Good tooth color, pleasing shape and proper alignment: these are a few of the most important parts of a beautiful smile. If your teeth fall short in any of these areas, porcelain veneers may be for you!
A veneer is a thin covering over another surface. In dental terms, a veneer is a thin coating of porcelain. This super-strong layer is bonded to your teeth, and acts as a substitute for your natural enamel. Dr. Leach can use veneers to create beautiful new tooth surfaces, that are durable and natural looking. Dental porcelain, though translucent and tough, doesn’t stain like tooth enamel does.
Porcelain technology has seen remarkable advances in recent years. At Steven Leach Dental, veneers can be made thin enough to bond directly onto your existing tooth surface. In some cases, a very thin layer of tooth enamel — as thin as the veneer itself — may be removed to accommodate veneer and give it a natural look. Either way, the results are sure to make you smile.
Veneers can be used to improve many aspects of your smile:
Not every situation lends itself to veneers. For example, for significantly misaligned teeth or large gaps, orthodontics may be a more appropriate approach. If decay or trauma (or a particularly severe grinding habit) has caused the significant loss of tooth structure, porcelain crowns (that cover the entire tooth) may be the proper therapy. The experts at Steven Leach Dental are prepared to advise you on all your options and recommend the best solution to suit your needs.
The first step to upgrading your smile is describing the aspects of your current smile that you want to change. As a starting point for discussion, Dr. Leach recommends bringing in pictures of smiles that you do like.
From there, Dr. Leach can help you to see how veneers might look on your teeth. He does this in one of several ways. A model of your teeth can be created over which wax “veneers” can be placed. Alternatively, acrylic (plastic) or tooth-colored material can be placed directly onto your teeth to illustrate the look of adding veneers.
Once a plan has been agreed upon, Dr. Leach will prepare your teeth by removing a small amount of enamel (this step is not always necessary, and may be skipped if appropriate). Molds of your teeth will be taken and sent to the laboratory where a skilled dental technician will create your veneers. During the few weeks it takes for the lab to do their work, you will receive a temporary set of veneers to wear. When your permanent veneers come back from the lab, they will be cemented onto your teeth.
Taking care of your veneers is requires the same care and attention that your natural teeth do: brushing and flossing every day to remove plaque and ensure gum health around the veneers. As always, regular checkups at Steven Leach Dental remain important to your oral and general health.
Keep in mind that as tough as veneers are, they may withstand abuses like using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example) or biting into very hard foods (e.g. candy apples). But then again, these things are never good for your natural teeth either! And if you grind or clench your teeth at night, you may be advised to wear a custom-made nightguard to protect your veneers — and your investment.