What are Porcelain Veneers?
These are tooth coloured materials that are wafer thin and custom made shells. Their design is purposefully done to cover the front of the teeth to improve the appearance of the smile. These veneers can bond with the teeth and change the colour, shape, size or length.
These veneers are made from porcelain and resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers can withstand staining better than the resin veneers. They look similar to natural teeth.
Need For Porcelain Veneers
The dentists recommend Porcelain Veneers for the following dental conditions:
- Discoloured Teeth: from either a root canal therapy or stains from medications or excess fluoride or any other reasons like the large resin fillings.
- Worn Down Teeth
- Chipped or Broken Teeth
- Crooked Teeth: teeth that are misaligned, uneven or irregularly shaped.
- Gapped Teeth
The Porcelain Veneers have the following advantages:
- Appearance of natural teeth.
- Porcelain does not cause any reaction to the gums.
- Resistant to stains.
- Colour of the veneer can be selected to give a lighter shade to the teeth.
- Improves the aesthetics
The dentist usually would perform 3 steps to fix the porcelain veneers, which would be done in 3 separate visits:
- Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
The dentist will examine the patient’s teeth to confirm if dental veneers can solve the issues faced by the patient. The dentist might take X-Rays and make impressions of the mouth and teeth for further confirmation. The dentist will also discuss the procedure and the limitations of this treatment.
The dentist will first numb the area with local anaesthesia. Then will proceed to remove a little bit of the enamel from the tooth, equal to the amount of veneer that is to be added here.
The dentist will then make an impression of the teeth and is then sent to the lab for manufacture. The custom made veneer usually takes 2-4weeks to manufacture. In some cases, the dentist might fix temporary dental veneers.
Once the dentist receives the permanent veneer from the dental lab, it will be first placed to check for the fit and colour. The dentist will then trim the veneer to get a proper fit and the veneer colour is also adjusted with the cement’s shade that is going to be used.
- The tooth is then prepared to receive the veneer by cleaning, polishing and etching it. This will help in roughening the tooth and allow a strong bond to be made.
- Special cement is then applied to the veneer and then fixed on the tooth. Once it is positioning properly, a light beam is applied to the dental veneer to activate the chemicals in the cement to harden and cure it quickly.
- The dentist will then remove the excess cement, check the patient’s bite and do any final adjustments, if required. The patient might have to visit the dentist a couple of times to check the veneer’s placement and the patient’s reaction to it.
Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore