If you desire a significant change in your smile but you do not want to invest a great deal of time in the process then porcelain veneers may be the answer. When you see those dramatic "smile makeovers" on TV or hear "straighten teeth without braces" ads on the radio, they are most likely using bonded porcelain technology.
Veneers are used to fill in gaps, repair fractured or discolored teeth and correct minor rotational or displaced teeth. We do this by reducing tooth structure from the fronts of the teeth. Depending on what is needed, the amount of tooth structure removed is variable. In some cases no tooth structure is removed; in others, more has to be removed (e.g. a protruding tooth or rotated tooth). Usually the amount removed is between 0mm and 1.5mm.
Basically, the procedure entails replacing the front (viewable) portions of the teeth with a thin piece of porcelain. The porcelain can be the color and shape that is desired by the patient. The porcelain is bonded to the front of the tooth with a very strong composite resin material. There is a difference between "bondings" and porcelain veneers. With bondings, tooth-colored filling material (made of plastic) is used to repair chips and fill in small gaps. The difference between porcelain vs plastic boils down to more natural looks, durability, longevity and resistance to stain with porcelain.
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