Porcelain Veneers have been used in cosmetic dentistry for decades. They are sometimes called instant orthodontics. They can change the alignment and shape of our teeth in just a few short dental visits. Porcelain veneers are very popular and can make life-altering changes to your smile. Can porcelain veneers also offer benefits beyond cosmetic appearance?
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Your cosmetic dentist will use similar materials that as used to fabricate porcelain crowns. Porcelain veneers are fingernail-like thin pieces of porcelain. They are chemically bonded to your teeth to modify the color, shape, and size of your teeth. As mentioned previously, porcelain veneers are also sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics.”
Porcelain veneers give your dentist the ability to make changes in teeth alignment even to straighten your smile. Realignment is not possible in extreme misalignment cases but can help align your smile in small increments.
The best part about porcelain veneers? Your dentist can complete this cosmetic dentistry procedure in as few as two (2) dental visits, and the porcelain veneers are individually customized and fabricated to fit your smile. When completed, they will look natural and complement the rest of your smile. The dental porcelain will mimic your natural tooth in translucency as well as the way the light reflects off your smile.
Porcelain Veneers Characteristics
Porcelain veneers have the following characteristics:
- Natural Translucent quality — Translucency means that light can pass thru to a certain level. Our natural teeth allow light to pass thru, so porcelain veneers are designed to mimic those same translucent properties. Giving porcelain veneers a natural depth, providing for a dazzling Hollywood smile.
- Color matching — If you are replacing multiple teeth, then all your veneers can be a natural, bright color of your choosing. When covering just one or two teeth, the dental laboratory can easily match customized porcelain veneers to the surrounding natural teeth to provide a consistently beautiful smile that no one will ever notice are not your natural teeth.
- Non-porous surface — Porcelain veneers are ceramic glass and are non-porous, preventing future stains from ruining your new smile.
Porcelain Veneers Visits
Porcelain veneer treatment generally consists of 2-3 dental visits. They are as follows:
Visit 1 – Porcelain Veneers Consultation. Are porcelain veneers right for your smile? Patients will explain their concerns and wishes about your smile with your dentist. Your dentist can then explain if porcelain veneers are suitable for your smile and desires. In some instances, porcelain veneers may not be the proper dental treatment for your smile, and you may need more extensive treatment like orthodontics (either traditional or Invisalign type orthodontic treatment) or porcelain crowns.
In combination with those other procedures, Porcelain veneers can give you the Hollywood smile of your dreams.
Visit 2 – Teeth Preparation. At this visit, preparation of your teeth will begin so the porcelain veneers are custom fabricated. A small amount of tooth structure removal from each tooth included in porcelain veneers treatment. In some cases, no tooth structure is necessary (also called “no preparation” veneers).
Your dentist will keep you comfortable during the procedure by delivering local anesthesia to the area. Once completing the preparation of each tooth, your dentist will take a dental impression that the dental laboratory will use to create your customized porcelain veneers. Temporary veneers are placed on teeth until the fabrication of your final custom porcelain veneers.
Visit 3 – New Smile. Once the dental laboratory fabricates your custom veneers, you will return for placement and fit of porcelain veneers. The veneers will be initially placed on a trial basis in the office to ensure proper fit, color, and shape. If the new veneers meet your dream smile, then the dentist will bond them to your teeth.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are two very different types of Tooth Sensitivity Causes:
This type of sensitivity occurs when the dentin layer of a tooth is exposed. Dentin is normally covered by enamel above the gum line and by cementum (the bone-like connective tissue surrounding the root of a tooth) below the gum line. The dentin contains tiny openings called tubules. Inside each tubule, there is a nerve branch from the tooth’s pulp (the nerve center of the tooth).
When exposure to the dentin occurs, the nerve branches can be affected by cold, heat, or even certain foods (like acidic foods). Dentinal exposure causes sensitivity of the teeth. Dentin exposure is a prime factor in what causes sensitive teeth. When the outer protective layers of enamel or cementum wear away, the dentinal tubules become exposed to external factors such as heat and cold.
This dental sensitivity can affect one tooth or multiple teeth. Dentin exposure can be what causes sensitive teeth in numerous ways. These can include:
- Overly Aggressive tooth brushing. Improper brushing can wear away the enamel layer from brushing too hard or even using a toothbrush that is too hard over a long time.
- Dental plaque build-up. The presence of plaque along root surfaces can cause tooth sensitivity.
- Tooth Wear. This type of wear occurs over time from teeth clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism).
- Untreated Tooth Decay.
- Recession of Gum Tissues. When the gums recede, they expose the tooth’s uncovered roots. Receding gums are often caused by periodontal disease or by overly aggressive brushing. Receded gums are very common, and approximately 80% of all people have some form of gum recession by the time the age of 65. Gum recession is a significant factor in what causes sensitive teeth in many people.
- Periodontal surgery (gum surgery) exposes the tooth’s roots.
- Teeth Whitening. Excessive teeth whitening can have harmful effects, and sensitive teeth is a possible side effect.
- Food Choice. Frequently eating acidic foods.
- Pulpal sensitivity. It is a reaction of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. The sensitivity of the pulpal tissue tends to affect only one tooth.
Causes of this type of tooth sensitivity can include:
- Tooth Decay or dental infection.
- Placement of a recent dental restoration.
- Excessive pressure from teeth grinding or clenching your teeth.
- A cracked or broken tooth. If you feel a sharp pain upon biting, you may have a broken or cracked filling. Pain upon release of your bite is a sign of a cracked tooth.
Your dentist will be able to diagnose what causes the sensitive teeth for you.
Yes, porcelain veneers can offer a layer of protection for your teeth, especially for teeth that have enamel erosion. Many patients report decreased or no tooth sensitivity following porcelain veneer treatment. Porcelain veneers will also improve dental hygiene, which will limit future tooth sensitivity. Regular visits to the dentist along with home dental maintenance will allow your smile to stay healthy and youthful for a lifetime and prevent tooth sensitivity. Talk your dentist today if you are experiencing sensitive teeth to see what options are suitable for you.
Contact Marielaina Perrone DDS at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no-cost cosmetic consultation appointment if you are ready for a smile makeover. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams in Las Vegas, Summerlin, and Henderson, NV.