Porcelain veneers are a great way to cover chipped, cracked, discolored, slightly misaligned, or gapped teeth. The procedure is quite common and can be easily performed by most dentists in a matter of a couple visits. The veneers are made of a thin strip of porcelain, which is bonded directly to the front of the teeth in order to improve the shape and / or color of your smile.
First, consult your dentist and clearly express what it is that you would like to achieve. Obviously communicating your desires and expectations with your dentist will help ensure that you have successful results that you will be happy with. Your dentist can fully explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
After the initial consultation, your first visit will be to fit you for your new smile. It may be necessary for your dentist to strip away small amounts of the tooth to make room for the porcelain veneers. If this is necessary, a local anesthetic will be used to alleviate any discomfort. Impressions of your teeth will then be made and sent away to be crafted to fit your smile as closely as possible. If your teeth require any contouring, temporary veneers may be given to you to use until the permanent veneers can be finished.
When you return to the dentist for your second visit, your porcelain veneers will be test fitted to your teeth to ensure a comfortable and accurate fit. The dentist will then use a bonding agent to permanently secure the veneers to your teeth, creating a lasting seal. The tooth covering is then hardened, making your new smile durable and able to hold up to daily usage.
Your dentist will no doubt want to see you again for follow-up visits to ensure satisfactory results. Directly after the application of your porcelain veneers, your teeth may be a bit sensitive to temperature. Extremely hot or cold food and beverages should be avoided for the first two weeks if you experience any sensitivity.
As far as care goes, your porcelain tooth covering will be nearly just as durable as your teeth, and will only require the same care your teeth needed before the procedure. Flossing and brushing regularly will ensure that your veneers will last. A professional check-up and cleaning is recommended every 6 months, just as normal. With proper care, your new smile will typically last in upwards of 15 years.
Every dental institution's porcelain tooth coverings may differ slightly from this, but, in general, this is what you can expect when having porcelain dental veneers applied to your teeth. Be sure to consult your dentist to see if porcelain veneers will be helpful to you.