Do you wish you could do something about your discolored, uneven, or cracked teeth? If so, porcelain veneers may be an excellent option for you. Skilled and experienced cosmetic dentists Dr. Brett Cotham and Dr. James Lewis of 32nd Street Dental in Joplin, MO, utilize porcelain veneers to help numerous patients attain the beautiful, striking smile of their dreams. Porcelain veneers are a great option if you want a simple, effective way to improve the look of your teeth and attain a smile that will boost your self-confidence.
Veneers are a thin layer of tooth-like material that is placed over a patient's natural teeth. The result is a beautiful, symmetrical smile that hides any imperfections that once existed. Keep reading for more information about porcelain veneers, their benefits, and how long they last once applied.
When are porcelain veneers used?
The two main types of veneers are porcelain and resin. Most dentists prefer porcelain, as it has proven to be more resistant to staining and longer lasting when compared to resin material. Porcelain also mimics the way light is reflected on natural teeth. Porcelain veneers from Dr. Cotham or Dr. Lewis can be highly effective at camouflaging several types of imperfections, including:
- Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth
- Worn or flattened enamel
- Minor spacing between the front teeth
- Poorly shaped or malformed teeth
- Unusually short or narrow teeth
- Yellow, gray, brown, or discolored enamel
- Slightly overlapping or crooked teeth
- Congenitally misshapen teeth (peg laterals)
How long do porcelain veneers last?
On average, veneers can last anywhere from 10 – 20 years. Porcelain veneers are very durable, and as long as they are correctly maintained, they should last for quite some time. Treat your veneers just like you would your real teeth, with proper dental care at home and visits to our dental practice.
To clean, protect, and maintain your dental veneers, follow these three simple tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and ideally, brush after every meal
- Floss your teeth at least once a day
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash daily
Are you the right candidate for porcelain veneers?
Patients who express interest in porcelain veneers typically have cosmetic issues they want to address, and may be interested in a smile makeover. Veneers are an excellent choice for patients who are seeking cosmetic improvement in the size, shape, color, and length of their teeth. Crooked or misshapen teeth are commonly seen in our office, and porcelain veneers can help correct these issues. Other imperfections include discolored or stained teeth, worn or chipped teeth, or teeth with gaps between them.
During your appointment, Dr. Cotham or Dr. Lewis will first make sure your oral health is in good shape. This means there are no signs of cavities or periodontal disease. Also, if you clench or grind your teeth, you may not be the right candidate for porcelain veneers, as these habits could fracture or wear down your new veneers. All of these dental issues can be addressed before your cosmetic treatment so you can have the best oral health possible before receiving your porcelain veneers.
How are veneers applied?
Once it's been determined that you are a good candidate for veneers, you can anticipate placement within three visits. During the first appointment, impressions are taken to be sent to the dental lab for a mock up of what your teeth will look like. At the second appointment, a small amount of enamel is removed from the teeth to allow the porcelain veneers to fit evenly and naturally over each tooth. An impression of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to a professional dental lab to custom-craft the porcelain veneers. During your third appointment, your finished veneers will be secured, and small adjustments will be made to ensure they are comfortable and fit well. The veneers will be polished, and your new and improved smile is ready to go.
Taking care of your porcelain veneers
Veneers are an in-patient, minimally invasive procedure. Once your veneers are secured to your teeth, you are free to go about your typical daily activities. Some patients have experienced a slight sensitivity to cold and hot foods for a few days following the dental procedure, and this is to be expected. Just like with regular teeth, it's advised that patients be mindful when eating or drinking things that may stain or affect the teeth. As far as care of your new veneers, you should adhere to a consistent at-home dental routine to maintain good oral hygiene. Regular dental exams should still be scheduled so your veneers can be examined in addition to your teeth and gums.
Learn more about porcelain veneers
If you're interested in more information about porcelain veneers, schedule a consultation with Dr. Brett Cotham or Dr. James Lewis at 32nd Street Dental in Joplin, MO, today. During your appointment, you will meet with one of our talented dentists and discuss your concerns and goals, as well as move forward with a treatment plan. To determine if you're the right candidate for veneers, our team will assess the health and condition of your mouth and teeth. Porcelain veneers can improve a variety of dental issues, leaving you with a beautiful new smile and a significant confidence boost. Call us today to begin the journey to a new and improved you that starts with your smile.