Countless studies have been conducted over the past several years showing that an attractive smile has benefits far beyond improving a person’s appearance. A nice smile actually increases your self-esteem, boosts your self-confidence, and helps other people see you in a more positive light. So it only makes sense to want the most beautiful smile possible. Fortunately, dental technology provides a relatively quick and easy way to achieve a gorgeous smile – porcelain veneers.
For patients from throughout the Austin, TX, area and beyond, veneers offer a way to achieve a movie star smile in just a couple of trips to the dentist’s office. To help you decide whether veneers are the right choice for you, we’ve compiled this list of porcelain veneers pros and cons.
Important Information about Porcelain Veneers
Veneers consist of an extremely thin layer of dental porcelain. This remarkably strong and durable material not only looks just like natural teeth – it also protects teeth against further damage. Unlike crowns, which cover the entire surface of a tooth, a veneer usually just covers the front portion of the tooth. You can choose to have veneers on selected teeth, or you can opt for having all of your front teeth covered with veneers. The end result is absolutely stunning. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered how celebrities and movie stars get such perfect-looking teeth, it’s usually because of porcelain veneers!
The Procedure Involved in Getting New Porcelain Veneers
Getting new veneers usually requires two trips to the dentist’s office. During the first trip, the dentist will remove a very thin layer of enamel from the surface of the teeth, then make an impression of the teeth. That impression will be sent out to a dental lab, where custom-made veneers will be created. Then, during the second trip to the dentist’s office, the veneers will be applied to the teeth using adhesive and a specially designed hardening light.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Veneers are often an excellent way to repair teeth with minor damage, such as tiny cracks, chips, misshapen teeth, badly stained teeth, or teeth with wide gaps in between. Your dentist will want to make sure that you’re in good oral health before applying veneers. So if you have tooth decay or gum disease, for example, those problems will have to be resolved before you can receive new veneers.
Porcelain Veneers: Pros
- Veneers whiten teeth that can’t be whitened by traditional methods. If your teeth are badly stained – whether it’s from tobacco use or years of eating foods and drinking beverages that stain teeth – veneers can make them instantly whiter.
- Veneers whiten teeth with worn-down enamel. Once the enamel layer of a tooth is damaged or gone, it doesn’t grow back. When that happens, the yellowish dentin tooth layer shows through, and even the strongest whitening products won’t work. For these patients, veneers are an excellent way to get whiter teeth that they would not be able to have otherwise.
- Veneers are a “quick fix” for a variety of minor dental issues. As we mentioned earlier, veneers are a great way to repair teeth that are chipped, have tiny cracks, are uneven, or have wide gaps in between.
- Veneers are long-lasting. Most porcelain veneers can last for 10 to 15 years if they’re properly cared for.
- Veneers protect the natural teeth. The porcelain material used for veneers is extremely strong and durable. This means that not only do veneers dramatically improve the appearance of a person’s smile; they also protect the natural teeth and guard against any further damage occurring.
Porcelain Veneers: Cons
- Veneers are considered cosmetic. Unfortunately, veneers are usually considered to be a cosmetic dental procedure, so many insurance policies won’t cover the cost. On the other hand, veneers can be made to exactly match the color of your existing teeth, so you can be selective in which teeth receive veneers. And because veneers are so long-lasting, they won’t need to be replaced for 10 to 15 years and possibly even longer than that in some instances.
- Veneers are irreversible. The initial step in the veneer procedure comes when your dentist removes a portion of the outer layer of the tooth surface. This changes the structure of the tooth. That means that once you decide to have a tooth covered with a veneer, you’ll be committed for the long term – in other words, that tooth will need to be covered with a veneer permanently. Although getting new dental veneers is an irreversible decision, the vast majority of veneer wearers are happy with that decision.
- Veneers may make your teeth more sensitive. Some patients report an increase in sensitivity after their veneers are applied. Usually, this sensitivity goes away after a few days, but it can be uncomfortable for a period of time. Fortunately, there are products you can use – such as toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, for example — that will help to alleviate these symptoms.
Porcelain veneers can make a huge positive difference in the appearance of your smile, and we know from a myriad of studies done over the past several years that an attractive smile can make you feel better about yourself. In fact, it’s fair to say that having a more beautiful smile can change your life for the better. While it’s true that there are some disadvantages to porcelain veneers, the overwhelming majority of patients who have them are completely satisfied with the results.
Of course, only your dentist can tell you for sure whether or not you would be a good candidate for porcelain veneers, and there’s no time like the present to find out! For more information about porcelain veneers pros and cons, contact your Austin, TX, area dentist today to schedule an appointment. Who knows? Your brand new beautiful smile – and your increased self-esteem and improved self-confidence – may be only a phone call away!