Porcelain veneers are sometimes perceived as something out of Hollywood. There is a good reason for this as many actors and actresses have abnormally perfect white teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is an art and smiles can be recreated or they can be perfect. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Some like having small gaps between their teeth or a tooth slightly out of alignment. Porcelain veneers work very well when cosmetic changes need to be made without the need for more invasive dental procedures.
Are Porcelain Veneers Right For Your Smile?
-Desire For A New, Beautiful Smile. Generally when someone openly wants a change in appearance, especially one requiring a significant financial investment, they are usually more receptive to maintaining it properly. If the porcelain veneers are not cared for they can and will develop tooth decay as well as break down. Routine dental examinations, professional cleanings, and excellent dental hygiene are an integral part of keeping your new smile looking its best.
-Healthy Teeth And Gums. If extensive tooth decay, fractured teeth, or periodontal disease are present, you will not be considered a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Good oral health is required for porcelain veneers. The mouth needs to be in a healthy, stable state to allow porcelain veneers to be considered an option. You will need a full dental examination to assess your dental health. If your mouth is not free of the above conditions, it is best to avoid porcelain veneers due to an increased chance of failure.
-Teeth Alignment. Severely misaligned teeth are not good candidates as this will cause issues with preparation of teeth for porcelain veneers. A good cosmetic dentist will try to be quite conservative when removing natural tooth structure. If the teeth are too far out of alignment it means more tooth structure will need to be removed to accomodate the spacing. Removing too much tooth structure can lead to tooth sensitivity and even nerve exposure (requiring possible root canal therapy). For teeth that are severely misaligned, invisalign, 6 month smile orthodontics, or traditional orthodontics may be needed to bring them into proper alignment.
-Sufficient Tooth Enamel Present. Tooth enamel is needed for the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. If the tooth is severely worn down or damaged, porcelain veneers will not bond well and may not be a good option for you. In this case a full crown may be a better option.
-Tooth Color. In general, porcelain veneers look best when they are thin and translucent. If you have severely stained teeth (developmental dentin staining, tetracycline staining, root canal therapy staining), it is usually best to undergo teeth whitening prior to veneers. Blockout of underlying staining is possible, but the end result will not look as natural.
-Gum Tissue Alignment. Proper gum tissue contours are necessary to give a natural look. If the gum heights are out of proportion, they will need to be recontoured with a gingivectomy procedure prior to veneer placement.
- Oral Habits: Nail Biting, Teeth Clenching/Grinding (Bruxism). Severe teeth clenchers or teeth grinders are not good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are not able to handle the powerful stresses put forth by grinding and clenching. If a patient only grinds their teeth at night then it is possible to still complete porcelain veneers but only with the use of a night guard at night. Other oral habits such as, biting nails, chewing on pens, opening packages with your teeth, etc. will also cause damage to veneers and may cause them to fail.
Porcelain Veneers Conclusion
Porcelain veneers can give the ability to transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. A natural looking new smile is just a dentist visit away!