What are porcelain laminate veneers?

A porcelain laminate veneer is a thin layer of ceramic material that can be chemically bonded to the front surface of a tooth. They are a fast and safe way to fix aesthetic problems affecting the front teeth, including permanent staining, crooked teeth, badly spaced teeth, and small and deformed teeth.

One of the most important recent innovations in aesthetic dentistry is the improved techniques and technology for adhering porcelain veneers to the teeth. The strength of bonding between a porcelain laminate veneer and the tooth surface results in physical properties similar to natural tooth enamel. In addition, the advanced ceramic technology used for the veneers perfectly mimicks the translucency of natural teeth.  

Why get porcelain laminate veneers?

Porcelain laminate veneers are the perfect solution if you want to change the colour, shape or size of your teeth. They can also be used to close any gaps between your teeth or correct any defects. A veneer takes at least two visits to be fitted and should last for many years, although it should be noted that they can chip or break in the same way that a natural tooth can. Compared to orthodontic treatment, they are much quicker and easier to fit, and have the added advantage that you can change the colour of your teeth.

What problems can be solved with porcelain laminate veneers?

There are many reasons why patients choose to have porcelain laminate veneers:

  • Stained Teeth: porcelain laminate veneers can be used to cover up staining on teeth. The shade of porcelain can be selected to match a single discoloured tooth to surrounding teeth or to lighten all the front teeth.
  • Damaged Teeth: veneers can also be used for teeth that have been badly damaged by excessive chewing and acidic drinks, or that have been broken in an accident. Even a single tooth that has been damaged can be treated with a porcelain laminate veneer, which will look natural when blended with the colour of your other teeth.
  • Gaps: gaps or spaces between your teeth (diastema) can be easily sealed with porcelain laminate veneers.
  • Crooked Teeth: porcelain laminate veneers can be used to improve the position of the teeth, however in many cases they are not the ideal treatment method for orthodontic problems. Your dentist will be able to review the options with you and find the most suitable course of action.

How are porcelain laminate veneers fitted?

  1. At an inital appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and discuss your wishes, needs and priorities.
  2. Under local anaethesia, the front surfaces of the teeth being treated are prepared using a special tool. A mould is made of your teeth and sent to the dental laboratory to create the porcelain laminate veneers. This process takes approximately 4-6 days.
  3. While the porcelain laminate veneers are being made, your dentist will fit provisional veneers to prevent damage to the teeth.
  4. At your second appointment, your dentist will check the fit and colour of the porcelain laminate veneers before preparing the teeth by cleaning them and roughening their surfaces with a special acidic gel to improve the adhesion of the veneer.
  5. The porcelain laminate veneers are then attached to the tooth with a special cement which is activated and hardened using ultraviolet light.

Looking after your porcelain laminate veneers

Porcelain laminate veneers do not require any special care and can be successfully maintained following good dental hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleaning.

Unlike veneers made from composite, porcelain veneers are resistant to stains, however your dentist may recommend that you limit foods and drinks that can cause staining, such as coffee, tea or red wine. It is also important to note that some whitening toothpastes, or ones that are abrasive, can dull veneers and these should be avoided wherever possible.

About the author

Esteurope is a Hospital Centre in Izmir, Turkey with its own state-of-the-art dental clinic, NEW TEETH. Equipped with the latest technology and staffed by an experienced multidisciplinary team, the clinic provides a comprehensive range of high-quality, affordable cosmetic and restorative dental services, including dental implants, porcelain laminate veneers, zirconium and porcelain crowns and laser teeth whitening. Consultations are available at Esteurope’s London office in Mayfair.

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