Porcelain veneers are an amazing part of a total smile makeover. Veneers are a popular choice in cosmetic dental service among anyone who wants a more attractive smile. We have served community members from students to office workers to public figures.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are ultra thin ceramics that are bonded to the tooth surface. Thin pieces of porcelain are bonded to a patient’s existing teeth, and the results look and feel like natural teeth. The durability and strength of the veneers is similar to normal tooth enamel.
What Issues Can Be Corrected with Veneers?
A number of dental problems can be addressed with veneers. Whether it is tooth coloration, gaps, shape, or size, there’s a lot of flexibility that porcelain veneers have to offer. For example, veneers can change or restore the color of your teeth due to long term effects of beverages, foods, and medications that have stained your teeth over time. Bleaching and other chemical processes may be less preferred or may not always achieve the desired results. Therefore, veneers are an effective and safe alternative.
Another example is when you would like to alter the size or shape of your teeth. Sometimes our teeth are too small or shaped in strange ways. Our teeth may have become worn or chipped over time. Perhaps there are gaps that you’ve always wanted to eliminate. Veneers can help correct all of these issues.
Veneers can also be used to restore crooked teeth or worn teeth. In some instances, veneers can be used as an alternative to braces. Your smile can be straightened within about a week with veneers. In comparison to the longer term and pain that braces require, this makes veneers an attractive and pain free solution. Being minimally invasive, veneers are a great all around option to restore ones own natural tooth.
Why Do We Use Porcelain?
Dental porcelain is an ideal choice for many cosmetic procedures, including bridges, crowns, and veneers. One of the main reasons is due to it being biocompatible. This simply means that it is compatible with our natural systems, so there is little chance of the body reacting negatively to it. Patients often comment that they can’t tell the difference between porcelain and their natural teeth.
Porcelain can be easily shaped into practically any shape that is needed. This allows veneers to be designed to fit perfectly and look completely natural. Due to the makeup of the material, a porcelain veneer can be designed to mimic your natural teeth in all aspects from color, size, shape, and even translucency! It reflects light in a natural way that is similar if not identical to natural teeth.
There is a wide range of shades that porcelain can be colored to achieve the desired results for each patient. While some patients believe that only an absolute, stark white is the proper shade, the we will work with you to select a choice that involves evaluating a number of factors to help you achieve natural results that suit you best.
Why Are Veneers Important To A Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover is far more than simply concealing chipped, damaged, discolored or misshaped teeth. The philosophy is to totally transform the teeth to improve your smile’s attractiveness, your dental health and function. This functional aesthetic approach requires careful analysis of each patient’s face shape, coloration, goals, and dental history.
In times past, the only option for a smile makeover was to engage in painful and lengthy procedures such as braces, caps, and crowns. These procedures can be invasive and intensive on a patient in order to achieve the desired results.In extreme cases, there were patients who requested to have normal healthy teeth removed due to their unattractive appearance so that it could be replaced with a denture!
With the advent and use of porcelain veneers, this changes everything. We now have a minimally intrusive procedure that is more effective and pain free solution to enhancing your smile with beautiful long-term results. At the same time, your natural tooth is preserved! Thanks to veneers, cosmetic dentists can now correct the color, shape, and spacing of teeth all in tandem. Your smile makeover can be completed easily, quickly, and painlessly with veneers.
How Does The Veneers Procedure Work?
1. Dental Exam and Functional Aesthetic Design Consultation
Your smile makeover begins with a dental examination and functional aesthetic evaluation to determine the health your teeth and desired design of your smile. A patient should be prepared to explain exactly what he or she hopes to achieve or change. Dr. Amani Takher, DMD and his team will then determine the best approach to achieving your desired results and explain the steps required.
Note: Oral X-rays, impressions of your teeth and facial photographs are typically necessary.
If the decision of both patient and Dr. Takher, DMD agree to proceed with veneers, the next step is to determine the best type of veneer. There are two basic types of veneers: 1) traditional and 2) minimal preparation.
Traditional Veneers—a small amount of the patient’s tooth enamel must be removed, typically amounts to a thickness of approximately 0.5mm. This amount is less enamel than most people lose from normal activities (i.e., drinking acidic beverages, eating, or improper brushing).
Minimal-prep Veneers—less enamel to be removed, sometimes no enamel is removed.
2. X Rays, Photography & Video
Prior to any preparation, the aesthetic evaluation will be assessed together based on x-rays, digital photography and video. Dr. Takher, DMD will hand sculpt the tooth position of the veneers. This will ensure that the overall aesthetic design compliments the patient’s face while providing a solid result dental function as well.
3. Molds / Impressions
We will then make impressions (also known as molds) of the patient’s teeth. The molds are sent to a dental laboratory, where technicians use the molds to create the veneers. It can take up to two weeks for the laboratory to finish creating the veneer.
4. Bonding & Completion
The completed veneer is sent back to Peña Adobe Dental Care and the patient will make a return visit to our practice. Dr. Takher, DMD will test the veneer for proper fit, and if needed, he may make minor adjustments so that it fits perfectly. Once he and the patient is satisfied, he can proceed with the bonding the veneer(s).
As part of the bonding process, the natural tooth may need to be “etched” to roughen its surface and improve bonding. Then a special, light-sensitive cement will be used to bond the tooth and the veneer. Finally, the veneer is placed into its correct position, and a light beam is trained on the veneer to expedite the hardening of the cement to secure the veneer in proper position.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Veneers plans vary depending on the patient’s needs. In a nutshell, the number of teeth involved and the work that must be completed to create the veneers will determine the cost. The average cost per tooth is always measured on a case basis.
Do Veneers Require Special Care?
Veneers are extremely durable. Once the procedure is complete, you can treat your veneers like your natural teeth. While veneers are resistant to staining, they can still pick up minor stains over time. Otherwise, you can return to eating and drinking as you normally would. You can continue caring for your teeth with your favorite mouthwash, toothpaste, and dental floss. To preserve veneers as you would your normal teeth, dentists do recommend that patients with veneers forego smoking, red wine, coffee and other products that have a high potential for staining.
It is good practice to visit with your dentist at least once a year, preferably once every six months. This will allow for proactive check-ups on your overall oral health as well as the condition of the veneers.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
With traditional veneers, most patients can expect to receive a minimum of 10 to 15 years of useful life from their veneers. Some of the no-prep veneers now available can last 15 to 20 years also. Of course, this depends on each patient and their habits. So based on each person, the actual life can be somewhat shorter or significantly longer. Regular dental check-ups are a vital part of making sure that veneers last as long as possible. With routine examinations, we have the opportunity to detect things that a patient may be doing (or not doing) that might reduce the life of the veneers.
Are Veneers Reversible?
Veneers are considered a non-reversible procedure. Since veneers are not an invasive procedure that requires filing or removal of natural tooth structure, it is a common misconception that you can go “back” to your natural teeth. This is not true.
Veneers can be removed when required to replace them. However, the tooth/teeth to which the veneers have been attached will never be totally the same as they were before the veneers. For example, as mentioned above, a small amount of enamel might be removed to shape it slightly prior to installation. The surface may also be altered by etching in order to facilitate the bonding process.
So patients should be prepared to commit to taking care of their veneers for as long as their natural teeth last. With proper care, a person’s natural teeth should last a lifetime. As such, maintaining veneers should also be viewed as an extension of proper care of your natural teeth.
Each case is unique, and if this is a concern, we encourage you to ask us any questions you may have. Dental procedures and technologies are constantly evolving at a rapid pace, so what might be irreversible today may be possible in the future.
Peña Adobe Dental Care’s Point of View on Veneers
As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Amani Takher, DMD and his team at Peña Adobe Dental Care have seen the long lasting effects that a smile makeover can have on a patient’s life. We have seen patients who at first seemed more shy or introverted transform into outgoing, social butterflies. We have seen that after a smile makeover, our patients have shared that they found the confidence to improve other aspects of their lives, ask for a promotion, decide on a change in careers or other pursuit of their long aspired dreams.
Cosmetic dentistry and the possibilities that veneers offers is more than simply altering your physical appearance. Many of our patients discover a stronger sense of self-confidence and self-esteem, wishing they’d decided to take action on improving their smile sooner. While happiness and internal well-being cannot be bought, we believe that taking proper care of ourselves is an important value to hold. Taking steps to maintain and improve your oral health may include aesthetic enhancements that lead to transformations beyond aesthetics. We have certainly witnessed a fair share of transformations in many of our wonderful patients.
There are a variety of reasons for seeking a smile makeover. Whatever yours might be, porcelain veneers certainly play an important role in the smile makeover process. They are designed to look natural and last for a long time. Not only do they address the appearance of you teeth, they can correct many other functional items as well. The wonderful thing about veneers is that the procedure is minimally invasive and often do not require any type of anesthesia or numbing. It is our pride to offer comfortable yet modern methods to help you create the smile you’ve always wanted and deserve.
We would love for you to view the “before and after” photos in our Smile Gallery. What our patients have to share and the impact that their smile makeovers have had on them speak volumes.