A porcelain veneer is a thin, translucent shell made of tooth-like material. Veneers are bonded to the teeth, changing their size, color, shape, or length. Porcelain veneers are popular in cosmetic dentistry because they correct a number of aesthetic and functional issues, including:
- Close spaces between teeth
- Improve the appearance of crooked teeth
- Repair chipped or broken teeth
- Cover stained or discolored teeth
Advantages to Porcelain Veneers
- Natural tooth appearance
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
- Stain resistant
- The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected
Veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do. While a crown covers the entire tooth like a cap, veneers simply cover the front and sides.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Composite Resin Veneers
Dr. McCool offers two types of dental veneers: porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain veneers are more durable, lasting up to 25 years, and stain resistant. They are also extremely natural looking, mimicking the color and texture of the natural teeth almost exactly. Porcelain veneers must be fabricated in a laboratory and therefore require two visits to the dentist.
Composite resin veneers are not made in a laboratory, but instead directly applied to the teeth. They typically have a shorter life span, and are less expensive. Composite resin dental veneers can also match the color of your teeth and compared to porcelain veneers, require removal of less tooth surface before placement, and therefore preserve more of the natural tooth structure. Composite resin veneers are an excellent choice for younger adults and people who do not have extensive health or cosmetic concerns.
Porcelain Veneer Procedure
Porcelain Veneers are implemented in two visits to the dentist. First, your tooth is prepared to be fitted with a veneer, which will involve trimming a portion of the tooth. Next, an impression is taken of your tooth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the veneer. You may receive a temporary veneer depending on how much of your tooth structure was removed. This temporary veneer will protect your tooth while the permanent veneer is prepared at the laboratory.
After the permanent veneer has arrived from the laboratory, your temporary veneer will be removed and the permanent veneer is adjusted and fit to your tooth.