Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure that are an excellent option for many patients who want to improve the look of their smiles. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of the patients’ teeth.
They have the look and feel of natural tooth material and can be used to hide discolorations and imperfections in the patient’s teeth. They can also be used to fill small gaps and to create the appearance of a straighter, more even smile without using braces in patients with moderately crooked teeth.
Porcelain veneers are similar to Lumineers which are similar, but not quite the same. When porcelain veneers are placed, the surface of the patient’s teeth is shapes and a small amount of the enamel is removed where the porcelain veneer is to be placed. This allows the tooth to retain the normal size and appearance. Otherwise, the thickness of the veneer would make the tooth appear bulky.
The downside to this procedure is that it is not reversible. Since some of the tooth’s natural protective material is removed during the process, the veneers cannot later be removed.
Lumineer are thinner than porcelain veneers and are bonded in place without shaping the patient’s teeth. The advantage is that the process is less invasive and is reversible. It requires less time in the dental chair and little if any drilling.
However, porcelain is naturally translucent and since Lumineers are so thin, they may allow too much of the patient’s natural tooth color to show through. In addition, since Lumineers are placed directly on top of the patient’s natural teeth, they can result in a smile that appears bulky or “toothy.”
Lumineers and porcelain veneers each have advantages and disadvantages. Your dentist can help you decide which one is right for you.
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