Porcelain Veneers have been used in cosmetic dentistry for decades. They are sometimes referred to as instant orthodontics. This is because they can change the alignment and shape of our teeth in just a few short dental visits. Porcelain veneers are very popular and can make life altering changes to your smile. Can porcelain veneers also offer benefits beyond cosmetic appearance?
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Your cosmetic dentist will use similar materials that are used to fabricate porcelain crowns. Porcelain veneers are fingernail like thin pieces of porcelain that are chemically bonded to your teeth in order to modify the color, shape, and size of your teeth. As mentioned previously, porcelain veneers are also sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics”. This is because porcelain veneers give your dentist the ability to make changes in teeth alignment to even straighten your smile. This is not possible in extreme misalignment cases but can help align your smile in small increments.
The best part about porcelain veneers? This cosmetic dentistry procedure can be completed in as few as two (2) dental visits and the porcelain veneers are individually customized and fabricated to fit your individual smile. When completed they will look natural and complement the rest of your smile. The dental porcelain will mimic your natural tooth in translucency as well as the way the light reflects off your smile.
Porcelain Veneers Characteristics
Porcelain veneers have the following characteristics:
–Natural Translucent quality — Translucency means that light is able to pass thru to a certain level. Our natural teeth allow for light to pass thru so porcelain veneers are designed to mimic those same translucent properties. This gives porcelain veneers a natural depth, providing for a dazzling Hollywood smile.
–Color matching — If you are replacing multiple teeth, then all your veneers can be a natural, bright color of your choosing. When covering just one or two teeth, customized porcelain veneers can easily be matched to the surrounding natural teeth in order to provide a consistently beautiful smile that no one will ever notice are not your natural teeth.
–Non-porous surface — Porcelain veneers are ceramic glass and are non-porous, preventing future stains from ruining your new smile.
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Porcelain Veneers Visits
Porcelain veneer treatment is generally consists of 2-3 dental visits. They are as follows:
Visit 1 – Porcelain Veneers Consultation. Are porcelain veneers right for your smile? This is when you will explain your concerns and wishes about your smile with your dentist. Your dentist can then explain if porcelain veneers are right for your individual smile and desires. In some instances, porcelain veneers may not be the right dental treatment for your smile and more extensive treatment may be needed like orthodontics (either traditional or invisalign type oorthodontic treatment) or porcelain crowns. Porcelain veneers can also be used along with those other procedures to give you the Hollywood smile you have always dreamed of.
Visit 2 – Teeth Preparation. At this visit, your teeth will be prepared so the porcelain veneers can be custom fabricated. A small amount of tooth structure will be removed from each tooth included in porcelain veneers treatment. In some cases, no tooth structure is necessary (also called “no preparation” veneers). Your dentist will keep you comfortable during the procedure by delivering local anesthesia to the area that is being worked on. Once the preparation of teach individual tooth is completed, your dentist will take a dental impression that will be used by the dental laboratory to create your customized porcelain veneers. Temporary veneers will be placed on teeth until final custom porcelain veneers are fabricated.
Visit 3 – New Smile. Once your custom veneers are fabricated by the dental laboratory, you will return for placement and fit of porcelain veneers. The veneers will be initially placed on a trial basis in office to ensure proper fit, color, and shape. If the new veneers meet your dream smile then the dentist will bond them to your teeth.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
There are two very different types of Tooth Sensitivity Causes:
-Sensitivity Of The Dentin. This type of sensitivity occurs when the dentin layer of a tooth is exposed. Dentin is supposed to be covered by enamel above the gum line and by cementum (bone like connective tissue covering the root of a tooth) below the gum line. The dentin is made up of tiny openings called tubules. Inside each tubule there is a nerve branch that comes from the tooth’s pulp (the nerve center of the tooth). When exposure of the dentin occurs, these nerve branches can be affected by cold, heat, or even certain foods (like acidic foods). This causes sensitivity of the teeth. Dentin exposure is a prime factor in what causes sensitive teeth. When the outer protective layers of enamel or cementum wear away the dentinal tubules becomes exposed to external factors such as heat and cold.
This dental sensitivity can affect one tooth or multiple teeth. Dentin exposure can be be what causes sensitive teeth in multiple ways. These can include:
– Overly Aggressive tooth brushing. The enamel layer can be worn away from brushing too hard or even using a toothbrush that is too hard over a long period of time.
– Dental plaque build up. The presence of plaque along root surfaces can cause tooth sensitivity.
-Tooth Wear. This type of wear occurs over time from teeth clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism).
-Untreated Tooth Decay.
–Recession of Gum Tissues. When the gums recede they expose the tooth’s uncovered roots. Receding gums are often caused by periodontal disease or by overly aggressive brushing. Receded gums are very common and approximately 80% of all people have some form of gum recession by the time the age of 65. Gum recession is a major factor in what causes sensitive teeth in many people.
-Periodontal surgery (gum surgery) that exposes the tooth’s roots.
–Teeth Whitening. Excessive teeth whitening can have harmful effects and teeth sensitivity is a possible side effect.
-Food Choice. Frequently eating acidic foods.
-Pulpal sensitivity. This is a reaction of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. Sensitivity of the pulpal tissue tends to affect only one tooth.
Causes of this type of sensitivity can include:
-Tooth Decay or dental infection.
-Placement of a recent dental restoration.
-Excessive pressure from teeth grinding or clenching your teeth.
-A cracked or broken tooth. If you feel a sharp pain upon biting, you may have a broken or cracked filling. Pain upon release of your bite is a sign of a cracked tooth.
Your dentist will be able to diagnose what causes the sensitive teeth for you.
Can porcelain veneers help with tooth sensitivity?
Yes, porcelain veneers can offer a layer of protection for your teeth especially for teeth that have enamel erosion. many patients report decreased or no tooth sensitivity following porcelain veneer treatment. Porcelain veneers will also improve dental hygiene which will limit future tooth sensitivity. Regular visits to the dentist along with home dental maintenance will allow your smile to stay healthy and youthful fo a lifetime. Visit your dentist today if you are experiencing sensitive teeth to see what options are right for you.