Porcelain Veneers Can Enhance the Appearance of Your Smile
Even if you have healthy teeth and gums, there may be aesthetic elements about your smile that you wish to change or improve. Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments at our Brookhaven, MS, practice. Veneers are thin shells that adhere to the front surfaces of the teeth to conceal aesthetic imperfections and bring balance and symmetry to your smile.
Dr. Shannon P. Patterson is experienced in a wide range of dental procedures and has been serving residents of Brookhaven, Auburn, and Lincoln County for 20 years. Our patients are our most important asset and our team is dedicated to building long-lasting relationships with you and your family.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
One of the biggest advantages of porcelain veneers is immediate results. Patients can walk out of the office with a noticeably straighter, brighter, more proportionate smile. This immediacy is one of the reasons that many patients opt for veneers over orthodontics: if you suffer from only a minor misalignment in your front teeth, veneers may serve as a faster, more reliable alternative to metal braces. By masking minor cosmetic imperfections, veneers can create instant symmetry. When patients leave our office, they feel more confident and self-assured with a dramatically improved smile.
As an additional bonus, porcelain veneers are often more lifelike compared to dental bonding, a popular alternative treatment. Because dental ceramic reflects light the same way that tooth enamel does, veneers are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Veneers are recommended for a number of different cosmetic concerns, including:
- Cracks or fractures
- Gapped teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Deep dental stains that do not respond to teeth whitening
As with any other cosmetic treatment, patients should not have any underlying oral health problems if they hope to opt for veneers. Extensive decay or gum disease can undermine the foundation of your smile and, eventually, your cosmetic results, as well. If any restorative procedures are necessary, they must be performed prior to veneer placement. Candidates should also have sufficient healthy tooth structure remaining.
Porcelain veneers are designed to blend in with your natural teeth as seamlessly as possible.
Traditional vs. Minimal-Prep Veneers
Traditional and minimal-prep are the two primary types of veneers. To place traditional veneers, Dr. Patterson removes a small amount of enamel from the teeth. In contrast, minimal-prep veneers are much thinner. As a result, the dentist only has to remove a minute amount of enamel, if any.
However, minimal-prep veneers are generally not ideal for those who want to close gaps between the teeth. During a consultation at our Brookhaven practice, Dr. Patterson can help determine which option is right for you.
Because veneers can address slightly misaligned teeth, they are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics.” When a porcelain shell is placed over a crooked or overlapped tooth, it makes it appear closer to the neighboring teeth. Veneers can also close down gaps between the teeth for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
At our Brookhaven practice, we use CEREC® technology. This digital imaging system takes impressions of the teeth, then sends the files to our in-house milling machine. As a result, qualifying patients can have their veneers fabricated and placed in a single appointment.
Understanding the Treatment Process
Same-day veneers can be placed in just one visit. However, traditional veneer placement may require two appointments. During the first visit, Dr. Patterson prepares the teeth by removing small amounts of enamel. Next, he takes impressions of the teeth. These images are sent to a trusted dental lab where a trained ceramist crafts your veneers. This process can take anywhere from two to four weeks.
Once the restorations have been finalized, we will schedule you for a second visit at our Brookhaven practice. Dr. Patterson will assess the color, fit, and shape of the veneers before bonding them permanently into place.