In dentistry, a veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth, veneers improve the aesthetics of a smile and/or protect the tooth's surface from damage. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental lab, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement such as Panavia. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. Full veneer crown is described as “A restoration that covers all the coronal tooth surfaces (Mesial, Distal, Facial, Lingual and Occlusal)”. Laminate veneer, on the other hand, is a thin layer that covers only the surface of the tooth and generally used for aesthetic purposes.
Porcelain veneers are placed over the front of the teeth to cover imperfections such as chipped or cracked enamel, tooth gaps and crowding, crooked presentation and irregular tooth size, and severe under-the-enamel stains. Once placed, porcelain veneers can last for ten or more years, but proper care is required to ensure their longevity.
Porcelain is exceptionally strong, making it ideal for a number of industrial uses. While biting and chewing are not “industrial,” they do require strength and durability, both of which are provided when porcelain is used for dental veneers.
In addition to being strong, porcelain is resistant to staining, allowing veneers to maintain their bright and white appearance for several years and, thanks to the translucency of porcelain, veneers can be shaded to the exact variation of “white” in your smile, enabling them to fit unnoticeably next to your natural teeth.
Strong, durable, stain-resistant, and reliable, porcelain veneers are able to last for several years. They are not, however, considered a permanent solution. You can lengthen their life-expectancy by adopting a consistent and effective daily routine and by maintaining routine visits with the cosmetic dentists at our Manhattan office.
How to Care for Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are cared for in the same way as your natural teeth – with just a few exceptions. Porcelain is strong, but it can scratch and scratches will impact a veneer’s ability to resist stains. To avoid scratching your dental veneers, you should brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a nonabrasive toothpaste. Brush after every meal and snack to remove particles and bacteria from veneers and make sure to brush upon waking and before going to bed as well to help prevent decay from forming underneath veneers. Flossing should be done in between teeth with veneers at least once daily – twice is ideal.
It is best to avoid mouthwash with alcohol or astringents. While modern dental bonding is strong and reliable, alcohol can, over time, loosen veneers and allow them to fall off.
Routine visits to our Manhattan dental office are important for the health of your smile and the durability of your veneers. During these visits, we can address minor issues with your veneers before they become serious problems, allowing us to repair as possible and replace as needed to help maintain a consistent and attractive look. If you are concerned with a specific veneer in between visits, we would be happy to schedule you in and address the issue on a stand-alone basis as well.