In the past, dentistry techniques were limited by available materials and technologies. Function was the most important consideration; for many cosmetic problems, there was just not anything that could be done. Fortunately for us, advances and developments in cosmetic dentistry have made having a perfect smile more possible than ever before. The number and scope of cosmetic procedures available to today’s dental patient is quite impressive. You can have your teeth whitened, made straighter, indeed, we can do many things, up to and including replacing missing teeth with permanent solutions. Porcelain dental veneers, sometimes referred to as laminates, may be the most versatile cosmetic dentistry procedure available.
What are they?
The development of modern dental adhesives has made the use of all-porcelain dental works a reality. This is exciting news, because porcelain mimics the light reflective properties of real teeth, and is, therefore, the most natural-looking dental enhancement material available. A dental veneer treatment consists of a thin, tooth-colored shell of porcelain that is custom created to be applied to the front, visible side of the affected tooth. This product can mask a wide variety of dental flaws including:
- stains that do not respond to teeth whitening procedures
- teeth of uneven length
- chips or cracks
- misshapen or “pegged” teeth
- broken teeth
- gaps between teeth
Is This a Complicated Procedure?
Dr. Schofield would be happy to talk to you about your dental treatment needs. If cosmetic laminates are part of your treatment plan, you can expect the process to take two to three appointments over a few weeks.
Consultation: At this appointment, you will have the chance to discuss your goals for your veneer procedure to Dr. Schofield and to ask any questions you have about what to expect. Be prepared to be specific about the qualities you want from your new look, as well as any concerns that have been on your mind about the procedure.
Preparation: In order to prepare the tooth or teeth, a tiny amount of enamel must be removed to make room for the porcelain shells. This procedure is normally painless; however, some patients prefer to be numbed with anesthetic before beginning due to sensitivity. After the teeth have been prepared in this way, an impression mold needs to be created to be used in fabrication of your permanent porcelain veneers. You will be fitted with temporaries to use in the meantime.
Bonding: The application of your cosmetic veneers is the last part of the process. Dr. Schofield will remove the temporary laminates from your teeth and will temporarily bond the new ones to your teeth. This is to make sure of a good fit before permanently bonding the porcelain shells onto your teeth. When the fit is determined to be good, the permanent adhesive will be used and you will look like you have brand new teeth!
Are They Hard to Care For?
Porcelain is a stain resistant material, so the good news is that you probably don’t need to worry about stains from highly pigmented foods and beverages, such as coffee or red wine. Though they are designed to last a long time, the porcelain used is still a breakable substance. Proper care of your new teeth means breaking any habits such as:
- using your teeth as a tool
- chewing on pencils
- biting fingernails
- chewing ice
Porcelain cannot be whitened. If you have a whitening treatment, only natural teeth will respond to the bleaching gel. This is something to keep in mind when consulting with Dr. Schofield. If frequent teeth whitening is desired, make sure the porcelain will match your whiter teeth shade.
Beyond that, your new smile is just as easy to take care of as your natural teeth. Maintaining the usual oral hygiene practices of brushing and flossing, and keeping a regular schedule of dental cleanings and checkups should be all that is required.
How Long Do They Last?
Generally speaking, veneers are a long-lasting treatment. Naturally, a lot of this depends on the patient. Avoiding the bad habits that can break them is one way to ensure that they last as long as possible. It’s also important to remember that even though the porcelain is not susceptible to decay, your natural tooth material still is, and you need to maintain your oral hygiene and cleaning/checkup appointments as before. If you take care of your teeth and dental treatments, they will take care of you for years to come.
The Porcelain Veneer Solution at Canyon Vista Dental
If you’re ready to realize the smile of your dreams, Dr. Natali Schofield and the staff at Canyon Vista Dental can help. Call us today at (801) 756-7129 to schedule a consultation, or request an appointment using this online form. We look forward to showing you how beautiful your smile can be.