Would you like a perfect new smile in as few as two dental appointments? Then you would specifically like veneers!

Veneers were first worn in 1928, and today they are an extremely popular cosmetic dental treatment whenever the appearance of perfect, healthy teeth is desired. Veneers are thin porcelain shells. They are custom-made to fit around the patient’s existing teeth, and they conceal any cracked, chipped, discolored, or unevenly spaced teeth they cover.

How Are Veneers Made?

The porcelain veneer creation process begins during the patient’s initial dental visit. Once the cosmetic dentist understands precisely what the patient would like to receive from their treatment, they remove a thin layer of enamel on the outside of the patient’s teeth. 

The layer of enamel removed is approximately 0.02 inches thick. This creates the space the porcelain shell requires in order to lie flat against the teeth and avoid appearing bulky. The cosmetic dentist next takes a mold of all the teeth the veneer will cover, which they will send to a special laboratory.

With the mold created, the cosmetic dentist finely etches the outside of the patient’s teeth. This allows them to bond a temporary veneer over the teeth, which serves two important purposes. It protects the teeth, which have likely become sensitive after having their enamel removed, and it gives the patient an accurate idea of what their new porcelain veneers will look like. If you would like changes made to your porcelain veneers, it is much better to request them before the finished product has been created!

It typically takes about three weeks for a laboratory to produce custom porcelain veneers. Once their porcelain veneers are ready, the patient returns to their cosmetic dentist’s office to have their temporary veneers replaced with their beautiful new smile.

Why Is Porcelain Used to Make Veneers?

Porcelain has three properties that make it an ideal substance for veneers. It is extremely hard – even harder than ceramic. It is nonporous, and accordingly unable to stain very easily. (Most people who receive porcelain veneers no longer have to whiten their teeth at all.) But most importantly, no other substance mimics the natural sheen of real teeth better than porcelain. Only cosmetic dentists will know if someone has porcelain veneers just by looking at them!

Isn’t Porcelain Fragile? Will Porcelain Veneers Break?

A thin porcelain shell is fragile on its own, but a veneer becomes extremely durable once it is securely bonded to the teeth. With normal dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, a porcelain veneer typically last between 10 and 15 years.

Unfortunately, porcelain veneers are not indestructible. Whenever they become cracked, chipped, or simply worn out over time, they require total replacement by a cosmetic dentist.

Are Veneers Reversible?

Porcelain veneers are not reversible. The enamel removal and etching processes both permanently alter the natural teeth, but they are essential to ensure the new porcelain veneer looks natural.

Are Veneers Painful?

A cosmetic dentist removes only the outermost layer of enamel when they prepare their patient for veneers. The dentin and the pulp are both untouched. You may feel mild discomfort during the procedure, but it will discontinue before your temporary veneer is applied.

What Are Composite Veneers?

We have only described porcelain veneers up until this point, but an alternative type of veneer is available: composite. 

Composite resin veneers offer many benefits. They can be finished during a single dental appointment, as they are created on-site at the dentist’s office instead of a special laboratory. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers may be quickly repaired during a single appointment as well. Composite veneer application usually lasts no longer than a few hours from start to finish, and the end result is not permanent.

But composite veneers are inferior to porcelain ones in many ways as well. While they are easier to repair, composite veneers also chip more easily. Composite veneers’ lesser durability also halves their lifespan to about four to eight years. Composite resin is also far more porous than porcelain, and stains nearly as easily as natural teeth.

Composite veneers cost less than porcelain veneers upfront, although their need for more frequent repair and replacement may ultimately make them the more expensive option in the long run!

Would you like to receive porcelain veneers in St. Cloud, Minnesota? Then we welcome you to contact Centrasota Dental today to schedule a consultation! Dr. Congdon and our team are always available to discuss our many cosmetic dental treatments.