MANY OF US ARE unhappy with the way our smiles look, and that’s where veneers and crowns come in for our Winston-Salem, NC patients. Maybe our teeth aren’t as white as we’d like, they have unusual shapes, or they’ve suffered some damage like chipping or fractures. Veneers are a great, long-lasting solution we can use to fix these problems and get the smiles of our dreams when a simple teeth whitening treatment isn’t enough.
How Do Veneers Work?
In cosmetic dentistry, veneers are thin, tooth-colored porcelain or composite resin shells that cover the natural teeth. Because they are as resilient as tooth enamel, they protect the teeth from damage and can last many years. They are custom-made to the contour of the patient’s teeth and bonded to the enamel over the course of one or two in-office procedures.
The Veneer Placement Process
Veneer placement follows these steps:
- If the patient’s teeth are particularly sensitive, local anesthetic may be used, but it usually isn’t necessary. The dentist cleans the tooth and determines the ideal shade, then removes a thin layer of enamel to make room for the veneer.
- The dentist takes an impression of the tooth and places a temporary veneer.
Once the custom veneer has been delivered, the tooth is cleaned and the veneer is etched, rinsed, and dried, and finally cemented onto the tooth.
- A curing light helps harden the adhesive to attach the veneer to the tooth. The dentist polishes the veneer and removes any excess material.
Are Veneers Right for You?
Veneers are a fantastic option to address certain esthetic issues with one or more teeth, but they are not the best solution for every dental problem, as they can be pricey and some amount of natural enamel must be scraped away to make room for them. The best candidates for them are patients with chipped, broken, badly discolored, or worn teeth.
For patients with alignment issues or less severe discoloration, orthodontic and whitening treatment will usually be preferable, while patients with a more severe issue like extensive decay or damage will likely benefit more from crowns.
What Are Crowns Made From?
Crowns are made from different types of material. Early in dentistry, they were made from metals and stainless steel. Here at Smile Sensations Dental, we use porcelain crowns. The reason that we recommend porcelain is because of its strength and cosmetic appeal. Porcelain provides a better color match than other materials. It is also better for persons who have metal allergies.
Taking Care of Your Veneers or Crowns
It’s important to take good care of your veneers or crowns once you have them so that they will last as long as they should before they need replacement. This mainly consists of the same good brushing and flossing habits you maintain for your natural teeth, and you can minimize the risk of the dental work becoming stained by avoiding foods and drinks that stain, such as coffee and red wine.
Bring Us Your Questions About Cosmetic Dentistry!
If you’re considering getting restoration work or treatment from a cosmetic dentist and living in the Winston-Salem area, we’re sure you have plenty of questions. Just give us a call or stop by to set up an appointment. We can tell you everything you need to know and make a plan to get you the smile you’ve always wanted!