Porcelain Veneers, simply referred to as veneers, provide dentists with a method to solve cosmetic dental problems. Porcelain veneers can change the appearance of one’s smile allowing those who are a bit self-conscious of their current smile, to enjoy a reimagined one. So what do you need to know about Porcelain Veneers and what they can do for your smile?
When Did Dentists Start Using Veneers?
Porcelain veneers came into the dental limelight when Charles Pincus, a dentist from California, used temporary porcelain veneers in a 1928 film shoot—emphasis on temporary.
Unlike the veneers of modern dentistry, Pincus’ porcelain veneers were only meant to adhere to existing teeth for a limited amount of time and for purely cosmetic purposes. This was the beginning of the ever sought after “Hollywood Smile” and ignited the use of Porcelain Veneers in dentistry about a decade later. Years later, the Hollywood Smile is not only a sought after look in the city of stars, but it is a smile that everyone would like to have. Porcelain Veneers have also come a long way since their inception as temporary solutions to a perfect smile.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
In modern dentistry, Porcelain Veneers are comprised of a thin piece of porcelain, which is derived from ceramics made of clay. Although it is similar to composite resin—another material used for veneers—it is much sturdier and resistant once it is bonded to the teeth. Porcelain Veneers are used for fixing cosmetic dentistry concerns and for filling in gaps and spaces where the smile could use a bit of extra help.
Porcelain Veneers on their own are quite thin, and are somewhere in the range of 0.5-0.7 millimeters. Once they are cemented to the teeth, the thin piece of porcelain gains its strength and mimics the appearance of the enamel found on a natural tooth. Porcelain has a bit of a translucent property that helps reflect light like teeth, which can’t be said for composite resin. They also can be made in a variety of colours to match a patient’s smile.
How Will I Get My Porcelain Veneer?
Porcelain Veneers are uniquely made to match each patient’s smile. You will need to schedule a few appointments with our Guelph Dentist Office before you get the final product. Here’s how the process works:
- Upon your initial appointment, Dr. Wat will help you determine if you are a good candidate for Porcelain Veneers. Some patients think Porcelain Veneers can cover up larger oral health problems, which is not the case. Porcelain veneers should only be used for changing the shape of your current teeth, repairing chipped teeth, fixing discoloration and stains, or helping fill in the spaces from misalignments.
- If Dr. Wat thinks that Porcelain Veneers will help your smile, the Stonegate Dental team will begin the process to make your veneer. They will take photographs of your current smile as well as impressions of your teeth. This helps the laboratory get a sense of what your veneer needs to look like and how the veneer will fit in your current smile. The impression model will help them accurately shape the size and fit of the veneer over top your teeth. If you are getting more than one veneer, the laboratory may create a sample of your veneers that they send back to Stonegate Dental so we can visualize what your smile will look like.
- During this same appointment, Dr. Wat will remove a thin layer of enamel from the tooth you are getting a veneer for. This allows enough surface space for the porcelain to be cemented to without sticking out too far from your natural teeth.
- While you are waiting for your veneer to come back from the labs, a temporary veneer can be made for you to wear. This is especially helpful if the veneer is for an otherwise sensitive smile
- At your final appointment, your porcelain veneer will be bonded onto your tooth. Dr. Wat will make any minor adjustments necessary for the veneer to fit with your natural bite and smile. If you have any concerns about the appearance of your veneer, or if you have questions about the veneer, please ask Dr. Wat so she can assist.
How To Take Care Of A Porcelain Veneer
Porcelain Veneers are built to last much longer than the ones Dr. Pincus first used for Hollywood films, but there remains a level of care that one must take to ensure their longevity. Continue to be gentle with your Porcelain Veneer as you would your natural teeth. Porcelain is not exempt from chipping so if you are playing high-contact sports or grind your teeth at night, be sure to get a removable mouth guard to protect your investment.
While Porcelain Veneers do not stain like natural tooth enamel, they can show signs of wear and discolouration after a few years of having them, especially around the edges of the veneer. If you want to keep your veneer and your overall smile in it’s best appearance, try to stay away from tannins in tea, coffee and red wine, don’t smoke, and be sure to brush your teeth and floss on a regular basis.
Regular toothpaste can be used when brushing a tooth that has a porcelain veneer. Make sure you are using fluoride toothpaste to keep plaque from building up on top of the veneer. Dental floss is also safe to use on teeth with porcelain veneers.
If You Have Concerns About Your Porcelain Veneer
Porcelain Veneers are an investment in your smile and your happiness. Make sure you take the time to understand the process of getting your porcelain veneer and be sure to follow up with Dr. Wat and our Guelph Dentist Office should you have any concerns about your veneer. Naturally, porcelain veneers must be replaced every 10-15 years due to basic wear and tear, so if you’ve had your veneer for a while, don’t be alarmed if we ever recommend replacing your veneer.
Until then, take care of your smile and show it off!