Auburn Hills residents ask, "Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers?"

Have you developed gaps between your teeth? Maybe chips and wear are making you self-conscious about the look of your smile. Perhaps all you see when you look in the mirror is a tooth that appears too short.

It's possible you've already spent lots of money on store-bought products that claim to whiten your teeth. Even professional trays and office whitening may not have a made a difference in the look of teeth grayed by antibiotics or teeth spotted by excessive fluoride.

Porcelain veneers can successfully change the appearance of crooked or turned teeth. These thin layers of porcelain may be used to reshape chipped or broken teeth or those that are not uniform for other reasons such as poor contours. Instead of breaking up stains as bleaching agents might, porcelain veneers cover stained teeth.

Just because you have some of the conditions that porcelain veneers are designed to correct doesn't mean you are a good candidate for this procedure. While it can be a good option to treat a wide range of concerns, Dr. Ingber and his team at Metropolitan Dental Center may recommend alternatives that are more suitable for you.

Determining the best solution

Before the Metropolitan Dental Center moves forward with any procedure, they will want to examine your teeth and mouth. It's important to have a healthy, disease-free mouth before moving forward with veneers or other types of cosmetic treatment. The dentists would not want to cover up symptoms of decay or active gum disease. By doing so this doesn't address the problem and it can naturally make any existing conditions worse.

It's also important to have adequate tooth enamel. The reason for this is a very small amount of this natural protective coverage (about the thickness of a contact lens) is removed to make room for the veneer. The veneer is then applied to the prepared tooth.

Now if gum disease is preventing you from getting veneers Metropolitan Dental Center will work with you to get your mouth back to health, which would be recommended anyway during an office visit.

While veneers should be treated like your natural teeth, and they don't require extensive maintenance beyond good oral hygiene, other habits may make you a less-than-ideal candidate for this procedure. For example, if your chips and wear are caused by bruxism or tooth grinding, you may be a candidate for a different treatment.

The excessive pressure from clenching and grinding your teeth or other damaging habits such as chewing ice can cause the veneers to chip. However, Metropolitan Dental Center and partner Metro Imaging Center may design a custom guard for you to wear at night. This guard can protect your new teeth, but it should be noted that it is not a treatment for bruxism.

Alternatives

Depending on the concern that brings you to see us, the cause of that concern and other factors such as your budget and oral health, Dr. Ingber and his team may recommend other procedures such as dental bonding, crowns, Invisalign, or other modern orthodontics. You will not know if you are a candidate for porcelain veneers until you schedule an appointment at the Metropolitan Dental Center office near Auburn Hills. Call 248-365-7737.

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