Porcelain Veneers

Guide to Porcelain Veneers.........Beautiful Teeth - Conservatively

Porcelain Veneers are thin skins of porcelain that are ideal for creating beautiful smiles incases of small, oddly shaped, spaced or discoloured teeth.  With this procedure the patient is directly involved in the design process in reshaping, widening and brightening their smile.

General Information

Porcelain veneers (also termed  porcelain laminates or laminates) are thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth.  This procedure can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth.  Porcelain veneers are placed to:-
  • mask discolourations
  • brighten teeth
  • repair chipped and worn teeth
  • improve a smile

Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea or even cigarette smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.

Why a Porcelain Veneer ?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations.  They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s colour, size or shape.  Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discoloured fillings in front teeth.  Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers.  Generally, veneers will last for many years and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed.

Porcelain veneers, because they are glass-like, have a great advantage over other types of cosmetic dental bonding because they are translucent.  When bonded onto a tooth’s surface, veneers mimic the light handling characteristics of enamel.
Light striking a porcelain veneer will penetrate its thickness and then subsequently be reflected back out once it has reached the opaque cement and tooth surface lying underneath the veneer.  This translucency effect provides a sense of depth and thus a very life-like appearance.

Candidates for Porcelain Veneers
Candidates for porcelain veneers should have strong, healthy teeth.  People who fit this description and have the following imperfections may want to consider veneers:

  • Stained or discoloured teeth
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Slightly misaligned or crowned teeth
  • Small gaps between the teeth
  • Chipped or worn teeth

Veneers are most commonly used on the upper front teeth, but can also be used on the lower and back teeth.  Veneers are usually placed on the teeth in sets – this allows for a more even-looking smile.  Individual teeth can be veneered; it just may be more difficult to match the natural colour of the teeth.

How are Porcelain Veneers Different from Crowns or Fillings ?
A full crown is indicated when a substantial amount of the entire tooth structure has been lost by decay and old fillings.  A crown may also be indicated when a root canal treatment has been performed on a tooth.  A filling made from a Composite Bonding may be used when only a small amount of tooth structure needs replacement and when the cosmetic problem is minor.  A porcelain veneer is indicated when a portion of or all of the front surface of the tooth needs a “face-lift”.  An individualized treatment plan for your particular concerns can be made only after a thorough oral examination and x-rays.

Final Thoughts

Porcelain Veneer restoration are functional, durable and extremely cosmetic.  The aesthetic results achieved frequently exceed the expectations of the patient in even the most challenging cases.  The decision to enhance your smile with veneers is a very personal one.  Even a subtle change in your smile can make an exceptional difference in the way you look and feel.  When you feel good, you look great.  An enhanced smile helps you project an image of health and confidence and high personal esteem.

Our office is well experienced in cosmetic dental procedures and we will be happy to answer questions you may have about the process or the results.