Porcelain Veneers in Burlington
So what are veneers?
Perhaps more than any other restoration in dentistry, a veneer is truly a work of art. Typically, the outer 0.5 to 1 mm of tooth structure is removed. An impression is taken of the preparation, poured up in stone, and then porcelain is painstakingly stacked, 10-15 microns at a time, incorporating colours and tints at each layer, so as to mimic a natural tooth as closely as possible. But the most important reason for veneers looking natural is that they are essentially made of glass, and thus allows light to pass through it, hit the tooth structure underneath, and bounce back out. In this sense, porcelain veneers are said to be refractive like the enamel on a natural tooth rather than reflective (because light doesn’t simply bounce off the surface of the restoration like it does with porcelain fused to metal crowns).
A common question is how aggressive is the preparation? Well, to give you an idea of how much 0.5 to 1 mm is, the enamel of a natural tooth is on average 1.2 mm thick, meaning that in an ideal situation, the preparation is limited to the hard, outer enamel layer. Naturally, this isn’t always possible. For example, if the tooth is very badly discoloured such as from tetracycline staining, then more of the tooth needs to be removed so that the veneer can be made thicker, incorporate more tints, and therefore block out a more pronounced discolouration.
Another important application for veneers is the correction of issues with a tooth’s shape or position. This application is sometimes referred to as instant orthodontics. In the event that a person has crooked or malpositioned teeth, but does not want to go through conventional orthodontic treatment, then veneers can be a very effective alternative treatment.
If you are concerned with the colour of your teeth, or perhaps the shape or position of your teeth, then come in for a consultation with our team so that together we can help you assess your smile and determine what is the best way that porcelain veneers can help give the smile that you’ve always wanted (see Smile Analysis section to evaluate your smile).