Porcelain: Not Just for Grandma’s Teacups

hopkinton-porcelain-veneersMaybe it was Grandma’s prized heirloom china, or perhaps it was the curio cabinet full of tiny ceramic figurines. Whatever it was, it has planted the idea in your mind that porcelain is a delicate, fragile substance. So when Dr. Todd Pizzi, your Shrewsbury, MA cosmetic dentist, recommends porcelain veneers, you’re somewhat surprised. How could such a fragile substance be durable enough to perform as well as tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body?

A Versatile Dental Material

Porcelain offers several advantages for patients whose teeth show cosmetic flaws. Cracked, chipped teeth can be made to look whole again. Badly stained teeth that resist whitening treatment are masked with several thin layers of translucent porcelain, which can be matched to the surrounding teeth. Your dentist also uses porcelain to create dental crowns, which cap teeth that have sustained major damage as the result of injury, infection, or decay.

Not So Fragile After All

It isn’t so much an issue of the porcelain itself being fragile, as opposed to the fragility of the items made with porcelain. Statuettes and gravy boats needn’t be made of unbreakable materials; they aren’t subjected to stress or abuse while in use. They’re decorative objects that benefit from the visually appealing properties of porcelain. Now, think about ceramic knives. Same material, different purpose. Chefs choose ceramic knives because the material retains its appearance and holds its form much longer than other materials. You can see how these properties make ceramic a suitable choice for veneers.

Fragile Compared to What?

Despite its hardness, healthy tooth enamel isn’t invincible. It can chip, crack, or erode like any other substance. Neither your tooth enamel nor porcelain veneers can withstand damage altogether. However, both are durable and perform their duties well for several years if cared for properly. Chewing, biting, and speaking alone aren’t enough to damage your veneers, much less your teeth. Another analogy: Think about the glass in your home’s windows. It’s suitable to keep out the elements and hold in heat or cold air, but it isn’t likely to stay intact when faced with, say, a brick. Even though it can be damaged, we continue to use it because it’s better than the alternative.

Questions about porcelain veneers in Shrewsbury, MA? To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Hopkinton, Boylston, and the surrounding areas.