Porcelain Veneers

What are porcelain veneers/laminates?
porcvenPorcelain veneers or laminates are thin shells of porcelain bonded over the front surface of the teeth. They are long lasting, stain-resistant and the most natural looking type restoration. Porcelain is very versatile; it can lengthen, widen and whiten existing teeth. Porcelain looks very similar to a tooth’s natural enamel. They are the least invasive type of restoration. We customize the color, saturation and gradation, shape, anatomy and degree of whiteness to whiten and brighten teeth naturally, painlessly and in as little as two-four days.
Porcelain veneers can be placed on misaligned crooked teeth to give the appearance of perfectly straight teeth- instant orthodontics. Porcelain veneers can cover stained, discolored teeth or be applied to whiten and brighten the entire smile. We can bond longer porcelain veneers to worn or chipped teeth to make them look younger and stronger. Or they can be made to match the surrounding existing teeth, too.

Can I preview what a smile makeover would look like in my face?
Absolutely. Without any vision of what the end result will be, the journey is very treacherous.

What we do in our office is listen to your wishes and based on our knowledge of facial forms and tooth size proportions we determine what smile works best for you. Then we create a waxup of the teeth to our specifications. This is the ultimate blueprint which is lifelike.

Are porcelain laminates from one office different than the next?
We truly believe that cosmetic dentistry is a seamless blend of science and art. One is completely dependent on the other. Not having knowledge of science or the education needed for the foundation of every cosmetic case is a situation waiting for disaster. Porcelain can be very different from one office to the next. But more importantly, the expertise and artistry is what can be very different from one office to the next.

Here are a few examples that we believe make porcelain laminates from one office superior over another:

  • not preparing the teeth for the laminate properly
  • over preparing or under preparing the teeth
  • the level and symmetry of the gum line not addressed
  • using an inexperienced ceramist
  • using an experienced ceramist but not giving them what they need to create the best laminates
  • not determining before starting how the teeth should look in the new smile
  • poorly bonded porcelain
  • not completely removing the excess bonding material between the tooth and laminate interface
  • porcelain laminates were not properly layered and looks like a block of white tooth

These are just a few examples of what is important to not overlook. We encourage you to visit our office for a consult to see what sets us apart. We believe you’ll find us to be the right office for your cosmetic needs. We also encourage you to view our portfolio of before and after cases and to speak to our clients who have already had cosmetic dentistry done in our office.

I´m worried you’re going to cut my teeth to prepare for veneers?
Porcelain veneering is unlike preparing teeth for crowns. Only a thin layer of enamel, anywhere from .5-.8 mm is removed to make room for veneers. This small reduction of teeth allows us to create a smile that is natural and not too bulky and sticking out. You probably have seen people who have had bulky veneers placed and it looks like Chicklets. The genius of a beautiful smile design is that no one can tell what was done but they know your faces looks better. Many of our clients have told us their friends have noticed a change but are unable to determine what the change comes from. Their friends ask them “what did you have done, you look great?!”

I don´t want braces; can I still have a beautiful smile?
We get this question asked a lot. More than likely, yes. There are times where we had no choice but to resort to both options. If teeth are so misaligned we must first move them gently into position before veneering them. Only with careful analysis of tooth proportions and jaw dimensions are we able to determine that for certain. We have been able to help so many people who had absolutely refused braces without compromising the end result. Braces is not for everyone either. For various reasons sometimes braces would not even be the right choice to make a smile beautiful.

How many teeth need to be veneered for smile design?
A lot depends on how broad the arch is when smiling or how broad we would like the arch to appear to make a dramatic result. In this makeover design, at least 8-10 veneers need to be placed. Often times veneers are placed to correct a problem on one or two teeth and the rest of the teeth in the arch are absolutely perfect and all we need to do is match the new veneers to the existing smile. This is actually one of the most difficult tasks which require a high level of understanding of science and art to blend the two dissimilar situations seamlessly.

How will my teeth feel after I have porcelain veneers placed?
Normally, there is some sensitivity to be expects, hot and cold and biting pressure. This will be a short period of time when the teeth are adjusting to the new environment and it’s absolutely normal to feel that. After veneers are placed we have you come back in one week to make a few minor adjustments and finalize the polishing.

How do I take care of my veneers?
Porcelain veneers, when properly contoured feel so natural and smooth that most clients say that their teeth feel so much smoother. There is a good reason for that. Porcelain does not scratch very easily and the good part is that plaque does not adhere well to porcelain like it does to natural teeth, so the gums look and feel really great. As far as diet restriction, there are none. A normal diet poses no problem on veneers. It is important to avoid crushing ice between teeth or chewing hard candy as it would be with natural teeth. The gentler the chewing forces, the longer the veneers can last. As far as home care, we recommend Oxyfresh products to rinse and brush with. Oxyfresh is non-abrasive and effectively polishes the laminates, maintaining their luster and brilliance. We also recommend night guards after veneers are placed, especially if the bite forces are high or there is grinding of teeth at night.

What is the difference between bonding and a veneer?
Bonding is tooth colored plastic material that is placed over missing parts of teeth or when trying to close gaps on front teeth. A porcelain veneer is a strong porcelain lab fabricated restoration. Bonding is also an ideal filling material for back teeth for small cavities or replacing small metal fillings. One of the problems with bonding is that it can change color and requires more frequent replacement. Because bonding is a plastic material it is easier to break and chip. The advantage of bonding is that it can be done in one visit and is less costly than placing porcelain veneers. Veneers on the other hand never change color so it can permanently stay the same. They are extremely strong and durable. They become seamlessly integrated with the tooth. Porcelain veneers repel plaque better than natural teeth so the gums look extremely healthy. The whole make-up of the smile can be completely changed to enhance and complement the unique facial characteristics.

What can be done to fix rotated, misshapen or chipped teeth?
The long term restoration of choice is porcelain veneers. A less expensive but less dramatic option in certain cases may be bonding. Done properly, both veneers and bonding can be applied; color matched and shaped to make your teeth appear natural again. The shape of the face affects the shape of the teeth. For example, if a patient has a round face, we create long square-shaped teeth that give the illusion of a longer face, thus a slimming effect. Porcelain veneers are ideal for changing the shape of teeth, and you can lighten the color at the same time. If you have existing dental work or very misaligned teeth you can still change the shape of your teeth but you may need orthodontics, a reshaping of your gum line or crowns to achieve the desired results.

Is it possible to change the shape of my teeth without veneers or crowns?
Reshaping or cosmetic contouring is an ideal treatment for very small fractures or chips or to simply reshape what nature has given you to a more esthetically pleasing smile. Anesthesia is not necessary since we use sandpaper discs and polishing wheels to reshape teeth with a minimal loss of tooth structure. Contouring can change the smile line. If one front tooth is a little longer than the other, contouring can make them the same size. We can round off sharp corners of teeth or pointed canines, to soften their appearance. Smile symmetry can also be achieved with cosmetic contouring.