The application of porcelain veneers is perhaps the most popular smile makeover treatment performed in cosmetic dentistry. Veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored porcelain that are custom-fitted over the front of patients' teeth to mask or improve the appearance of an array of dental flaws, including discoloration and staining, chipped teeth, and teeth that are misshapen. Often, porcelain veneers are referred to as "instant orthodontics", as in many cases they can even be used to mend the appearance of a crooked smile. While the porcelain veneers process requires at least two visits to your cosmetic dentist, the result is a transformed smile that can last a lifetime with proper care.
The first step in the porcelain veneers process is a smile makeover consultation with your cosmetic dentist, during which you will discuss the flaws you wish to cover and the results you expect to achieve. Next, your dentist will gently remove a small portion of the enamel of the tooth or teeth to be treated to make room for your porcelain veneers. He or she will then take a mold of your mouth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory where your veneers will be custom crafted from porcelain to match surrounding teeth in color, shape, and size. When your porcelain veneers are ready, you will return to your cosmetic dentist's office to have them permanently affixed to the front of your teeth. Your dentist may also perform slight modifications to your veneers to ensure the most natural-looking results possible.
Unlike dental crowns, which cover the entire surface of a damaged tooth, often after a root canal, porcelain veneers are applied to only the front surface of teeth and are primarily cosmetic in function. While some cosmetic dentistry patients may opt for cosmetic resin dental bonding as a more cost-effective method of smile repair, it is important to take into account the appearance and longevity of porcelain veneers when choosing a cosmetic dentistry solution. Porcelain veneers are the method of choice for patients who wish to enjoy a brilliant, straight, and healthy-looking smile for many years to come. If you would like to learn more about porcelain veneers and other smile makeover options available to you, contact a qualified cosmetic dentist in your area.