What are Porcelain Veneers?

Your teeth are healthy but due to a variety of reasons traditional whitening methods aren’t working. Or maybe in a friendly backyard football game one of your front teeth got slightly chipped or you have that one tooth that has always been just a little sideways compared to its mate on the other side of your mouth. These are all great reasons to consider porcelain veneers. Simply put, porcelain veneers are custom made porcelain shells bonded over the front of the tooth to change its color, shape, size or to mask chips or cracks. Porcelain veneers reflect light and resist staining better than a resin composite veneer, though the basic concept is still the same.

Applying dental veneers is a fairly simple process, requiring only two dental visits and a follow-up appointment. The first appointment is to prepare the tooth for the veneer by shaving off a thin layer of the natural enamel to accommodate the additional thickness of the veneer. A new popular option is a “prepless” veneer which requires no or minimal grinding of the tooth’s outer layer. A model of the tooth will then be taken so the actual veneer can be made.

After the veneer is constructed your dentist will ensure the shell is the right size, shape and color before cementing it to the natural tooth. A specialized curing light is used to activate the chemicals in the compound. Then any stray bits of cement are chipped away, your bite is checked and a follow-up appointment scheduled.

While veneers provide a very natural appearance it is important to remember the process is not reversible so don’t hesitate to discuss all options with your dentist before committing. Interested in learning if porcelain veneers are right for you? Please contact Ellis Dental today.

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