When you are deciding to spend so much money on getting dental veneers fixed, you must know what are dental veneers, what porcelain veneers or composite veneers or others. When should one go in for dental veneers and what are conditions when one should not go for dental veneers. What is the life of porcelain veneers or what is the material out of which these tooth veneers are made of.
What is tooth veneer?
A Tooth Veneer is a wafer thin restoration of tooth colored material which is bonded permanently on the front surface of the tooth in order to enhance the esthetics an unsightly tooth. It can be a Porcelain Veneers or a Composite Veneer. Veneers are placed by any general dentist or a cosmetic dentist.
When are porcelain veveers given on teeth?
1. Permanent Discoloration of Teeth: Certain discolorations such as the ones due to fluorosis and tetracycline staining cannot be removed by tooth cleaning and bleaching procedures. If teeth are discolored permanently due to fluorosis or tetracycline staining to such an extent that discoloration cannot be removed by just cleaning or polishing the teeth, they should to be covered by porcelain veneers in order to enhance the esthetics and make your smile more pleasing.
2. Broken and Crooked Teeth: If tooth is broken to the extent that it cannot be repaired by a filling material it can be covered by porcelain veneer. Teeth which have small chips or are eroded by chemical injury can be easily repaired by porcelain tooth veneers.
3. Tooth with a broken or discolored filling on the front surface: If the tooth has been previously given a filling but it has become discolored and/or broken then a porcelain veneer can be given on the front surface to mask the discoloration.
4. To close the Diastema or Gap between front teeth: If gap is present between front teeth it can be closed by porcelain tooth veneers. So porcelain veneers can be used as an alternative to orthodontic treatment in such a case.
5. Smile designing: Porcelain veneers can be used to reshape the teeth and make the smile more pleasing if there are minor aberrations which are making the smile unaesthetic.
6. Amelogenesis Imperfecta: It is a hereditary condition in which enamel portion of tooth is very brittle, it gets fractured very easily leaving behind dentin of the tooth uncovered which further leads to tooth sensitivity. Then dentin being softer than enamel wears off easily and pulp of the tooth may get exposed which causes severe pain. So, to protect the teeth affected by amelogenesis imperfecta, they should be covered by porcelain veneer.
When veneers should not be placed on a tooth ?
1. Decayed teeth and teeth affected by periodontal (gum) disease should not be covered by porcelain veneers. If any of these conditions is affecting the tooth firstly it should be treated and then the tooth should be considered for coverage by a porcelain veneer if required.
2. Patients who have problem of bruxism i.e. patients who clench their teeth cannot be given porcelain veneers because porcelain veneers are more prone to fracture in these patients due to excessive occlusal forces. However if placement of porcelain veneer is necessary in such a patient, a night guard should be worn during sleeping to protect the porcelain veneer from fracture.
If the considerable part of the tooth is fractured such that very less of the tooth structure remains it cannot be covered by a porcelain veneer and it should be covered by a crown. The decision has to be made by the dentist according to the extent of damage
Materials used for fabrication of tooth veneers
1. Porcelain: It has excellent esthetic properties, provides good colour matching but is a brittle material. It is used when a tooth needs complete esthetic restoration.
2. Composite: It is a plastic material with strength and esthetic properties inferior to those of composites. It is used when considerably small amount of tooth structure needs replacement.