Along with serving the crucial role of maintaining dental and oral health, dental professionals provide a cosmetic service by keeping our smiles bright and our teeth healthy and aligned. Much of dentistry’s cosmetic function is inherent because clean, healthy teeth just look better than flawed, stained teeth. Thus, many dental procedures undertaken for health reasons, also prove cosmetic.
That said, some tools within a dentist office’s practice were initially developed for cosmetic reasons. Veneers, which were developed in the 1920s as a temporary means for changing the look of Hollywood actors’ teeth, have evolved to become a more durable and permanent tool in both functional and cosmetic dentistry. In fact, with the invention of porcelain veneers in the early 1980s, veneers have become the most utilized tool in cosmetic dentistry.
What is a Veneer?
A dental veneer is essentially a thin covering of material applied to the teeth. A composite veneer is directly applied to the teeth by a technician, while a porcelain veneer is indirectly fabricated in a lab and later bonded to the tooth or teeth. Porcelain veneers emerged as the most popular option due to the strength of the material and adhesion of the bond, but composite veneers are still used as temporary fixes. Porcelain mimics the look and feel of real teeth and can be tinted to match the specific coloration of a patient’s teeth. Porcelain veneers are also stain resistant and add a strong layer of protection to the underlying teeth.
Porcelain veneers are used to treat both cosmetic and functional issues, including:
- Misaligned teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Stunted teeth
- Uneven or lopsided smiles
- damage from tooth decay
- Stains from whatever source
- Chips and cracks
Are You a Potential Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
If your teeth are so stained that not even the most advanced whitening procedures can bring back that bright white smile, a row of porcelain veneers might serve as the perfect fix. Veneers can also fill any small gaps, chips or cracks in your teeth, or add alignment to the full row of your upper or bottom teeth. Additionally, veneers can fix and cover tooth damage caused by tooth decay.
Note that porcelain veneers may not be able to fix major imperfections, such as big gaps, excessive misalignment, and deep discoloration. Also, some people’s bite patterns preclude the use of veneers. In all these cases, a dental crown might be the best option, but this is a decision that should be made in consultation with your dental professional.
Many times orthodontic intervention is the best alternative to veneers. Remember that although porcelain veneers can make the teeth look nice, they do change how you can function with your teeth and they also necessitate grinding down natural tooth structure.
The dental professionals at Naples, Florida-based Gulfside Dental can assess your teeth to determine if any cosmetic or functional issues might be resolved with porcelain veneers. Gulfside Dental provides the full range of dental care services, including the application of dental veneers, and has been helping people in southwest Florida maintain their oral health for more than 30 years. Learn how Gulfside Dental can help you with all of your functional and cosmetic oral health needs by contacting our office today at (239) 774-3017, or by scheduling an appointment via our online appointment portal.