Porcelain Veneers are what turn cosmetic dentists into artists and the beautiful new smiles are the masterpieces that are created. By using various cosmetic dentistry techniques, a wide variety of dental challenges can be solved which will give patients more attractive smiles. Many things can contribute to a less than attractive smile, such as mottled staining, overall age discoloration, broken teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, heavily worn teeth and large spaces between teeth. Porcelain veneers are a very popular solution among both cosmetic dentists and patients that can be used to create more attractive and beautiful smiles. A smile created with beautifully shaped and colored teeth that are straight and well aligned will increase your own self-confidence as well as your image with other people, friends and co-workers.

Porcelain veneers, sometimes termed dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are one of cosmetic dentistry’s more recent developments. These wafer-thin shells of porcelain are bonded onto the front side of teeth. The upper anterior or front teeth are the most common teeth that receive porcelain veneer treatment. When full mouth smile reconstruction is done, often called an extreme makeover, the placement of multiple porcelain veneers is usually done at the same time. This is done to insure an even and natural looking smile. For example, if the upper front four teeth are going to have veneers placed on them, the two front teeth and the two teeth on each side of those teeth would be prepared for veneers at the same time. Then all four of these veneers would be cemented in place at the same time. If these four veneers were prepped and placed either individually or in pairs at separate times, it would be much more difficult to match the natural color and spacing of them. This would make the creation of a beautiful smile much more difficult.

If you have teeth that are difficult to get white by either the traditional tooth bleaching method with take home trays or the 1-hour in office bleaching technique, then porcelain veneers may be an excellent alternative to get your teeth beautifully white. With porcelain veneers, you can actually choose the shade of white that you want your teeth to be. The porcelain veneers will be resistant to staining and color changes, whereas bleaching methods need to be redone periodically. High quality porcelain veneers that are placed correctly should last indefinitely with proper care, which may require the use of a night guard if you tend to grind your teeth when you sleep.

Depending upon individual oral health and specific dental needs, other types of cosmetic dental restorations, such as non-metal composite fillings, porcelain crowns, porcelain bridges, and dental implant porcelain crowns may be more suitable than porcelain veneers in some situations. These other dental restorations also may be used with porcelain veneers in an extreme makeover of the smile. Another quality of porcelain veneers is that they serve both esthetic and functional restorative dentistry purposes. Porcelain veneers may be a very cost-effective technique for patients to attain a new look and image for themselves. Porcelain veneers should be considered as a long-term investment in appearance and image. Ask your cosmetic dentist if porcelain veneers are the best cosmetic dental choice for you.

Patients that have any of the following imperfections with their teeth should consider the possibility of porcelain veneers:

  • Discolored, stained or mottled teeth
  • Slightly crooked or misaligned teeth
  • Irregularly shaped or pointed teeth
  • Very short or very long teeth
  • Teeth with gaps or spaces between them
  • Chipped, cracked or worn teeth

Benefits of porcelain veneers are many and include the following:

  • A beautiful smile without anymore stained, uneven or unsightly teeth
  • A bright white smilethat is not susceptible to things that can stain or discolor normal teeth
  • Teeth that will last for many years when prepared, placed and cared for properly
  • A more youthful appearing smileoften is perceived
  • Increased self image that will last many years

Patricia Pauley DDS and Cynthia Pauley DDS are a mother-daughter dental team that specializes in cosmetic dentistry in Seattle, Washington. They were selected the 2005 Small Business of the Year by the Western Washington Better Business Bureau and were featured in the 2006 Top Dentists Issue of Seattle Magazine. You can visit their web site at for additional information on porcelain veneers or other cosmetic dentistry techniques. Before and after smile photos are shown.

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