Your teeth are strong: they’re a part of your anatomy that is composed of a bone-like center (dentin), surrounded by enamel, the toughest naturally occurring substance in the human body. They have to be strong! Your teeth, perhaps more than any other part of your body, are continuously exposed to huge forces (you’d be surprised just how powerful the human bite is), and they’re under constant attack from bacteria and the acids the bacteria produce.
It’s no surprise that after a while, your teeth start to look the worse for wear! In our Edgewood, KY dental practice, we offer high-quality, high performance porcelain veneers that can quickly and easily hide stubborn stains, cracks and fractures, tooth misalignment and other signs of damage that your teeth have sustained over the course of your life.
What Are Veneers?
Dental Veneers are something like press-on nails for your teeth; thin and translucent, they look much more delicate than they actually are. Veneers work by covering up the visible damage and wear on your teeth, and prevent further damage by providing an additional protective barrier for your teeth.
Why Are They Made of Porcelain?
Porcelain is used as a material for many different kinds of dental restorations, appliances, and fixtures. Besides veneers, our practice also offers CEREC Same-Day Crowns, which are also made of porcelain.
We take a lot of pride in the advanced technology our practice has invested in, but if something works well enough, you don’t need to replace it, even if it has been around for over 2,000 years! Porcelain was invented in China during the Han Dynasty, and made its way to Europe in the 1500s, where its name was porcellana, the Italian word that refers to a specific type of translucent sea shell. Eventually, porcellana became porcelain, and while improvements have been made, it is much the same as it was then. Dental technology has advanced considerably over the years, but so far it has failed to do two develop two things: an artificial tooth that is just as effective and attractive as your natural teeth, and a material that is better than porcelain, which is as close as we are able to get to natural teeth.
Porcelain is almost virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth in appearance. That’s because porcelain is translucent in much the same way your teeth, or more specifically, your enamel is. It’s a misconception that healthy teeth are gleaming, beaming white. The color of your tooth is created by how light interacts with the translucent enamel and the color of the dentin underneath it, which is actually yellowish. Porcelain interacts with light in much the same way, creating the illusion that the porcelain is actually part of your teeth!
Porcelain is also extremely durable; it is strong enough to withstand the huge pressures that are applied when you chew and grind food. On the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, which is the technical standard for the hardness of materials, porcelain (and ceramics in general) score a 7; for comparison, a diamond scores 10! Porcelain isn’t as hard as a diamond, but it is pretty close!
Additionally, porcelain is advantageous because it is hypoallergenic (dental restorations that are made of metal can be extremely troublesome for those patients with metal allergies), and it is also stain-resistant (though you might still want to slow it down on the coffee and other tooth-staining foods and drinks, in order to get the most out of your veneers).
Are Porcelain Veneers Permanent?
Dental porcelain veneers are very durable, but they aren’t completely permanent; they eventually will need to be replaced. However, with the right maintenance and care, your veneers can last up to twenty years, protecting your teeth from all the damage that they could sustain in that lengthy period.
What’s the Veneer Placement Process?
Getting veneers isn’t the most intensive procedure you can get at the dentist, but great care must be taken to ensure that your teeth are able to support the veneers.
It takes about three appointments to get your veneers placed.
- The first appointment will be a consultation with your dentist, who will examine your teeth to determine if they are healthy enough for veneers and to make sure you are well-informed about all your options. If veneers are right for you, your dentist will begin the imaging process to create a mock-up of your veneers and how they will look.
- The second appointment, your dentist will prepare your tooth, which does involve the removal of a small amount of your enamel (so that the veneer will fit properly). Digital impressions of your teeth will also be made, which will be used to design your veneers.
- Finally, on your third appointment, your dentist will place your veneers. After a few adjustments and modifications to make sure that the veneers will stay in place and have a good fit, your dentist will use a special adhesive to bond the veneers to the surfaces of your teeth that need them. The adhesive cures (or “dries”) with the use of a special light. Follow that up with a good polish to make your teeth gleam, and that’s it!
Can I Get Veneers?
The only way you’ll find out if you can benefit from veneers is to make an appointment for a consultation! Your dentist will help you understand your oral health and how it is important for the success of the veneers, as well as all your cosmetic dentistry options.
Don’t delay! Get rid of all those stains, cracks, and fractures and get a better smile!