Veneers are great for teeth that are healthy. They can completely change the shape of individual teeth, cover gaps, cracks or lines, and you can choose the shade of your veneers to make your smile whiter or brighter. Veneers are not a restorative procedure, however. If you have teeth that are very decayed or unhealthy, veneers are not strong enough to correct these problems or restore a tooth to good health. It is possible to combine veneers with other procedures like crowns or white fillings to restore unhealthy teeth and give your whole mouth a cosmetic makeover at the same time.
Veneers can be porcelain or composite, but porcelain veneers are superior in looks and durability. Natural teeth reflect light a certain way, and no material comes closer to that natural light reflection than porcelain. Porcelain maintains its color and is resistant to staining.
Porcelain veneers are very thin, and though they are the strongest and most durable type of veneers available, it is possible for them to chip or break like real teeth can. When you have veneers, you should be careful biting into hard foods. With proper care, veneers can last for years, but if a veneer should break it has to be replaced.
Veneers can change the look of the teeth that show when you smile. They are not used on back teeth. The process of getting porcelain veneers usually takes two office visits. After you are fitted for veneers, they are manufactured in a laboratory. When they are ready, you return to the office to have them installed.
Porcelain veneers are not reversible. Before a tooth gets a veneer, a portion of its enamel is removed so that the veneer can be affixed properly. Because of this, if the veneer breaks or is removed, the tooth will need another veneer.
Caring for porcelain veneers is the same as caring for natural teeth. Be careful about hard foods, and wear a mouthguard if you participate in sports or activities that put your teeth or face at risk. Always see a dentist for checkups regularly to keep your veneers and your whole mouth in top shape.