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Small imperfections like stains and gaps between your teeth can sap the joy right out of your smile. Porcelain veneers are a popular way to restore the outer beauty of otherwise healthy teeth that are just a bit misaligned, misshapen, or chipped. Our dentist in Altamonte Springs is happy to consult with you to discuss your needs and help you decide if veneers are right for you.
What is a Porcelain Veneer?
Composed of thin layers of thin dental porcelain that mimics tooth enamel, veneers adhere to the tooth’s front surface to improve its appearance. They’re a good option to correct cosmetic issues in otherwise healthy teeth, such as:
- Size and shape: A chipped tooth can make anyone feel less pulled together, especially with an important event such as a job interview or a reunion on the horizon. But veneers can make chipped teeth look like new again. Veneers also can lengthen teeth that have been shortened because of tooth grinding, or bruxism. They even can changing the overall shape of your teeth to flatter your features better.
- Tooth Color: Aging, tobacco products, coffee, tea, and even certain medications all can contribute to our teeth looking yellow, dingy, or discolored. If traditional whitening treatments haven’t given you the results you want – or if you have one tooth that’s particularly resistant to such treatments – veneers can restore your teeth’s natural brightness. But why stop there? Veneers come in a variety of shades, so you can even go a bit whiter if you like.
- Alignment and spacing: Correct small gaps in your smile that can make you feel self-conscious with veneers, so you won’t have to wear braces, especially if you’re beyond your teen years. Veneers also can fix other minor adjustments in your tooth alignment.
Before applying any veneers, our dentist in Altamonte Springs will take a mold of your teeth to ensure a custom fit. The dentist might have to reduce a small amount of your natural tooth’s enamel (less than 1 mm of the surface), depending on the type of veneers used. But adding veneers to your teeth is painless, and once they’re in place, they’ve virtually worry-free. They won’t move or stain and should feel as comfortable and look as natural as the rest of your teeth.
How Is a Veneer Different from a Crown?
Both veneers and crowns vastly improve the overall look of your teeth by changing the color, shape, or size. They’re made from the same material, adhere to the underlying tooth structure, and are designed to be permanent. But where a veneer covers only the front side of a tooth, a crown fits over the entire tooth down to the gums, like covering it with a cap. This is why people sometimes refer to a crown as a cap or getting a crown as “capping a tooth.”
Because veneers handle aesthetic issues, they work best when the underlying tooth is healthy. A crown is recommended if your tooth has lost a lot of structure because of decay, age, or trauma, or because you grind or clench your teeth. For a crown to fit properly, a dentist must remove more of a tooth’s exterior enamel (at least 2 mm). Once cemented in place, however, a crown actually helps strengthen the tooth. Crowns also are preferred for molars with structural or cosmetic issues because they can handle the stronger biting force between your back teeth.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Depending on your lifestyle, proper care, and the brand of veneers used, your veneers can last several decades. Just remember to brush and floss daily, and be mindful not to use your teeth to open bottles, bags, or other items to keep your smile bright and beautiful for the long haul.
What Are Lumineers®?
Lumineers® are a specific brand of veneers. They’re known for being ultra-thin, so they require little to no reduction in the surface enamel of your natural tooth. Yet they’re quite durable – they can last more than 20 years! They’re also highly translucent, so they look as natural and as comfortable as they feel.
How Do I Care For Veneers?
If you have an underlying issue such as tooth clenching or grinding, your dentist might advise you to wear a custom-made night guard to protect your veneers while you sleep. We also suggest being careful about certain foods and tasks that can be tough on natural teeth as well as teeth with veneers. These include not biting into hard foods such as candy apples or using your teeth to snip price tags or open packages. Otherwise, you’ll care for your veneers as you would your natural teeth: by brushing and flossing them daily.
Schedule a Consultation for Veneers in Altamonte Springs Today
Have additional questions about whether veneers are right for you? Give our friendly staff a call at (407) 278-1210 to set up an appointment. We’re glad to assist you.