What are porcelain veneers?
One of the most popular and durable cosmetic treatments is porcelain veneers. They are thin (as low as 0.3mm) ceramic facings that are custom-made and bonded over the natural enamel of teeth. They can either be made by a dental ceramist, or chairside using a CAD/CAM system such as our CEREC.
Why have porcelain veneers?
Often people view their smiles as less than ideal due to either colour, shape, being heavily filled or being chipped and worn. There are often many options to rectify an unsatisfactory appearance to a smile. I always explore every option with my patients, from orthodontics to whitening and composite resin bonding, with a full and detailed discussion of the pros and cons of each option. Patients often end up choosing porcelain veneers in order to make significant shape and positional changes to the teeth, while being able to pick the whiteness that they desire, with a relatively instant result. Of course, great care needs to be taken when selecting the shade, to find the balance between what is perceived as fresh and clean, and what goes too far and appears artificial.
Are there any drawbacks?
One of the main disadvantages is that the teeth need to be shaved back by at least the thickness of the intended porcelain, to prevent the final result looking bulky and unnatural. Also, the veneers will have a finite lifespan. I usually tell my patients that they should expect around 20 years before they will need to be redone. Some need attention sooner, others don’t- It comes down to individual and unique factors.
However, like any decision, these disadvantages must be played against the positive outcomes that come with successful porcelain veneer treatment in order to make a choice. This is a very personal thing, and in my practice, is driven only by my patients.
What are the advantages?
As a dental restorative material, nothing beats the aesthetics of porcelain. Added to that, when bonded to enamel, the result is extremely strong and durable. Porcelain veneers do not discolour over time as natural teeth do, and modern porcelains are engineered to wear at the same rate as natural teeth.
If you are interested in porcelain veneers, please feel free to give us a call on (02) 9420 5050. Our practice is located at 1 Finlayson St Lane Cove NSW 2066.