Years ago, certain cosmetic dental procedures were the exclusive domain of celebrities. Many popular treatments went mainstream when regular people began to look for ways to emulate the superstar smiles that they loved. Today, dental veneer technology has advanced to the point that it is a viable alternative to anyone who is seeking a beautiful, healthy smile.
Dental Veneers – One of the Most Sought-After Cosmetic Dental Treatments
A dental veneer or laminate is a thin, but strong, custom-made shell constructed out of porcelain or composite. Many people tend to think that dental veneers are simply a solution for dental discoloration. They can be so much more, though. Since a veneer is an entirely new outer layer for each tooth, you get to change the shape of the tooth too. Dentists recommend veneers to help restore structure and naturally appealing appearance to teeth. Structural problems involving minor crookedness, chips, and gaps are easily treated with veneers.
What Do the Latest Advances in Veneer Technology Offer the Patient?
The best dental veneers are made of porcelain. The way a porcelain veneer is constructed, though, makes all the difference.
Up until 15 years ago, porcelain veneers were handmade by dentists. These were called feldspathic veneers. Dentists would paint porcelain veneer over each tooth, cure it in an oven and try it on again, which allowed dentists to try artistic effects. The downside of this method was that the end product tended to be thick. To make room for such a veneer over each tooth, the dentist would buff each tooth down considerably. Unpredictable results were also a problem – when cured in the oven, for instance, veneers would often warp or shrink.
With the latest advances in veneer technology, manufacturers are now able to turn out ultra-thin, super-strength porcelain veneers in a dental laboratory. Ultrathin veneer technology is a significant advance. It isn’t just that very thin veneers make for more aesthetically pleasing results, the main benefit comes from the fact that dentists installing these veneers need to do practically no tooth buffing. Modern, ultrathin veneers are actually called “no-prep” veneers.
Patients approaching Dr. Frost for veneers at Frost Dental Group often do so for discolored teeth. If a coffee or smoking habit is behind the discoloration, modern porcelain veneers can be particularly effective – tobacco and coffee have no effect on these materials. Modern advances in porcelain veneer technology make the material effective in another way related to color too – they allow precise color matching so that the patient’s veneers are the exact shade as their regular teeth.
More Affordable Veneers Are Now Available – But Choose Carefully
While a porcelain veneer is far more affordable today than it used to be, quality can still be expensive. Some dentists try to accommodate every budget by offering inexpensive porcelain when their patients can’t afford the best kind. This isn’t always a good idea, though.
Inexpensive porcelain veneers tend to be fragile – they are unable to take the tremendous biting force that teeth are subjected to each day. While superior porcelain veneers can last as long as 20 years, the inexpensive kind can begin to crack in as little as five.
Porcelain Veneers are Nearly Maintenance-Free
Modern porcelain veneers are strong and require no special care in most instances. You simply brush and floss as always. Dr. Frost usually recommends nonabrasive toothpaste, as abrasion can be a concern in patients who have the habit of clenching their teeth or grinding them. Such habits can quickly cause porcelain to wear down. For this reason, Dr. Frost may suggest that patients wear nighttime bite guards to protect their smiles.
For more information on how you can improve your smile with porcelain veneers, contact our office today for your consultation.