A smile can be improved in so many ways through a broad range cosmetic dentistry techniques. Today we’re focusing on porcelain dental veneers, to explain how they work, and how they can be applied to achieve that drop-dead gorgeous smile. Porcelain dental veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic that are placed on the front portions of the teeth to conceal any number of aesthetic imperfections, such as a tooth’s colour, size or shape. An excellent alternative to crowns in these situations, porcelain veneers are an ideal choice to conceal discolouration and have beautiful white teeth almost permanently. The ceramic shells are bonded to the front of the teeth and the procedure requires little or no anaesthesia. Ideal for masking flaws Now, if you’re not happy with your front teeth because they’ve been stained by medication, rotted by sugary beverages, ruined by fillings, injured, chipped or damaged by root-canal procedures, dental veneers are ideal for masking these flaws. If you have gaps between your front teeth, or your teeth are chipped, worn, cracked, crooked or uneven, you may also consider veneers for aesthetic corrections. When a veneer procedure is properly performed and good oral care is taken going forward, they will generally last up to 10 years of more. What happens during a dental veneer procedure? You may need a few appointments to complete the entire procedure, beginning with an initial diagnosis to treatment planning, preparation and bonding. It’s very important to spend time in the planning of your smile and understand the corrective limitations of the procedure before going ahead with dental veneers. If necessary, arrange for as many consultations with your dentist as you need, so you feel completely comfortable that your objectives have been understood. Preparing your teeth To prepare for veneers, your teeth will be lightly buffed to allow for the minor added thickness of the veneer. About half a millimetre of your tooth will be removed, and this procedure might sometimes require a local anaesthetic. Prior to this procedure, a mould would be taken of the tooth, which is then sent to the laboratory for veneer production. This could take several days. After your teeth are prepared the dentist will carefully bond and sculpt the ceramic veneer onto your teeth. This is where you should pay attention. When the dentist places the veneer onto the tooth they will check its fit and sense of shade and colour. At this point you need to view the results and ensure that this is the colour that you’re comfortable with. The colour of the veneer cannot be altered after it is cemented. The veneer is attached once the tooth has been cleansed with a special chemical to achieve a bond. And once the chemical is shone with a light beam, the veneer is completely cemented to the tooth. Dentist may also advice clients to have a teeth whitening session prior to veneers to achieve the best colour similarity or to ensure clients are comfortable with their chosen shade. Maintaining your veneers You might go through a period of fine-tuning and adjustment for about a week or two as you become accustomed to your veneers. They will have significantly improved your teeth in size and shape. You should continue with a good dental routine with brushing and flossing daily after procedure. Realistic expectations Veneers are not perfect replacements for imperfect natural teeth so it’s not uncommon to see slight colour variations upon closer inspection. You must understand that this even occurs with natural teeth. Nevertheless, getting veneers done can greatly enhance your smile and heighten self-esteem. If you think that this is ideal for your needs, come and talk to us to find out how a great smile is possible!