What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers, also called dental veneers or just veneers, are just what their name says: a new surface that Dr. Collins puts on top of your natural teeth. This gives your teeth a beautiful, natural appearance.
Historically, porcelain veneers come from Hollywood. They were used nearly a century ago to help movie actors have more beautiful teeth. These first veneers were made of porcelain and so fragile that stars had to take them out when they weren’t on camera. People couldn’t eat or drink with them for fear of damaging them.
Modern veneers aren’t usually made of porcelain–that’s a traditional name like “tin foil.” Instead, they’re made of advanced ceramics that achieve strength and beauty. Modern veneer materials are as strong as or stronger than your teeth. This means you don’t need to care much when wearing, drinking, and brushing your teeth. Care for them as you would natural teeth, and your veneers can stand up to any challenges they might encounter in your daily life.
What Porcelain Veneers Can Do for You
Porcelain veneers are an incredibly versatile cosmetic dentistry procedure. They can achieve many different effects on your smile. Veneers can help if you have:
Porcelain veneers treat discoloration differently than teeth whitening. Instead of trying to break down and remove stain molecules, veneers cover stains and give your teeth a bright new surface. This makes them a great choice if your teeth aren’t responding to teeth whitening.
Porcelain veneers can repair teeth that are worn down or chipped. Veneers can give your teeth attractive, youthful proportions to help you have a smile that looks young and healthy.
By reshaping your teeth, veneers can extend them to close gaps between your teeth. In addition, veneers can reshape crooked teeth so they’re straight—no need for orthodontics. Veneers only provide a limited amount of straightening, so they’re not right in every case.
Veneers can also build up teeth that are small or have an unattractive shape. For example, if you have retained baby teeth, porcelain veneers can build up these teeth to look like adult ones. They can also reshape peg laterals and other congenital tooth problems.
Porcelain veneers can do all this in one procedure that takes a few short weeks.
The Porcelain Veneers Procedure
What is it like to get porcelain veneers? It’s relatively easy. It starts with a consultation with Dr. Collins. He’ll talk to you about your cosmetic goals and examine your teeth. If necessary, he’ll take x-rays but don’t worry–the exam and x-ray are free. Once he completes the exam, he’ll know if veneers are right for you or if you might be better served with a different treatment approach.
If veneers are right for you, we’ll schedule an appointment to prepare your teeth. Tooth preparation means removing a small amount of tooth enamel to make room for veneers. This helps your surfaces look natural–they will have a smooth seam with your natural teeth–not a shelf because they’re just pasted on top of your natural teeth. Preparing your teeth also ensures that they won’t look too large with veneers.
Once your teeth are prepared, we’ll take an impression of them. We’ll send this impression to a quality dental lab, where they will make your veneers.
In the meantime, you’ll wear temporary veneers. These look almost as attractive as your final veneers but are not as durable.
When your veneers are ready–typically in a couple of weeks–we’ll call you back for your final fitting. Dr. Collins will place your veneers so you can see what they look like. He will bond them in place if you are both happy with them.
Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are very easy to care for. Just take care of them as you should care for natural teeth, and you’ll be happy with the results. Brush and floss your teeth daily. You don’t have to use special toothpaste, but you should avoid anything that’s highly abrasive. Words to watch out for include “whitening” and “tartar control” toothpaste. Veneers depend on your natural teeth for support, so cavities can cause your veneers to fail.
You can keep eating all the foods you enjoy–there’s no need to give up any food. However, you should avoid using your veneered teeth to chew non-foods like ice, pens, and fingernails. Don’t use your veneered teeth as pliers, scissors, bottle openers, or other tools. Just use them for eating.
If you participate in sports, wear a custom mouthguard (we can supply you with one), even if it’s a non-contact sport at a recreational level. Bicycling, for example, is a common source of damaged teeth and veneers.
Properly cared for, dental veneers can last 10-15 years.
Ready for Porcelain Veneers in Cheney?
Veneers are a powerful approach to improving your smile’s appearance. You’ll enjoy beautiful, natural-looking results; getting a new smile only takes a few weeks. You don’t need to leave Cheney to get quality veneers, thanks to cosmetic dentist Dr. Chris Collins.
To learn whether veneers are right for you, please call (509) 235-8451 or use our online form to request an appointment at Collins Family Dentistry in Cheney, WA.