For patients who are unhappy with the state of their teeth, smiling can be an awkward experience. They might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable knowing that a smile is often the first thing others may notice about you. That’s why Mark A. Coussens, DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offers a dental restoration known as porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can dramatically change the appearance of your teeth, and give you the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers are extremely thin pieces of porcelain shaped into shells and designed to fit over your anterior teeth. The term anterior refers to a group of incisor and canine teeth located in the front of your mouth. In other words, veneers are usually only applied to the visible teeth. The veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth, and can radically improve the shape and shade of your existing teeth. Veneers are strong, look natural, and are considered to be the conservative alternative to other restorations such as dental crowns. Veneers only require a small portion of the surface be removed, while crowns require an entire reshaping of the tooth.
Veneers are used to correct minor imperfections and prevent serious issues such as future damage or infection. Veneers can help repair broken, chipped, or worn teeth. Patients with severely discolored or misshapen teeth can also benefit from veneers. Veneers can eliminate naturally occurring gaps between teeth as well.
Different Types of Veneers
At Mark A. Coussens, DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe porcelain is the best option when it comes to veneers, but other alternatives exist. Resin composite materials offer the same rejuvenation benefits as porcelain and can be a cheaper solution. However, resin does not allow for the same finish as porcelain, and may not last as long either. In short, your teeth will not look as natural and are more susceptible to damage and wear. Resin is also significantly less resistant to stains and discoloration.
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers?
Are you a Good Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Patients with discolored chipped or decayed teeth are good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers can even be used to help correct bite-related problems, and fix minor crowding. However, the most important thing is discussing veneers with Dr. Coussens or . Come in for a consultation visit, so we can work with you to decide if porcelain veneers are the right option. It is ultimately up to the patient. We need to know what you want to correct and what your desired goal is for your new smile.
Procedure for Porcelain Veneers
The process begins with your consultation visit. We will examine your teeth and discuss the possible options. In some cases, X-rays may be used to help us better understand your current oral health. 3D scanning technology allows us to digitally design the look of your new teeth, and create a preview. Once we have decided on the desired look, we can schedule the first visit of the procedure.
During your first visit, we will remove a small amount of enamel (about one millimeter), from the front of each tooth. This helps prepare the tooth, by providing the space needed to accommodate each veneer. For patients with sensitivity issues, a local anesthetic can be used to numb the area. After your teeth have been reshaped, we will make an impression, and send it to a dental laboratory where they will fabricate your final restoration. This typically takes a couple of weeks. For very unsightly teeth, we can create a temporary veneer if necessary.
After your permanent veneers are ready, you can come in for your second visit. Dr. Coussens or , will temporarily place the veneers to examine the fit and color. If needed, they will repeatedly remove and trim each veneer to ensure a proper fit. Once a proper fit is achieved, we will prepare each tooth by cleaning, polishing, and etching the area that will come in contact with the veneer. This helps provide a rough surface and achieve a stronger bond. A special glue cement will be applied to the veneer and placed on your tooth. Once it is positioned correctly, we will use a curing light to harden the bond and expedite the process. Excess cement will be removed, and your bite will be evaluated. Last minute adjustments may be made. We may ask you to return for a follow-up visit, to ensure your veneers are being accepted by your gums.
Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers
You will want to treat your veneers carefully and like your natural teeth. Keep a normal oral hygiene routine and practice good eating habits. Make sure to use a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste, to keep you free of decay and avoid damaging the veneers. If you grind your teeth at night, we may suggest a night guard protect your veneers. With your veneers, you can enjoy virtually any food, but try to avoid chewing on hard items or opening packages with your mouth. Like most dental restorations, veneers will eventually need to be replaced or repaired. However, following the proper care guidelines can help your veneers last decades!
Contact Us About Porcelain Veneers
At Mark A. Coussens, DMD Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe dental veneers can change your life, and we think you will too. If you are embarrassed by the current state of your teeth, don’t wait. Call today at (503) 567-4121, and schedule a consultation visit now!