This cosmetic dental procedure delivers a Hollywood smile transformation in an instant, allowing individuals to correct a multitude of imperfections in one simple procedure.
Porcelain veneers are now becoming more accessible thanks to advances in materials and a rise in cosmetic dentistry popularity. They are also becoming cheaper and can be paid for with a monthly payment plan, which means that more people can enjoy a brighter, whiter smile.
If you’re curious about porcelain veneers, it’s important to have a complete picture before you move forward with treatment. With this in mind, we’re sharing some of the most common pros and cons of porcelain veneers, and some alternative treatments to consider if you decide this isn’t right for you.
Porcelain veneer procedure
Porcelain veneers are simply thin shells of porcelain that fit over the front of your teeth. This should ideally be a minimally invasive procedure with as little of the natural tooth material removed as possible.
The appliance is cemented in place and conceals things like poorly aligned teeth, discolouration, chips, cracks and gaps.
The treatment takes place over two visits. During the first visit, your dentist will take impressions and scans to create your veneer. During your second visit, the veneer is permanently cemented in place.
The dangers of overseas veneer treatment
You may have seen a trend known as “Turkey teeth” gaining popularity with celebrities and influencers. This is a name for patients that go overseas for cheap veneer treatment.
With overseas treatment, the teeth are filed down to pegs to make way for individual crowns instead of a single appliance. This is more invasive than it needs to be and isn’t recommended.
Pros of porcelain veneers
The procedure can be completed in just two visits; one to measure your teeth and the second to place the veneer. This is far quicker than alternative treatments such as orthodontics.
The veneer helps to protect the underlying tooth structure which may have been damaged by trauma or decay. The preparation of the tooth also focuses on maintaining the natural tooth structure as much as possible.
Veneers are very long-lasting, and it could be up to 20 years before you need to think about replacing them.
Porcelain looks very similar to natural teeth, so it is a very sympathetic restoration that doesn’t appear out of place. Your smile will be improved, but it won’t look unnatural.
Porcelain is more resistant to staining than natural teeth. It’s also easy to keep white and bright using regular dental hygienist cleanings.
Veneers will fix a wide range of aesthetic concerns, including: gaps, chips, cracks, crooked teeth, discolouration and uneven smiles. You can even request minor imperfections within the veneer design to make it look almost perfect, but not completely perfect. This helps the veneer to look more natural.
Cons of porcelain veneers
While this is a permanent restoration, you will need to replace it eventually. Veneers were once more popular with older people, but younger people are now seeking out smile transformations. You need to consider the lifetime cost of having to replace your veneer.
While porcelain might look very natural, it is also quite fragile. You’ll need to be careful with your teeth and some foods might be off limits. Very hard crusty bread, pizza crust, ice and hard sweets have all been known to break veneers. Biting your nails and opening packages with your teeth should also be avoided.
You could experience increased sensitivity. Your teeth will need to adjust to the change, and this can mean that you are more sensitive to hot and cold, which can be quite painful. If more of the tooth is removed to prepare for the veneers, you are at higher risk of sensitivity.
Alternative to porcelain veneers
If you’re not ready for a permanent restoration like veneers, there are alternative treatments available.
You could undergo multiple treatments in a smile makeover, and this would help to replicate the appearance of veneers, but using your natural teeth.
A smile makeover will typically include orthodontics to straighten your teeth, teeth whitening to remove stains and composite bonding to address any remaining imperfections.
You could also consider crowns for individual teeth if there are specific problem teeth. This can often be the case if you have discolouration that does not respond to teeth whitening.
And finally, you could also consider composite veneers. Composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain veneers, faster to place, but not as long-lasting. They are placed in one visit and can last for around 5 years.
Composite veneers use a material similar to that used in white fillings. This can be applied directly to the teeth using a mould and then set using UV light. The result is a complete smile makeover in just one visit.
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