Porcelain veneers are a versatile treatment which can offer benefits for a range of patients. More conservative than dental crowns, porcelain veneers can conceal a range of issues, including gaps, overlaps, stains, and minor damage. Whether you want to enhance the appearance of a single tooth or transform your entire smile, your dentist can customize treatment with veneers to suit your needs. With only a few visits to the office, you can experience the benefits of porcelain veneers for years to come. In addition, veneers combine well with other procedures, such as teeth whitening. Often, porcelain veneers are included as part of a comprehensive smile makeover plan for a complete transformation.
For many patients, porcelain veneers offer the same results as dental crowns, teeth whitening, and orthodontics all in a single treatment. Since veneers are placed over the top of teeth, your dentist can customize them to conceal a range of concerns. Porcelain veneers can enhance teeth affected by a variety of issues, including:
- Spacing and gaps
- Overlaps and misalignments
- Worn or disproportionate teeth
Veneers are made from a mold of your teeth and then sized to provide the exact amount of coverage you need. Based on your specific needs, porcelain veneers can make teeth appear larger or more symmetrical. In addition, you can choose to match the current color of your smile or combine veneers with whitening and choose a brighter, more brilliant shade.
Veneers and Light Reflection
Natural dental enamel is translucent. Light shines through this layer and bounces off the underlying dentin, giving smiles their healthy sheen. Dental porcelain is also semi-translucent, meaning that light reflects off of the restorations just as it does off of dental enamel. Thanks to the highly customized fabrication process described above and the way light interacts with the restorations, porcelain veneers are virtually indistinguishable from enamel. Patients can enjoy a thoroughly enhanced but completely natural smile.
Advantages over Other Procedures
In addition to the comprehensive nature of veneers, this treatment offers a number of advantages over similar alternatives:
- Veneers are stain resistant and last for years at a time. When patients choose teeth whitening treatment, they often receive less dramatic results and must undergo touchup treatments approximately twice a year.
- Veneers look more lifelike than similar enhancements. Cosmetic dental bonding can correct similar flaws, but the material is opaque, meaning it does not reflect light the way porcelain does.
- Veneers are stronger than composite resin.
- Although veneers typically cost more than bonding or teeth whitening, they usually have a smaller price tag than dental crowns.
A Lasting Solution
With proper care and maintenance, dental veneers can last 10 to 15 years or longer. The material used for veneers is very stain-resistant. In contrast with teeth whitening, which requires frequent touch-ups, veneers can maintain their color for years. In addition, dental porcelain is strong enough that you can continue to enjoy many of your favorite foods without worry.
See Results Quickly
Veneer placement is a quick and simple procedure which typically only requires two visits. During one appointment, your dentist prepares your teeth and takes impressions to fabricate your veneers. In the second, they place the veneers and ensure you are satisfied with the results. Porcelain veneers require no recovery time. After your second visit, you will see immediate improvement in the appearance of your smile.
Increased Confidence and Happiness
One of the biggest advantages of porcelain veneers is the effect they can have on a patient's self-assurance and emotional wellness. When patients feel good about the appearance of their teeth, they are more likely to smile. In turn, this can increase their mood, social life, and even professional success. Multiple studies have proven that smiling directly impacts emotion; a landmark study conducted by Dr. Robert Zajonc in 1989 found that even a forced smile could actually make people feel happier. Zajonc theorized that the when people activate the muscles needed for smiling, it actually raises the temperature of blood travelling to the brain. In turn, these higher temperatures stimulate the parts of the brain that control emotion.4 Not only are veneers a great investment in a patient's appearance, they could also be an investment in their overall wellbeing.
Oral Health Benefits
The primary benefits of veneers are cosmetic; however, there are several ways that they can boost overall dental health. First, they can lend some strength to damaged teeth. Patients should note, however, that veneers cannot restore a severely damaged or weakened tooth. In these cases, a dental crown will provide better protection for a patient's oral health.
Encouraging Oral Hygiene
Veneers can also promote good dental hygiene. When patients have a beautifully enhanced, natural smile, they are more likely to practice outstanding care and maintenance. At their initial consultation or at any time during the placement process, patients should ask their dentist about the best way to care for their veneers and protect the underlying teeth.
Health Advantages over Other Dental Procedures
Although veneers typically require some enamel removal, this procedure leaves the majority of the tooth structure intact. In contrast, to place a crown, a dentist must reshape the entire tooth, removing a significant amount of dental material. For patients looking for a more conservative option with minimal tooth modification, veneers may be the ideal alternative.