What Is Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers or dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of the teeth to improve your appearance. Porcelain helps in addressing a variety of physical and aesthetic problems faced by patients. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size or length. Porcelain veneer resists better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth.
When do we usually go for dental veneers?
- When teeth are discolored caused by a number of reasons such as regular consumption of beverages, smoking, alcohol consumption, root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes. Porcelain Veneers easily whitens your smile, with no harm or side effects. Porcelain Veneers are largely stain-resistant, so there is not much worry about discoloration or a need to continuously get new Veneers.
- When teeth are worn down.
- When teeth are chipped or broken.
- When teeth are misaligned, uneven, or irregular shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them). Veneers are attached to the front surfaces of your teeth – so although they don’t change their positions, they do camouflage minor orthodontic problems once they’re applied.
- When teeth have gaps between them.
- When enamel needs to be replaced because of overbrushing or consumption of acidic foods and drinks. Porcelain Veneers are an excellent treatment for teeth with enamel abrasion or erosion and are also pleasing to the eyes.
What are some of the advantages of going for dental veneers?
- They provide a natural tooth appearance. Since Porcelain Veneers are individually sculpted for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between veneers and a natural tooth.
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
- Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
- The color of the porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
- Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape, veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crown do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.
What are some reasons which may make someone re-consider going for dental veneers?
- The process is not reversible.
- Veneers are not a good choice for individuals with unhealthy teeth (For example, those with decay or active gum disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture, large dental fillings), or for those who have an inadequate amount of existing enamel on the tooth surface. In such cases, it is more advisable to clean the decay to restore the tooth to functional status.
What is the procedure of getting a dental veneer?
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and the other two to make and apply the veneers.
Diagnosis and treatment planning
- The first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve.
- During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations.
- The doctor also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth. The dentist will also show you a photo of how your new smile will look. This is called cosmetic imaging. You can see a clear difference in your smile.
- To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about ½ millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. This is essential as it creates room for the Porcelain Veneer to fit within the mouth and most accurately restore the natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth.
- Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. If the patient prefers Intravenous Sedation, that can also be arranged.
- Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer.
- It usually takes about 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed.
- Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it to examine its fit and color.
- He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit, the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used.
- Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched – which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process.
- A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned on your tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates the chemical in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly.
- The final steps involve removing excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary.
Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement. Even if you feel that your Veneers are successful, this appointment is vital to your future oral health.
How long do Porcelain Veneers last?
Porcelain Veneers generally last between 7 and 15 years. After this, the veneers may need to be replaced. It is important to visit your dentist for regular dental check-ups, once in six months, to maintain the veneers and achieve the best oral health. As porcelain veneers don’t stain or get discolored; they are durable, long-lasting and stain-resistant. Porcelain has the characteristic of glass-like materials, that can never be able to change the color until it is time to change them. However, care is needed for Porcelain Veneers to last long.
What care is needed for Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers do not require any special care. The patient should follow good oral hygiene practices such as brushing using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. Though it is difficult to stain. It is always a good practice to avoid over-consumption of stain-causing food and beverage such as coffee, tea, or red wine. In the case of over-consumption, it would be great if the patient would brush their teeth to avoid any stains. This would help the patient maintain a perfect smile all the time. Although Porcelain Veneers are very strong, you should avoid the excessive stresses such as biting your fingernails, chewing ice, or open bottles with your teeth, to maintain your veneers in the best shape.
What are the alternatives to Porcelain Veneers?
Bonding and crowns can be some of the alternatives to Porcelain Veneers. With crowns, your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount being altered to fit. Get your beautiful smile by consulting your dentist to understand how Porcelain Veneers works for you. For those patients where traditional whitening does not have much impact, Porcelain Veneers bring a white and bright smile to their face.
At Dr. Mohamed Ali’s practice, San Francisco, the patient will get the best care from the tremendously talented and caring staff. The latest dental technology is used to ensure that patients achieve excellent results with less pain, more comfort, and less time in the dentist’s chair. During the initial visit, Dr. Mohamed Ali will thoroughly examine your mouth and will use your digital x-rays to support his findings. He will present different options and also advise you on the best option, suited for you. The billing experts will check your benefits and present a complete treatment plan with the financial arrangements. We will be happy to answer all your questions. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 415.391.7751.