Dental bonding is arguably the simplest and most cost-effective method of repairing minor damage to teeth, but porcelain veneers represent a much more durable and permanent solution to chips, cracks, gaps, or discoloration. With porcelain veneers, we at Augustine Dental can reshape, brighten, and repair teeth to effectively and permanently give patients a brighter and more attractive smile right here near you in Austin, TX.
What are Dental Veneers?
Simply put, dental veneers are a thin layer of porcelain that coat the teeth. Porcelain veneers function much like the tooth’s natural enamel and are both resilient and beautiful. There are lots of reasons patients look for the perfect porcelain veneers in Austin, from repairing chips or cracks to reshaping a tooth, to achieving permanent, stain-resistant whitening.
How Will Porcelain Veneers Improve My Smile?
Dental veneers can significantly enhance the appearance of your teeth and smile. For so many of our patients seeking cosmetic dentists in Austin, whitening is a big priority. One of the most noticeable benefits of porcelain veneers is tooth color; modern materials and techniques enable patients to choose the exact shade of their teeth, whether they wish to opt for a natural color similar to their existing teeth, move to just a few shades whiter, or even go for a dazzling, professional-grade white. In fact, many patients use veneers as a durable, stain-free alternative to professional whitening treatments.
Dental veneers can also improve the look and feel of your smile by concealing cracks and chips in teeth. In the case of chips or cracks, the porcelain coating may be slightly thicker in the areas of damage to strengthen the imperfection and protect the tooth. Veneers can even help to improve small positional or bite-related issues. However, it’s important to remember that veneers only coat the surface of a tooth – for extensively damaged teeth, crowns may be more appropriate.
Finally, state-of-the-art dental veneers even enable dentists to change the shape of your teeth. Veneers can help to restore tooth volume lost from years of grinding or even create more rounded or square appearances to achieve the exact effect a patient desires. In the case of grinding, however, patients may want to consider a night guard to protect their new veneers from the same wear as their natural teeth.
How Long Will It Take?
Dental veneers typically require several visits to complete. The very first visit involves the planning stage, during which it is important to communicate what you’re looking for in your desired smile. A dentist can even create wax, acrylic, or other “model” veneers as a demo for what the final product could look like. The benefit of such models is that they provide individuals with the ability to see how their veneers would look before they commit to a certain design, shape, or shade.
Once we have agreed upon the preliminary model work and the preparation appointment proceeds, there is a 2-3 week period while the lab fabricates your new smile. This period also allows you to ‘test-drive’ your new smile design while the porcelain is being made. Any subtle changes can be made to the acrylic or composite temporary veneers and are communicated to the lab to get the exact outcome you desire.
Once the veneers are complete, the dentist will clean and prep your teeth. This step involves “etching” the teeth with a liquid to make them slightly rougher. This texture will create a stronger bond for the veneers. Then, the dentist applies a cement to bond the veneers permanently to your teeth. A special light-activated chemical allows the dentist to harden the bond once the exact fit and position are reached. This procedure can be done with or without the use of anesthetic, depending on the individual.
My family has been going here for over 10 years. Dr. Augustine, Charlotte, Carlene and the rest of the staff are fantastic. They are very knowledgeable about all forms of dentistry (we even had our Invisalign here). Charlotte really understands all the insurance stuff and has always been able to answer all my questions. We drive a little further to get here, but definitely worth it! – Rhonda A., Cedar Park, TX
How Long Will Dental Veneers Last?
With proper care, dental veneers can last years – even up to a decade. Maintaining good oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is essential to preserve not only the look and durability of your veneers, but the overall health of your mouth. Non-abrasive toothpaste is often recommended to protect veneers from wear over time. For the longest-lasting results, it’s also important to avoid damage from chipping or cracking as you would with natural teeth. Refraining from chewing on ice or using your teeth as “tools” to open packages, for example, will help to ensure your veneers are safe from damage. Regular dental exams will also help you to know when it’s time to replace your veneers.
At Augustine Dental, we are committed to being a dentist in Austin that answers any and all questions our patients may have about dental veneers, along with the benefits, limitations, and alternatives. We take planning your perfect veneers seriously, which is why we spend the time to ensure that you love the look and design of your new smile from start to finish.