Veneers or caps have long been used in the United States as a way to fix unsightly or crooked teeth. Hollywood has been using the technique for forever. Stars from as early as the 1930s had removable veneers that they used in photo shoots and sometimes even in movies to make sure their pearly whites were as perfect as can be. The latest technology in veneers involves porcelain. Porcelain veneers, also called dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are extremely thin bits of porcelain that are glued to the front of the tooth. They instantly repair crooked, cracked, and discolored teeth in a single visit. However, they are a purely cosmetic solution. Veneers do not fix any underlying bite problems or fix the actual tooth. The science involved in veneers is a simple offshoot of cosmetic dental bonding. Although porcelain is fragile on its own, when it is bonded to something strong such as a tooth, it becomes very strong as well. The same material used to create crowns used to fill cavities is also used to create porcelain veneers. While there are many advantages to porcelain veneers over other types of veneers, the two main advantages of porcelain veneers over other types of cosmetic dentistry are: 1. Porcelain veneers create a life-like tooth appearance. Older bonding materials lacked the luster of real teeth as they were only semi-transparent. So while the tooth may have looked better, it still didn't look great as it lacked luster. Because porcelain is a ceramic and a form of glass, it is inherently transparent. When a porcelain veneer is bonded to a tooth, it will take on a life-like luster. 2. Porcelain veneers resist stains. As a whole, cosmetic dental bonding materials are quite susceptible to stains and discoloration. This is particularly true in individuals that have habits in their life such as drinking tea and coffee and colored sodas, drinking red wine, and using tobacco products. Because porcelain is glass-like, it is quite resistant to staining and discoloration because it is glass. In addition to being stain resistant and life-like, veneers only require one visit to a dentist's office to make a person's teeth look infinitely better. Unlike braces which can take years, veneers are a single visit option. In addition to being a single visit, porcelain veneers are much less painful than braces. Also, for some people, braces will not fix the problems with their teeth. People with cracked or chipped teeth that have been treated with braces will have straight teeth but might not necessarily be happy with their smiles. Veneers can make teeth that are straight but poorly shaped look perfect.
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