Porcelain Veneers for a Smile Makeover
Excerpted from Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour
Dr. Marty Zase
Porcelain veneers, also called porcelain laminate veneers, are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to your teeth. Porcelain is actually glass, and because it is strong and smooth, and can be colored by a dental laboratory technician, it makes an ideal material for a smile makeover. These thin shells can cover up a myriad of problems such as the size and shape of the original teeth as well as correcting chips, stains, rotations, overlaps, discolorations, old fillings and misalignments; and they can also change the shade of teeth at the same time if desired.
Usually a small amount of tooth material is slightly shaved off the front and edge of the teeth, and the new shells of porcelain are made to be bonded (glued) on, much like false fingernails, except veneers are meant to last a very long time. These can be exquisitely done, and in the hands of an excellent dentist and dental ceramist can look completely natural and very beautiful. The effects can be breathtaking. They can be custom stained to exactly match the existing dentition, or they can be made lighter and brighter to enhance an existing smile. In today’s era of minimal invasiveness, dentists always want to do these veneers with very little, or occasionally, no preparation to the teeth; however, sometimes the pre-existing conditions of the teeth or their alignment requires a significant reduction in tooth structure. So please discuss this thoroughly with your dentist before proceeding so you will not be surprised.
no dentistry has been done at all!”
When porcelain veneers are done well, the results look like the person was naturally blessed with excellent teeth in a healthy environment. This is exactly what most patients (and their dentists) should strive for whether the change is a major overhaul or just tweaking to gain that extra something special.
Although the veneers are very thin shells of porcelain, when they are properly bonded to the teeth, they are very strong and significantly resist fracture and chipping. Because the porcelain is so smooth and glass-like, the veneers do not typically stain (picture an old tea cup) and therefore they do not normally change color. They can get dirty however, so it is important to keep them clean. It is also important to keep the gum tissue around them as healthy as possible to keep the gums from getting red and swollen, which could trap bacteria and cause decay along the edges (margins) where the veneers meet the teeth. This could lead to the veneers needing replacement.
Remember, like teeth, veneers are not tools. They are to be used for eating not biting off thread, opening packages or opening pistachio nuts. With proper care and maintenance, it is not unusual for porcelain veneers to last fifteen years or even more.
© 2013 by Lois W. Stern
Lois W. Stern is the published author of two books: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour as well as numerous magazine articles. Her Professional Edition DVD is a popular aid to office staff while interacting with their patients.
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