Dentists often have the reputation of being the person to visit only when you have oral health issues, but did you know that Temecula, CA, dentists care about how your teeth look as well? In fact, an entire field of dentistry — cosmetic dentistry — is dedicated toward helping patients achieve a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Cosmetic dentistry can take many forms, but one of the most versatile as well as most effective tools a cosmetic dentist can use is the porcelain veneer. As dentist K. Pat Brown, DDS, explains, the thin, tooth-colored “caps” made from a hard porcelain material called dental veneers can be used to fix a number of esthetic and health-related problems that can plague a dental patient.
What Problems Can Dental Veneers Solve?
So, in what situations might a patient need a dental veneer? The specific details might vary from patient to patient, but, for the most part, dental veneers are prescribed when a patient has:
- Discolored Teeth. Teeth can become discolored for a number of reasons including, but not limited to, smoking, eating certain foods or drinks (like coffee and tea), taking certain medications (like tetracyclines), and just plain old aging can cause a person’s teeth to change color over time. Minor discolorations might merit a professional whitening procedure, but many cosmetic dentists may recommend veneers for more serious cases of discoloration.
- Chipped or Broken Teeth. Teeth may seem infallible, but often prove to be more fragile than people anticipate. Even seemingly small things, like unexpectedly falling or chewing on hard candy, can cause the teeth to chip, crack, or otherwise break. Extreme cases of physical damage to a tooth will require sophisticated restorative techniques, but porcelain veneers are more than sufficient to treat common, minor chips.
- Irregularly Shaped Teeth. Teeth can be chipped or broken, but they may also be naturally irregularly shaped. For example, some teeth may grow in with craters or bulges already apparent. Veneers can cover over these imperfections with a smooth exterior, successfully hiding any abnormality.
- Misaligned or Uneven Teeth. When people talk about treatments for misaligned or uneven teeth, they typically think of orthodontia when porcelain veneers may often be able to treat the problem just as well. By altering the surface of a tooth, cosmetic dentists are able to fix minor misalignments with a porcelain veneer.
- Gaps Between Teeth. In the same way, porcelain veneers are close small gaps between the teeth as well. With veneers, placement is everything–by strategically shaping and attaching the veneer, dentists can make the minor adjustments that create a noticeable difference in the finished result.
- Worn Down Teeth. Finally, porcelain veneers can also be used to buffer worn down teeth. If you are particularly prone to grinding your teeth, or if your teeth have just worn down over time, you should consider the application of a dental veneer to the affected teeth to add substance to their surfaces and protect the softer layer of dentin beneath.
How Are Dental Veneers Made?
So, how are these thin, porcelain wafers attached to the teeth anyway? The process might sound simple, but the dental procedure actually begins long before the cementing of the material. The first step isn’t even creating the veneers. Porcelain veneers need to be specially designed for each patient and each unique tooth.
The first step is for the dentist to preemptively prepares the tooth receiving the treatment. Because, thin as they may be, porcelain veneers do take up some space, the preparation stage involves the careful shaving down of the tooth’s protective enamel. While it might sound scary, the procedure is very mild. In any case, only about half of a millimeter is taken, and the preparation alone shouldn’t cause any issues.
Once the tooth is prepared, impressions of the modified tooth and the surrounding teeth will be taken and used by a laboratory to fabricate the veneer to the right size and shape.
We at Dr. K. Pat Brown, DDS, have partnered with a dental laboratory to get you the best and most natural-looking veneers possible!
How Are Dental Veneers Attached?
In comparison, the actual attaching of the veneer is relatively tame. The finished veneer is carefully maneuvered into place and adjusted for maximum comfort and best fit. Once the optimal positioning is achieved, your dentist will shine a special light over the tooth, causing the cement-like material in the veneer to bond with the tooth. The result is a seamless transition from tooth to veneer. Done correctly, no one will be able to tell the difference!
To have your porcelain veneers done in Temecula, CA, visit K. Pat Brown, DDS, for examination, diagnosis and treatment plan! Simply call (951) 695-6269 or visit our website to set up an appointment today!