Porcelain veneers have become a popular treatment for correcting a range of dental flaws including chipped, broken, crooked, discolored, and awkwardly sized teeth. At SoCal Smiles Dental in Rancho Santa Margarita, Drs. Scott Karafin and Mi Jung Jin treat porcelain veneer candidates every day. But how do you know if porcelain veneers are right for you?
There are several markers that a cosmetic dentist can look for to determine whether a potential patient is a good candidate for porcelain veneers. Some of these include:
- Strong and Healthy Teeth: Porcelain veneers are bonded directly to the patient’s natural teeth. Because of this, teeth must be strong and free of cavities and plaque build-up. If decay is left untreated, it could progress beneath the veneer and ultimately lead to veneer failure.
- Healthy Gums: Just as a prospective patient should have healthy teeth, a dentist will also look for healthy gums free of periodontitis to determine if a patient practices good dental habits and ensure that porcelain veneers will have the best lifespan possible.
What Makes a Bad Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Just as there are traits that can make you a good candidate for porcelain veneers, there are also traits that may lead your cosmetic dentist to suggest alternate options for tooth enhancement. These traits include:
- Bruxism or Teeth Grinding: Bruxism, a condition also known as teeth grinding, can be just as damaging to porcelain veneers as to natural teeth. While the bond used to cement porcelain veneers to your natural teeth is very strong, the constant pressure and motion of tooth grinding can cause porcelain veneers to wear down or pop off completely. If you suffer from chronic tooth grinding, your cosmetic dentist will likely recommend porcelain dental crowns, which encircle the tooth completely, as a more durable alternative.
- Severely Crooked or Crowded Teeth: Porcelain veneers work by capping natural teeth with a porcelain shell. To a degree, porcelain veneers can be used to mask flaws such as crooked teeth – but teeth that are severely crooked or overlap extensively can prove challenging to even the most skilled cosmetic dentist. Placing porcelain veneers over severely crowded teeth could result in overlapping veneers, which in part defeats the purpose of the procedure, or could require reshaping of the original teeth to the point where it becomes difficult to bond them to the veneers. Patients with severe orthodontic issues who desire porcelain veneers could benefit from a short course of traditional or Invisalign® braces to pull teeth into a more workable condition.
- Soft or Weak Teeth: Because porcelain veneers are bonded directly to a patient’s natural teeth, having a strong base is essential. Teeth that have become brittle or weak, whether through genetics or because of overly frequent whitening treatments, are not able to provide a strong enough base for bonding porcelain veneers.
Contact Your Porcelain Veneer Specialists Today
Are you a good candidate for porcelain veneers? Only trained cosmetic dentists like the staff at SoCal Smiles Dental can tell for sure. If you are considering porcelain veneers for a more beautiful smile, contactSoCal Smiles Dental to schedule a consultation and discuss your options today.