent choice, so if they break, wear down, fall off, etc. you'll have to have them replaced with a new veneer or with a dental crown. This is because the dentist removes much of the tooth's enamel before placing the veneer. This helps make your smile look more natural and less bulky, but it also means your tooth is extremely prone to decay and sensitivity if the veneer is lost or damaged.
Typically, even with proper care, porcelain veneers don't last forever. You can expect yours to last between five and fifteen years before you must pay to have them replaced.
Because veneers are considered cosmetic-only, they are not usually covered by your dental insurance, so the cost of the initial veneers and any replacements may have to come out of your pocket. If the tooth becomes weak and needs a crown in the future, however, insurance may cover some of the cost because the crown helps strengthen the tooth.
They Must Be Cleaned Like Normal Teeth
Porcelain veneers help protect the front of your teeth a little better than enamel because bacteria and plaque cannot penetrate the material. Of course, this doesn't mean your tooth is impervious to decay or infection, so you must continue to take excellent care of your teeth with good at-home cleaning and in-office cleanings. This will help protect the other surfaces of the tooth, which are not protected by the veneer.
In some cases, it may be even more important to keep your teeth clean after getting veneers. Veneers can cause some irritation to the gums, increasing the risk of gum recession. If you also neglect to keep your teeth clean, gum recession can worsen as bacteria irritates the gums further. This exposes the tooth's root, which isn't protected by enamel or a dental veneer.
You don't have to hide your smile anymore thanks to cosmetic dentistry. Many patients love the ease and benefits of porcelain veneers, but they are a permanent choice, so make sure you can afford the lifelong commitment. For more information about dental veneers, contact us at Royal Oak Dental today.