Your smile says a lot about you. We understand the crucial role that teeth play in the overall appearance of your smile and face, and are pleased to offer treatments like dental veneers to correct flaws that may be aging or degrading your smile.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are ultra-thin sheaths of material that are customized to display a certain shape, size, or color. At our office, we use porcelain veneers as they are natural looking and are not bulky like composite veneers. Veneers are one of the most versatile cosmetic dental procedures as they can correct a number of issues in a short period of time.
Who is a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Most adults with good oral health can be a good candidate for dental veneers. A thorough dental exam and consultation are conducted to help us understand your particular concerns, expectations, and desired outcome. The initial visit also helps us determine if your tooth or teeth are in good condition to support your new veneers for the maximum length of time. Veneers are suitable for a wide range of patients, including smokers, coffee-lovers, and wine connoisseurs.
What Problems Can Veneers Correct?
Porcelain veneers cover the entire front surface of individual teeth. This creates the opportunity to correct a variety of concerns, including:
- Broken enamel
- Internal discoloration that resists teeth whitening
- Slight misalignment or turning of a tooth
- Short or long teeth
- Root exposure due to gum recession
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneer application is one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry today. This is due to benefits such as:
- Convenience – Treatment is completed in two to three visits.
- Long-lasting – With good care, porcelain veneers can last 15 years or more.
- Cost-effective – The results of porcelain veneer treatment last longer than teeth whitening, and veneers are less costly than braces to correct minor alignment issues.
- Stain-resistance – Porcelain is a nonporous material so it actually more stain resistant than natural teeth.
Preparing for Porcelain Veneer Placement
Patients typically do not need to take special measures to prepare for porcelain veneers. If dental problems like cavities or gingivitis are found during our initial consultation, we may schedule restorative care prior to beginning cosmetic treatment. A professional cleaning may also be scheduled ahead of porcelain veneer treatment. This removes superficial debris from enamel to prepare for slight reduction once treatment begins.
Placing Dental Veneers
Dental veneer treatment is a multi-step process that occurs over two office visits. The first visit focuses on reducing enamel. This step may be conducted using a local anesthetic to reduce the sensations of vibration against the tooth or teeth being treated. Reduction is a vital step in the veneer process because it creates space for veneers to sit flush against the gums.
After reducing teeth, we take impressions. Impressions create a 3-dimensional model of the tooth and the teeth around it. This model is joined by design specifications discussed during the consultation visit. These specifications detail the size of the veneer, its shape and color, and even its translucency. After impressions are complete, temporary veneers may be affixed to prevent sensitivity until final veneers are placed
During the second veneer appointment, temporary veneers are removed and all dental cement is cleaned from the teeth. Final veneers are temporarily attached so we can observe their appearance. If necessary, slight modifications may be made in the office to resize or reshape each veneer to create the most natural appearance. When you are fully satisfied with your new smile, a bonding material is applied to teeth and veneers are set into place. High-intensity light is then directed at teeth to harden the bonding material.
Is There Any Downtime After the Placement of Porcelain Veneers?
There is no downtime after porcelain veneers have been placed. You can return to normal activities right away but may wish to avoid biting into hard foods for a day or two.
Can Porcelain Veneers be Whitened?
Because porcelain is a nonporous material, it will not absorb particles that come into contact with it, including the peroxide bleaching agent that is used to whiten teeth. The good news is that the nonporous nature of porcelain veneers also makes them stain resistant. Because the color of porcelain veneers cannot be changed with whitening, many patients choose to whiten their teeth before getting veneers. This creates a balance of color throughout the smile.
Will I Need to Straighten my Teeth Before Veneers Can be Placed?
Porcelain veneers can correct subtle alignment issues, such as a protruding or turned tooth. However, the more misaligned a tooth is, the more enamel reduction it will take to create a cohesive appearance. Depending on the severity of alignment concerns, teeth-straightening treatment like Invisalign may be advisable.
Caring for Veneers
Porcelain veneers require very little in the way of special care. Patients are encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. Flossing is necessary to prevent debris accumulation at the edges of each veneer. While dental porcelain is extremely durable, the bond between a veneer and a natural tooth does not have indestructible tensile strength. Tensile strength is the durability of the bond when twisted. To preserve the integrity of veneers, it is advisable to avoid biting on hard objects or biting and twisting, such as biting a chewy candy bar.