Questions About Porcelain Veneers

Welcoming Patients from Dubuque, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, IA & Galena, IL

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin ceramic shells that create a beautiful, straight, white smile. They are carefully and perfectly matched to your natural teeth, then bonded to the front surfaces of teeth for a secure, long-lasting and comfortable fit.

Are porcelain veneers better than dental bonding?

During dental bonding, a paste-like material is applied to the tooth, then shaped and polished. Dental bonding is opaque and does not offer the translucency or natural light-reflecting qualities of porcelain. The end result achievable with porcelain veneers is cosmetically superior to dental bonding.

However, bonding is done quickly in one visit and in some circumstances is all that is needed. For example, if a small gap needs filling, or a small chip, bonding does an excellent job. It costs less than porcelain veneers, which can be an advantage – but please see our page on Affordable Financing for the assistance we can give for your dental costs.

Are porcelain veneers a good alternative to braces?

Depending on a person’s age and the extent of their dental problem, porcelain veneers may be an excellent alternative to braces. Orthodontics may be preferable in teen or young adult patients who need all their teeth repositioned.

If your dental defects are relatively minor, veneers can give you a gorgeous new smile in just two visits. For most adults, particularly busy professionals, porcelain veneers are preferable, because they enhance your smile without the downtime or embarrassment of a mouthful of metal, and they offer an improvement in whiteness as well.

How are porcelain veneers applied?

At Exceptional Dentistry, the application of porcelain veneers requires just two dental visits. During your first visit, our dentists will help you choose your veneer size, shape and color.

Next, the surface of each tooth is roughened and very slightly reduced to create space for the veneer and to ensure your veneers will bond securely. Precision impressions of your teeth are taken. The impressions are sent to our dental laboratory, where your veneers will be custom-made.

During your second appointment, the surfaces of your teeth are thoroughly cleaned, and a composite resin cement is used to bond the veneers. At first they are attached lightly so that you and your cosmetic dentist can examine the fit and test your bite. When you are both pleased with them, they are attached permanently.

Will porcelain veneers stain like my natural teeth?

No. Dental porcelain is highly stain-resistant.

But, if you are careless about caring for your teeth at home, or avoid dental checkups year after year, you will put your beautiful new smile and your oral health at risk. Take excellent care of your porcelain veneers, and they should remain white and bright.

How long do porcelain veneers last?

Porcelain veneers can last up to fifteen years with proper, regular care. It is important to prevent bacteria and decay from spreading underneath them. Excellent oral hygiene at home, including daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental checkups, are the best ways to keep your porcelain veneers clean and in perfect condition.

Do porcelain veneers require special care?

Veneers require the same good at-home oral care and regular dental checkups that your natural teeth require. Avoid activities that may chip, crack or otherwise damage the veneers, such as chewing on hard objects like ice or the end of a pen, and use your back teeth the chew hard foods.

To learn more about porcelain veneers, please call 563-556-2711 or email the Dubuque office of Exceptional Dentistry for a personal consultation. Our dentists also serve Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa.