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Posts for tag: Porcelain Veneers


For chipped, stained, or slightly crooked teeth, dental veneers might be the ideal solution. These thin layers of porcelain bonded directly over the teeth with the perfect blend of color, sizes and shapes, can transform a person’s smile for a relatively modest cost.

But if the teeth belong to a teenager, veneers might not be appropriate. This is because in most cases, we’ll need to remove some of the tooth enamel so that the applied veneers won’t look unnaturally bulky. This alteration is permanent, so the teeth will require some form of restoration from then on.

While not usually a major issue with fully matured adult teeth, it could be with the developing teeth of pre-teens and teens. During childhood and adolescence the tooth’s inner pulp plays an important role in dentin production, and so the pulp chamber is relatively large compared to an adult tooth. This larger size places the pulp closer to the enamel surface than with an adult tooth.

Because of its proximity to the enamel, there’s a greater chance veneer alterations could damage a teenager’s tooth pulp and its nerve bundles. If that happens, we may need to perform a root canal treatment to save the tooth—also not an optimal situation for a developing tooth.

That’s why we need to take into consideration a patient’s age and stage of dental development first, including x-raying the affected teeth to measure the depth of the tooth pulp. If we deem it too risky at the moment, there are other ways to improve dental appearance at least temporarily. This includes whitening externally stained teeth with a bleaching agent, or applying tooth-colored composite resin material to chipped areas. We can also apply a composite material veneer that, although not as durable as traditional porcelain, doesn’t require much if any tooth alteration.

To know your options, have your teenager undergo a thorough dental examination. Your dentist will then be able to discuss with you whether veneers can be safely attempted. And be sure the dentist who may perform the work has experience performing cosmetic procedures on teenagers.

If you would like more information on restoration choices for teenagers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Veneers for Teenagers.”


Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By Corley Family Dental
December 03, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Porcelain VeneersDental veneers are a great solution for when whitening and other methods prove to be ineffective at restoring or creating the beautiful smile you've always wanted. Dental veneers are thin shells custom made to cover the front of you natural teeth. They are made out of tooth-colored materials to improve the appearance of your teeth. Porcelain veneers have proved to be more effective than resin veneers at resisting stains and reproducing special qualities in the appearance of natural teeth. However, composite resin veneers can be made in one day at your dentist and do not cost as much as porcelain veneers.

Veneers can improve the following situations:

  • Discoloration of the tooth - this can happen due to stains, a root canal, excessive flouride use, or stains from tetracycline or other drugs.
  • Teeth that have become worn down
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Gaps in between teeth that are visible while smiling
  • Uneven, misaligned, or irregularly shaped teeth
The process for getting a dental veneer normally includes three visits to the dentist. The first visit is for consultation and diagnosis. It is important to clearly identify and explain to your dentist what effect you are looking to achieve. A smile analysis is normally the initial step to determine the most effective methods to attain the appearance you wish for. You might also ask to try a diagnostic mock-up so that you can see what effect the porcelain veneers might have on your smile.
The second visit includes preparing your teeth for the veneer. Your dentist will need to remove less than a millimeter of enamel from the surface of the tooth. This procedure is to ensure that the veneer molds to your original teeth to maintain natural tooth function while creating a better appearance. Your dentist then will make an impression of your tooth and send this model out to a dental laboratory to create your custom porcelain veneer. As mentioned earlier, composite resin veneers can be made in one visit to your dentist and do not require a dental laboratory. After 1 to 2 weeks your dentist should have your new custom veneer and be ready to proceed with the next procedure.
The last step to obtaining a new, rejuvenated smile with dental veneers is to bond them to your teeth. Before the dentist applies the cement to your tooth, the veneer must be temporarily placed to ensure a proper fitting and color. If the veneer does not fit as well as your dentist thinks it should, he or she may trim the veneer for a proper fit. Color of the veneer can also be adjusted by the shade of cement that the dentist chooses to use. After a proper fit has been reached, your tooth will be cleaned and prepped to allow for a proper bond to the veneer. After the veneer is applied to the tooth with a special cement, your dentist will apply a special light to harden the cement. After this your bite will be assessed and any excess cement with be removed.

Call Corley Family Dental Today!

For more information on dental veneers or other forms of cosmetic dentistry in the Decatur area visit Are you a patient of Corley Family Dental? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!

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