An attractive smile can be a powerful source of self-confidence and positive social interaction. But it’s not easy to achieve or maintain the ideal smile we’d all like, especially as imperfections tend to accrue over time. Even when a mouth is healthy and clean, most people have at least one thing they’d like to change to about their teeth. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry options like porcelain veneers offer ways to permanently enhance a smile. Learn what this treatment entails and if you may benefit from porcelain veneers at our Boston dental office.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers utilize a thin layer of porcelain that is shaped and color matched to the front surface of a tooth. Once bonded over a tooth, a veneer acts as a new exterior, changing the outward appearance of the tooth and covering any cosmetic flaws beneath it. In this way, veneers can be used to conceal any number of flaws while changing the visible shape, size, and color of teeth. A single veneer may be used for one tooth, or multiple veneers can be used to create an all-new smile.
What Can Porcelain Veneers Treat?
Veneers may be used to mask a variety of imperfections, ranging from minor problems to widespread ones. Common cosmetic issues that are fixed through veneers include:
- Discoloration: Veneers can brighten teeth that have become discolored over time and that do not respond to whitening treatment. This is particularly useful for deep stains or teeth that are yellowed due to enamel erosion.
- Chips and cracks: Minor damage that does not threaten the health of a tooth can still be a major distraction in a smile. A chipped or cracked tooth can easily be covered with a veneer.
- Gaps between teeth: Gapped teeth are a common cosmetic problem, especially when located at the forefront of a smile. By widening the surfaces of adjacent teeth, veneers can close such gaps.
- Crooked teeth: The difference between straight teeth and any amount of crookedness is astounding. With porcelain veneers, you can achieve instant orthodontics for an even smile.
- Eroded edges: As enamel becomes eroded, the edges of teeth may look rough or worn down. Veneers are an effective way to lengthen teeth and restore a smooth surface.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Since porcelain veneers are minimally invasive and do not require oral surgery, most patients are able to support them with little risk. However, patients should still have good dental health prior to any cosmetic procedure. If tooth decay is present within a tooth covered by a veneer, the veneer will have to be removed in order for restorative treatment to take place. The best candidates for porcelain veneers are therefore patients without any preexisting cavities and who are prepared to continue taking care of their dental hygiene.
Additionally, patients with bruxism (teeth grinding) should consult their dentist on the potential damage they may cause their veneers. Just as clenching or grinding one’s teeth can erode enamel, it can also result in damage to porcelain restorations. If you suffer from bruxism, a customized night guard may help you protect your veneers while asleep.
Schedule a Consultation
Porcelain veneers can provide a satisfying, long-term improvement to your smile, but they are not optimal for everyone. Alternative treatment options such as dental bonding and teeth whitening may provide similar results for less noticeable flaws, while dental crowns may be a more suitable treatment for more severe problems. By speaking with an experienced cosmetic dentist, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the techniques available to you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Stein, contact our office today.