Porcelain Veneers - All shapes and sizes
Porcelain Veneers are thin shells of ceramic material bonded to the front of the teeth to achieve a virtually immediate change to the size, shape and colour of the teeth. They can be used to give a very natural smile that blends in with adjacent unrestored teeth.
Brief History of Porcelain Veneers
Did you know that porcelain veneers have been around for 80 years?
The earliest use of porcelain veneers has been attributed to California dentist Dr. Charles Pincus in the 1930s. At the time, he made veneers that were designed to come off, similar to a movie prop for actors and models. Since that time, materials and techniques have improved. Today, the use of dental porcelain veneers amongst the Hollywood crowd still shapes our interest and expectations of what makes for an attractive smile.
The media has certainly affected our consciousness regarding the importance of a smile that stands out. The dental sciences of orthodontics (teeth and bone position), periodontics (gum and bone health) and a regiment of diligent oral hygiene can all contribute to a healthy mouth. In some cases, the only way to change a dark, chipped, poorly shaped tooth is to cover the tooth with the most naturally appearing substitute possible: porcelain. Patients often follow up orthodontic treatment with veneers. If the orthodontic treatment was completed later in life, the teeth may have wear patterns that are accentuated when the roots are straightened.
Beautiful Veneers, right here in Victoria
To enhance the smile, porcelain veneers can be used over a number of adjacent teeth. However, in many cases the patient’s teeth are in the correct position and an addition of a porcelain layer and cement produces a bulky or large-looking tooth. Therefore, to achieve a more natural appearance, a number of the teeth would require some preparation in order to accommodate the veneers. This is usually an irreversible procedure. It is very important that you understand the long term commitment of choosing porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are more conservative than fabricating crowns, but certainly less conservative than composite resin veneers/bonding or Lumineers.
“I am so confused”…Empress, MAC, Da Vinci, E-Max, Pressed versus Feldspathic Porcelain Veneers
As a consumer, the availability of information can be helpful in many ways; that is why you are reading this article. However, if you have flipped through a beauty magazine, you will likely see ads for a number of different veneer systems. If you are a dentist, our literature is full of quite a few more.How does one choose?
In reality, the long term results of you veneers will depend much more on the planning that you and your dentist invests in the case and the capabilities of the laboratory technician than the actual “brand” or porcelain fabrication techniques touted by competing companies.
Having a dentist sensitive to your needs and a local ceramist that you can visit in the case of tricky colour matching is a good recipe for success.
Case planning – A smile just right for you
Creating a beautiful smile is a collaborative effort between you the patient, the dentist and the peripheral members of a team that may include a ceramist, dental specialists and a treatment co-ordinator. For everyone to work together towards a common goal – your satisfaction (hopefully jubilation) - careful planning is essential.
As discussed in our smile design article, would it not be fantastic to be able to try in a set of custom veneers painlessly sculpted for you before any treatment is started? In a manner similar to bonding, you can visit us in Victoria and within minutes get a good idea if cosmetic treatment is for you.
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers:
* Natural appearance
* Stain resistant
Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers
* Irreversible tooth preparation may be required - more conservative options are available
See our section on Smile Design. Fortunately, unless the teeth are quite small or have existing veneers, there are a number of alternatives that demand less preparation and hence cause less stress on the teeth. Consider the following alternatives and their benefits/drawbacks: Whitening, Orthodontics, Cosmetic Contouring, Composite Resin Bonding, Lumineers.