An attractive smile is both a source of confidence and a powerful way to make a first impression. When teeth are flawed by discoloration or other imperfections, that smile immediately loses some of its appeal. Fortunately, there are ways to expunge or hide such blemishes, allowing your teeth to shine. Porcelain veneers are a particularly effective method of cosmetic dentistry, able to conceal most types of aesthetic problems.
At Ridgewood Dental Associates, we want to offer our patients a variety of services to meet every dental need. If you are looking for a way to improve your smile for years to come, porcelain veneers may be the answer. See the below information to discern whether you may be a candidate for this effective treatment option.
Why Use Porcelain Veneers?
Some cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening, target only one specific type of problem, and even then, the procedure may only reduce its visibility. Because veneers are placed over the entire front surface of a tooth, essentially replacing the top layer of enamel, a multitude of problems can be simultaneously masked. In most circumstances, a veneer will effectively fix any of the following flaws:
- Spaces between teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Stained teeth
- Chips and cracks
- Eroded enamel
- Misshapen teeth
Porcelain veneers are especially useful in the correction of widespread or conspicuous problems, when dental bonding may be inadequate. If many of your front teeth have one or more of the above issues, porcelain veneers can be used to create an entirely new smile. Whether you need a single veneer for a deeply stained tooth or multiple veneers for instant orthodontics, the treatment is entirely customized to your smile.
Candidates for Porcelain Veneers
The best candidates for porcelain veneers are patients with moderate imperfections that do not pose a threat to their dental health. If tooth decay or severe gum disease is present, these problems must first be resolved before cosmetic treatment can proceed. In the event you require restorative treatment after a veneer is placed, such as for a cavity, the veneer will have to be removed and replaced in the process. Therefore, patients are encouraged to ensure the health of their teeth beforehand and maintain excellent dental hygiene afterward.
In addition, patients should understand what to expect from their porcelain veneers, including the results themselves and long-term aftercare. Although porcelain is durable, it will likely chip or become worn over time. As a result, patients must protect their veneers from excessive stress or force if they are to ensure a long lifespan for their restorations. And because veneers require the removal of enamel before placement, patients should also be aware that once a veneer has been placed, that tooth will always need a restoration to cover it. With the right expectations for treatment, veneers can offer a lifetime of aesthetic benefits and satisfaction.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Other Treatment Options
While porcelain veneers can be used in the treatment of most imperfections, they are not always the best option for patients. When a problem is limited in size or scope, a simpler procedure may offer similar results. For instance, surface stains can usually be vastly improved through a professional teeth whitening procedure, and deeper but smaller stains may be easily covered via dental bonding. Bonding can also be used in the treatment of gaps, chips, and misshapen teeth, albeit on a smaller scale than veneers.
On the other hand, severe problems may warrant a treatment option beyond the cosmetic effects of porcelain veneers. If crookedness is causing bite problems or impacted teeth, for example, conventional orthodontic treatment is needed. Ultimately, the best treatment plan is one devised by you and your dentist, after a thorough examination and in-depth discussion.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right for You?
Together, you and your dentist can make the right decision for your smile. If you are deemed a good candidate for porcelain veneers, we will help you understand each step of the process prior to treatment. For more information on what you can gain from our cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry services, contact our office to speak with one of our dental professionals.