Veneers are ultra-thin sculpted pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain that fit over the front of your teeth. They are wonderful for fixing teeth that are significantly discolored, gapped, chipped, pitted, malformed, or crooked. In certain situations, a change in upper lip fullness and balance can be obtained by placing porcelain laminate veneers on your four front teeth. While they’re not suitable for every patient, veneers are the most esthetic alternative for a variety of dental conditions involving the front teeth, including:
- Diastemas (spaces between teeth)
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained, or washed-out fillings
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth that can’t be bleached
- Crooked teeth
Unlike crowns or caps, porcelain laminate veneers don’t require the removal of much tooth structure. Veneers are usually created in a dental laboratory from an impression taken in the office of Kevin Fitzpatrick, DDS, MS. During the first visit, the color is matched using a shade guide then the teeth are filed down a bit. The teeth are fitted with temporaries while the final porcelain veneers are being created at the lab. At the second visit, the veneers are cemented directly onto your teeth and polished to a natural, esthetic smile. Veneers are stronger and have a longer life than bonding, but the process requires more time. Veneers typically cost less than crowns and won’t stain, making them a popular means of improving your smile. Treatment may take two or more office visits to complete and should last more than 10 years.