People with healthy smiles like to show them, but for people with chipped, discolored or crooked teeth, smiling can be a painful experience, emotionally and physically. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to help correct dental problems, and one of the most popular for elderly patients is dental porcelain veneers. Here is explained what they are and what they can do for you.
What are porcelain coatings?
Porcelain coverings, as described by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, are thin flared porcelain pieces that sit on the front of your teeth. The coatings are strong, natural looking and are made to match the shape and color of your own teeth.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry to prepare teeth for coatings, the dentist will remove approximately one millimeter of enamel from the surface of each tooth. Next, your dentist will take an impression of the inside of your mouth, make a mold and send it to a dental laboratory where the coatings are made by a dental technician.
When you are finally ready, your dentist will adhere the product to your teeth with a special cement.
Are coatings a good option for me?
Discolored, chipped, damaged or malformed teeth are good candidates for coatings. They are also beneficial in situations that involve a small space between two teeth, as well as when there is less crowding and in problems related to the bite.
Talk about porcelain coatings with your dentist. If they can work for you, get involved in the design process. Let your dentist know what you want to correct and what you are looking for with your new smile. With cosmetic imaging, you can even see a preview of your new look.
Advantages and disadvantages
Apart from having the best teeth, one of the greatest values of porcelain coatings is that very little of the original tooth structure is lost, and that little or no anesthesia may be needed for some treatments. The materials used to make them also provide resistance to stains of coffee, tea and other foods that natural teeth do not protect so easily.
As some enamel is removed, however, the procedure is irreversible. Also keep in mind that once cemented, the color cannot be corrected. It may have some sensitivity to temperature for a few days. The linings are strong, but they can be damaged by chewing ice and biting your nails, so you’ll need to forget those habits, if you have them.
How to take care of them?
You will want to treat your new porcelain coatings as carefully as you do with your own teeth. Keep your normal oral hygiene routine, but use Colgate® Maximum Anti-Caries toothpaste with non-abrasive fluoride, which keeps you cavity-free without damaging porcelain liners. Your dentist or dental hygienist should also use a non-abrasive polish during regular cleaning appointments. If you squeeze or grind your teeth, your dentist may also suggest an appliance at night to protect your linings from damage while you sleep.
Even those who are very shy about their teeth can see a big change with porcelain linings. Says Thich Nat Hahn, author and spiritualist, “sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of our joy”. Find out if the source of your joy is in a new system of porcelain dental veneers.