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Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-crafted, fingernail-thin porcelain shells that are bonded to natural teeth. Because of their subtle color and near transparency, porcelain veneers can make a dramatic and very natural looking improvement to your smile.

TopWhat’s the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. 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 is.


Preparation.
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. 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 1 to 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed for an additional cost.re will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

Bonding.  Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth 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 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 the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any 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.

TopWhat Are the Advantages of Dental Veneers?

Veneers offer the following advantages:

  • They provide a natural tooth appearance.
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
  • The color of a 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 crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.

TopWhat Are the Disadvantages of Dental Veneers?

The downside to dental veneers include:

  • Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.
  • Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.
  • Because enamel has been removed, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
  • Veneers may not exactly match the color of your other teeth. Also, the veneer’s color cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.
  • Though not likely, veneers can dislodge and fall off. To minimize the chance of this occurring, do not bite your nails; chew on pencils, ice, or other hard objects; or otherwise put excessive pressure on your teeth.
  • Teeth with veneers can still experience decay, possibly necessitating full coverage of the tooth with a crown.
  • 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.
  • Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.
TopHow Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years. After this time, the veneers would need to be replaced.

TopDo Dental Veneers Require Special Care?

Dental veneers do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices including brushing and flossing as you normally would.

Even though porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may recommend that you avoid stain-causing foods and beverages (for example, coffee, tea, or red wine).

TopAre There Alternatives to Dental Veneers?

Yes, alternatives to veneers include bondings and crowns. Veneers offer a nice intermediate option. Veneers may be best suited for individuals who want to change the shape of their teeth more than just a little bit — as is done with bonding — but not enough to require a crown.

TopHow Much Do Veneers Cost?

The cost of veneers is not generally covered by insurance so the out of pocket expense is the main concern.  To be certain, check with your specific dental insurance company and call our office if you have further questions.

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