Are You a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

Are You a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers? By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on January 29, 2014

Just as there are a variety of problems that can plague a smile, a range of cosmetic treatments exist with which to address such problems. While varying patients may find different procedures more suited to their needs, porcelain veneers are an especially versatile treatment in their ability to conceal most aesthetic imperfections. Moreover, veneers are among the most realistic and attractive ways to enhance the appearance of teeth.

As just one of the cosmetic procedures offered at our Jackson office, porcelain veneers can provide a permanent fix to the flaws in one’s smile. Use the below information as a guide to learn whether you might be a good candidate for treatment.

What Can Porcelain Veneers Fix?

Because porcelain veneers cover the entire front surface of a tooth, they are especially adept at masking multiple flaws beneath them. Veneers are therefore a particularly appealing treatment for patients suffering from multiple cosmetic problems. Candidates for veneers may be looking to correct one or more of the following issues: 

  • Crookedness: Even slightly crooked teeth can have an impact on your smile. With porcelain veneers, teeth can instantly appear straighter, fuller, and more even. As long as a patient’s bite is not markedly misaligned, veneers can be a viable alternative to lengthy orthodontic work.
  • Staining: Discolored teeth are a common problem among patients, whether from surface stains or deeper intrinsic stains. While teeth whitening is an effective option for many patients, it cannot always reduce every stain or remove stains completely. For a more dramatic and permanent way to brighten teeth, consider porcelain veneers.
  • Chipping: Chips and cracks can be an embarrassing detriment to your smile. For small to moderately sized chips, veneers can restore teeth to a full, healthy look.
  • Gaps in teeth: By covering one or both teeth to fill the empty space between them, veneers can eliminate gaps in your smile.
  • Enamel erosion: Erosion may be the result of teeth grinding, acidic food, an overexposure to whitening treatments, or other reasons. As enamel erodes, it leaves a tooth discolored and sensitive. Veneers are an excellent way to protect a tooth by replacing the surface enamel with tooth-colored porcelain. 

Who Makes a Good Candidate?

Most patients who wish to correct any of the above problems are good candidates for veneers. Because no surgery is involved, a patient’s overall health and ability to recover is not an issue as it would be with more invasive procedures. However, dental health does play a factor in whether a veneer can be installed and how long it will last. In the event a cavity forms after a veneer has been bonded on, the veneer will have to be removed and replaced in order to restore the tooth to health. Therefore, any signs of tooth decay or advanced gum disease must be addressed prior to treatment.

Additionally, patients should be old enough that their adult teeth have fully grown in. Since veneers are customized to complement and fit a patient’s tooth precisely, the tooth must finish growing first. 

Finally, good candidates are those with the right expectations for treatment. While porcelain is a realistic and durable material for restorations, nothing can perfectly replace the appearance and structure of a natural tooth. For a more accurate understanding of what veneers can do for you, consult your cosmetic dentist.

Who May Not Be a Good Candidate?

Aside from the health of your teeth, other considerations should be made regarding candidacy for porcelain veneers. For example, patients who have a habit of grinding their teeth (called bruxism) have an increased risk of damaging their veneers. Without the right precautions, this can lead to chipping or weakening of the veneer’s bond.

Severe cosmetic flaws may also reduce the effectiveness of veneers. Porcelain is a translucent material, which is one reason it mimics the texture of a natural tooth so well; however, this also allows more glaring flaws - such as dark discoloration - to still be partially visible. Speak with your dentist to determine how fully your cosmetic imperfections can be masked with veneers.

Achieve a More Brilliant Smile

Porcelain veneers are a long-lasting, elegant way to achieve a more impressive smile. Contact us today to learn more about this treatment or our alternative cosmetic options, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. O’Keefe.