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Porcelain Veneers: What You Need to Know

Teeth that are broken, chipped, crooked or discolored can all be restored conservatively using porcelain veneers. The crystalline make up of natural enamel and porcelain are very similar allowing for a very natural looking restoration. Once known for easily popping off improvements in bonding agents and cements have made porcelain veneers an excellent, long term, restorative option.

What is a porcelain veneer?

A porcelain veneer is a thin sheet of porcelain made to cover the front and edge of a tooth. Most often it is fabricated by a dental lab using an impression of the teeth.

How are porcelain veneers done?

Making porcelain veneers is often a two-step process. In the first step a minor amount of natural tooth is selectively removed, typically 0.2-1mm, to allow room for placement of the veneer. An impression of the teeth are made and sent to a dental laboratory who makes the restorations. This usually takes from 2-3 weeks to complete. The second step involves bonding the veneer to the tooth using dental cement.

What are dental veneers used for?

Broken and chipped front teeth are most commonly restored with porcelain veneers. Only a minor amount of tooth enamel needs to be removed when using porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers can be used to straighten crooked teeth, however, this usually involves removing more natural tooth depending on how crooked the teeth are. Very dark teeth can be made brighter using porcelain veneers. Because porcelain comes in many shades, a brighter smile is possible if whitening has not worked or is not an option.

Are porcelain veneers expensive?

The procedure for doing a veneer is more labor intensive than most other dental procedures making it a more costly procedure. The greatest advantage of using porcelain veneers is the conservative nature of the procedure and highly esthetic final result. A patient can expect to pay more for a porcelain veneer than a dental crown.

Will my dental insurance cover porcelain veneers?

Most dental insurance companies still consider veneers a cosmetic procedure and will deny coverage. It is best to check your specific plan for coverage benefits.

Dentistry by Dr. Jason D Hutto

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