You are approaching a special occasion such as a big birthday, high school reunion or wedding. You feel embarrassed about how discolored your teeth are, but even professional whitening has not significantly improved your smile. You suspect your dental stains go deeper than just the surfaces of your teeth. What treatment option would work best to get your smile ready for that big day? It might just be dental veneers. For more information on veneers in Syracuse, please contact Dr. Karen Lawitts!
Veneers & Extrinsic Versus Intrinsic Staining
Smiles can change color for many reasons. The American Dental Association says that discoloration falls into two categories:
- extrinsic discoloration at the very surface of tooth enamel. This external staining may come from cigarettes and highly colored beverages such as coffee, red wine, black tea, and colas. Some acidic foods also set the stage for extrinsic stains.
- intrinsic discoloration extending beyond enamel to the inner dentin of teeth. This kind of discoloration results from root canal therapy, some medications such as the antibiotic tetracycline and from root canal therapy. Aging can yellow teeth because with time tooth enamel wears thin, and yellowish dentin shows through.
Teeth Whitening Versus Veneers
Teeth whitening done at the dentist's office works exceptionally well for extrinsic stains. Dentists apply very concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel to tooth surfaces, safely achieving several shades of color improvement in about an hour. Professional whitening can last for one to two years.
However, more stubborn or deeper intrinsic stains may require dental restorations called porcelain veneers. More economical and enamel-sparing than dental crowns, porcelain veneers are thin, shell-like covers that fit the front surfaces of healthy teeth. Customized for shape, color and size, veneers are bonded to one or more teeth to beautifully cover:
- minor fractures or chips
- small gaps
- minor crowding and overlapping
- imperfections in form and size
- discolorations and staining
The Veneer Procedure
Your Syracuse veneers dentist removes a very thin layer (approximately 1/2 millimeter) of enamel from each tooth to be treated with veneers. She also sends some imaging and dental impressions to a professional lab for custom fabrication of your porcelain veneers.
In a subsequent visit. the dentist bonds the veneers to the teeth and adjusts them for bite and shape. While there may be some residual gum sensitivity, this procedure is comfortable and leaves the patient with a durable, beautiful smile with bright, natural color. With proper hygiene and gentle eating habits ( no chewing ice cubes or hard candy), veneers beautify for years.
Syracuse Dentists: Karen Lawitts DDS
Doctors Lawitts having been providing for the preventive, restorative and cosmetic needs of Syracuse area dental patients for many years. They would be happy to answer your questions about attaining a great looking and healthy smile. Are veneers right for you? Call (315) 492-8138 for a consultation.