Porcelain veneers, also called porcelain laminates, are thin shells of porcelain bonded to the front surface of teeth to make a cosmetic improvement in their appearance. Porcelain veneers will convert discolored, chipped, misaligned teeth into a cosmetically pleasing appearance.
The decision on whether or not porcelain veneers are a good choice is only possible after a thorough cosmetic evaluation and examination by a dentist. In general, veneers can be used to enhance the smile when:
- teeth are crooked or badly stained
- For covering old discolored fillings
- Minor orthodontic improvements to straighten appearance of the teeth
- Teeth which have darkened due to root canal treatment or trauma.
- Examining tooth decay/caries/cavityFor closing unsightly gaps in the front teeth of the mouth.
Porcelain veneers will last for a long time provided routine care is taken to maintain good oral health, say up to 10 years or more. Porcelain Veneers may need replacement if they are damaged or chipped or indicate loss of bonding with the underlying tooth structure. The following are a few suggestions to maximize the life of veneers:
- Practice good oral home care. Decay in the underlying tooth structure may result if regular oral hygiene is not maintained.
- Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth (“Bruxism”) since these actions put tremendous forces on the teeth and can break or move the veneer.
- Avoid biting on hard things, such as bottle caps, fingernails, ice cubes etc.