young woman looking at her teeth in a mirrorPorcelain veneers are the epitome of cosmetic dentistry. They are versatile — capable of correcting almost any cosmetic complaint you have. They are durable — lasting ten years or more in most cases. But most of all, they are attractive — giving you a beautiful smile that looks natural.
But porcelain veneers are just a tool, and they depend on the skilled hand of a cosmetic dentist to achieve the great results you desire. Here’s what you need to know about porcelain veneers so you can decide whether they’re right for you — and find the right dentist in Anchorage to place them.

What Can Porcelain Veneers Do?

We mentioned above that porcelain veneers are versatile — they can help with almost any cosmetic complaint you may have about your smile. This includes fixing teeth that are:

  • Discolored
  • Stained
  • Chipped
  • Cosmetically cracked
  • Small
  • Poorly shaped
  • Crooked
  • Gapped

Virtually any cosmetic complaint you have about your smile short of a missing tooth, porcelain veneers can help. And it can fix all these problems at once, with one procedure. That means that in about a month you can go from having a smile that makes you embarrassed to show it to having the smile of your dreams that makes it almost impossible not to smile — you’ll be that pleased.

How Porcelain Veneers Work

Porcelain veneer is a very good name for this cosmetic dentistry procedure, because it describes them so well. They are a thin facade of ceramic that is bonded to the front of your natural teeth to give them an attractive new appearance and shape.

The specifics of your veneer procedure depend on what you’re trying to achieve. If, for example, you’re trying to reshape some teeth that aren’t attractive in shape or aren’t properly aligned, then you’ll need several veneers, and these might have to be relatively thick. You might have to have significant amounts of tooth material removed to accommodate the veneers. On the other hand, if you’re trying to repair a small chip, you might get just one veneer that is made very thin and fits tightly over the one tooth.

Porcelain veneers can be made to precisely match your other teeth so that they will blend in and won’t be noticed. Or they can be designed to create a new, attractive smile that will definitely be noticed, although no one will know this isn’t your natural smile.

Why “Porcelain”?

People sometimes get worried that the word “porcelain” means that their veneers will be fragile. The word is a bit of a holdover from the first veneers, which were invented by a Hollywood dentist over 80 years ago. These veneers were actually made of the kind of porcelain you’re thinking of, and they were so fragile that the stars who wore them had to take them off between takes.

But porcelain is also used to refer to any ceramic that is white in color. Modern dental veneers can be made out of many different forms of advanced ceramics. Some of them are so strong that you can hit them with a hammer. Others are so strong that they actually make hammers out of them — and bulletproof vests.

Of course, we have to balance strength and beauty, but one common material that is very attractive has a tensile strength of about 58,000 pounds per square inch (psi). For comparison, the strength of your tooth enamel ranges from 1700 psi to 7100 psi.

Choose Your Dentist Carefully

Remember, porcelain veneers are just a tool, albeit an amazing one. What matters most for your results is the craftsman who will be using that tool to remake your smile. That’s why you need to choose your dentist carefully.

When you are considering your options, make sure your dentist of choice:

  • Actually hears your cosmetic goals, doesn’t dictate what your smile should look like
  • Talks about customizing your smile, rather than giving you a generic smile
  • Has years of experience successfully placing porcelain veneers
  • Understands how a bite functions and how to avoid TMJ
  • Has achieved great cosmetic results for other patients–see their smile gallery

When selecting a dentist, it’s important to talk to several different candidates and choose the one that makes you feel fully comfortable in their expertise and their understanding of you and your goals.

If you are looking for a skilled cosmetic dentist in Anchorage to place porcelain veneers, please call (907) 349-0022 today for an appointment with Dr. Kendall at Excellence in Dentistry.