Many people who are looking for professional teeth whitening procedures have considered porcelain veneers. However, you may not be aware that veneers can be used to solve several other common cosmetic problems with the teeth. Here are four examples of dental problems that veneers can fix.
There are some types of tooth discoloration that no amount of at-home whitening or fluoride treatment will fix. The most prominent example is pulp death discoloration, where a tooth's blackened pulp is visible through its translucent enamel. Even after root canal therapy to remove the dead pulp, the discoloration of the enamel will often remain.
Porcelain veneers are effective for masking virtually any type of discoloration, even those that do not directly affect the enamel. Another advantage is that veneers immediately return your teeth to perfect whiteness as soon as they are installed, unlike traditional whitening methods that can take weeks or months to begin to show results.
Worn or Damaged Teeth
In the past, repairing cracked or chipped teeth was only possible by replacing them with dental crowns. However, dentists are now capable of using porcelain veneers to improve the appearance of damaged teeth. In addition to hiding the imperfection in the tooth, the process of laminating it with porcelain reinforces the tooth and prevents further damage from daily activities like chewing.
Porcelain veneers can also be used to repair enamel that is worn down and misshapen. This is done by applying thicker layers of veneer in the areas that are the most worn down. Using this technique, dentists can make worn teeth appear to have the same shape as your healthy teeth without the more involved procedure of removing and replacing them.
Gaps Between Teeth
Excessive gaps between teeth have two primary causes. A single gap between two teeth is usually caused when one or both of the teeth are out of alignment when they erupt from the gums. Gaps between all teeth is an indicator of a genetic anomaly that causes a difference in the growth rate of the jawbone and teeth. Fortunately, both types of gaps between teeth can be repaired using porcelain veneers.
Veneers are effective for reducing the appearance of gaps between teeth because they add extra material to the enamel. Veneers slightly increase the size of each tooth they are applied to, leaving less space between adjacent teeth with veneers. When hiding gaps is the main purpose of installing veneers, dentists will usually place them on all of the front teeth so that as much surrounding space is removed as possible.
Porcelain veneers can be used in combination with dental contouring to correct teeth that are crowded and overlapping. Before this procedure begins, the dentist will take X-rays of the crowded teeth and analyze the thickness of their enamel. To contour the teeth, the dentist will use a sanding drill or laser to grind away small amounts of enamel until they are no longer overlapping.
After the teeth have been contoured, the dentist will apply veneers to correct their shape without overlapping them. Although the roots of the teeth will remain in the same alignment, the veneers will make it appear as though the crowns of the teeth are properly aligned. The teeth will appear to be perfectly straight and white, and the results will be much quicker than using braces.
Porcelain veneers are a safe and effective treatment for much more than discolored teeth. Whether your teeth are worn, chipped, crowded, or spaced too far apart, be sure to talk to your dentist to find out if porcelain veneers are the right solution for you.