What are Porcelain Veneers?
At Carolina Dental Arts in Goldsboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, our caring dentists help improve our patients’ smiles every day. Porcelain veneers are one of our most frequently requested cosmetic dentistry methods. These dental restorations can help you have a straighter, more even, balanced and brighter smile, too.
Did you know that only about one fourth of Americans really likes their smile? Most of us want to improve how our teeth or overall smile look at some point in our lives. If you are hopeful about achieving a more attractive smile, porcelain veneers can possible help you fulfill that goal.
Porcelain veneers are super thin, wafer-like shells of tooth colored material. These shells fit neatly over the surface of your front teeth to provide a uniform, brighter and more youthful appearance. Your dentist permanently bonds these wafers onto teeth, one at a time. As a result, they improve your tooth color, shape, size or length.
Getting this cosmetic improvement may sound like a painful process to some people. But the wafers are super thin and provide a comfortable custom fit. Because they look so natural, no one but you and your dentist will know about them. Everyone else will simply see a straighter and more youthful looking smile.
What Can I Expect?
Porcelain veneers are the best choice for resurfacing front teeth and the only type provided by Carolina Dental Arts. Although resin veneers are available, these require removal of more of your natural tooth surface for fitting. Porcelain is thinner, more stain resistant and more like your own tooth material. Your gums can also tolerate porcelain better.
If you have wanted a straighter smile or one with better proportions, the teeth resurfacing procedure can likely provide those results. Veneers change the appearance of tooth shape, length and other features without damaging reshaping.
This dental treatment typically lasts between 7 and 15 years. After this time, you will need replacement by your dentist. Because these restorations do not require specialized daily care, you simply continue brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily and floss each day. It is also important to continue seeing your dentist every six months or as recommended for checkups and cleanings.
Veneers are not typically covered by dental insurance. But there are other methods for financing your new smile. Carolina Dental Arts also accepts multiple payment methods. If you want to invest in a more youthful smile, simply talk to our caring staff in the dental office for payment and financing information.
Why Our Dentists Only Offer Porcelain Veneers
As mentioned before, there are two main types of dental veneers, porcelain and resin. But at Carolina Dental Arts, our dentists only provide patients with the option for porcelain veneers. This is because porcelain offers multiple benefits resin does not. First, porcelain is thinner, more comfortable and requires removal of less natural tooth material. Porcelain veneers last longer with proper care and provide great stain resistance that resin veneers do not.
Problems Fixed with Porcelain Veneers
If you dislike how your smile looks in the mirror and as your calling card to the world around you, then this teeth treatment can probably improve your appearance and make you feel more confident. They solve a multitude of dental problems, such as:
- Slight cosmetic flaws on individual teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Weakened teeth
- Broken teeth
- Uneven lengths of teeth
- Slightly misaligned or irregular teeth
The Process for Dental Veneers
Getting your porcelain veneers typically takes three visits to your dentist’s office. You can go through this process for a veneer on one tooth or all of your front-facing teeth at once.
Below, we outline these dental office visits and what your dentist focuses on, as part of each.
The first visit is your consultation. At this time, you discuss your smile goals with your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts. The dentist examines your teeth and determines whether they are a good option for achieving those goals. He or she explains the process of getting your veneers, as well as limitations for your results. As part of this visit, the dentist typically takes X-rays or makes teeth impressions.
Preparation and Construction
In this second visit, your dentist prepares your teeth for your veneers. This involves surface etching or trimming of some enamel to provide room for each wafer to fit. Removal of this tooth material helps your teeth feel natural after the they are in place. With porcelain veneers, the dentist can remove less material than for resin veneers.
As part of this process, you may need a local anesthetic. After discussing this with you and providing anesthesia when desired, the dentist performs the work. They also make an impression of your teeth. That impression goes to a specialized lab that custom crafts your dental veneers for you. This lab process takes a couple of weeks. When your new veneers arrive at the dental office, the staff calls you to schedule your third and final visit.
Application and Bonding of Your New Smile
As part of your third visit, your dentist ensures the veneers fit properly and the color is best suited to your surrounding natural teeth. Then, he or she bonds these new veneers to your individual teeth. The bonding process involves placing each wafer and trimming them as needed to ensure the best fit. Sometimes color also requires a slight adjustment in the dental office.
Each tooth is cleaned, polished and etched before bonding of the veneer. The bonding involves use of a special cement. After application of the porcelain veneer, the dentist uses a special light to activate the cement’s bonding and curing chemicals. Then, he or she removes excess cement and makes final adjustments to perfect the fit.
Sometimes a fourth, follow-up visit is necessary to check on the fit and functioning.
Carolina Dental Arts has three North Carolina locations offering patients porcelain veneers for smile improvement. These locations include:
- Glenwood South in Raleigh, NC
- New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, NC
- Goldsboro, NC
Contact your nearest dental office today to schedule your consultation.