Not A Pirate Or A Pimp? Maybe You Need Porcelain Veneers

If you're a candidate for a dental crown and are more interested in a look that's natural than making a statement, you should consider porcelain veneers. Though in Tajikistan having gold teeth is a symbol of wealth, having the subtle beauty of a well-maintained smile is more often the norm in the United States. So if you're new to crowns and don't know what to expect from a porcelain addition, here's what you need to know.

What's a Porcelain Veneer?

If during a visit your dentist recommends you as a candidate for a crown due to tooth decay or damage, you are given the choice of different material options. Metals, like gold or zirconia, amalgam, and porcelain are your material options for a new crown, though for cosmetic appearance, longevity, and allergic tolerance, porcelain beats out the competition. Porcelain veneers act like a crown, covering your tooth like a cap, to give you a more natural-looking addition that's strong, resistant to temperature changes, and is suitable for someone that may have metal allergies.

What to Expect

The process of getting porcelain veneers is normally achieved through a few appointments with a cosmetic dentist. During your first appointment, impressions are made using a soft, gum-like material that will be used as a mold, or through digital imaging that can accurately capture a dimensional representation of your tooth. The mold gives a good impression of both the tooth that needs to be duplicated and surrounding ones, so a veneer can be made that will best complement your natural smile. A cosmetic dentist doesn't actually make the veneer, but contracts the work to a ceramist that creates using your impression's mold or imaging as a model. In addition to a mold, your dentist may record a shade number or color sample to give the maker an idea of what color to make your veneer, so that it doesn't stand out next to your other teeth.

If your tooth has been damaged to the root, your dentist may first recommend a root canal to ensure that infection or nerve damage doesn't continue after your crown has been put into place. This may require a separate appointment from both the initial mold and secondary fitting, but you should know by your initial appointment what to expect. If your tooth requires the root canal before crown fitting, your tooth may be capped with a temporary amalgam crown until you get your permanent veneer. If your tooth is not in need of a root canal, the next appointment will entail preparing your tooth for the crown and bonding.

Preparing your tooth for a crown requires minimal grinding of your existing tooth down so that the veneer can fit and bond properly. Once the surface is ready, the last step is bonding your crown to the existing tooth with a permanent cement.

Getting porcelain veneers aren't a painful process, and neither are the results, so you can expect a minimally-invasive and comfortable experience when you visit a dentist like Centre Family Dentistry for appointments. Porcelain veneers look and feel like natural teeth and they can last a lifetime. So if decide you want healthy teeth without updating your style, porcelain veneers are the way to go.