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INTRO - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Porcelain Veneers are very thin shells made from dental porcelain that are placed over existing teeth in order to improve color, size, and correct gaps that have formed between teeth. There are many reasons people choose to have veneers created but are usually considered the best alternative to improving a smile with healthy straight looking teeth. Even those who have teeth that are crooked can have the veneers created to make a more straightened image in your smile. Through newer methods used, a cosmetic dentist can transform dull unsightly or old looking teeth into a youthful, impressive and natural look that is worth smiling for.
DURATION - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Because the process is easier than other types of dental work there are really two steps to have porcelain veneers created. After the consultation of which teeth are to be veneered the next process is the tooth preparation. This is where the teeth and gums are numbed in order to remove about a very thin amount of tooth surface to ready the tooth or teeth that will later have the veneer placed. After that an impression of the teeth is made to create the actual veneer over the teeth that will be covered. The next visit is attaching the final veneer with a special cement that is permanent. The whole process including the 2 visits will span 2 weeks or so depending on the work that is done in the dental lab.
FAQ - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
- Does a porcelain veneer cover the entire tooth?
No, a veneer only covers the front part of a tooth that is needed to improve the image of the tooth itself. A crown would cover the entire tooth yet the veneer is designed like a shell over the front facing part of a tooth. Some veneers are more rounded at the bottom and can be considered a wrap around but seldom even cover an entire tooth. This is the only difference between the types of veneers.
- Will the veneers feel bulky on my teeth?
If a veneer is deigned correctly the amount of space that is covering the tooth should be very much like having a thin shell similar to a fingernail over the tooth. In the case of filling a gap that is between teeth there will be some added veneer material made from porcelain that takes up that area. Even in the case of having crooked teeth there is an amount of material that is built-up to even out the crookedness.
- How are the shapes of the veneers chosen?
When deciding to have veneers done, the first step is to explain to the dentist how the patient wants to have their teeth to look. Pictures or photos collected by the patient also help in deciding on color and shape but the dentist will also offer their help when the final veneers are being created. Since the dentist is speicalising in teeth, the veneers will have a very realistic natural look to them making the needs of the patient more complete.
- Will the veneers look like real teeth?
Yes, the color and feel will be the same as a real tooth is supposed to feel. While the color used in the porcelain will help match the tooth shade to the patients liking. Their job is to find the best solution for making this cosmetic image look as best as it can so the final veneer will have a healthy appearance even when the teeth under may be discolored. The porcelain is very similar to the translucent quality of real teeth as this is why the material works so well.
- How long do the veneers last?
Much like any kind of dental procedure this depends on the patients eating habits, oral hygiene, and physical health. There is no specific amount of time that a veneer can last, it can be years, decades, or longer. If you compare how much you use a car there is always the same conclusion about how long it will last. Elements can reduce the life of a veneer and even alcohol can damage the cement used to adhere the veneer to the tooth. Taking good care of your veneers is very important for the lifespan it can have.
- Is the procedure uncomfortable?
Not at all. There may be some discomfort when having the preparation sanding but the dentist will use the right amount of anesthetic that will keep any discomfort from being too much. It depends on how much the patient is willing to endure though with this kind of procedure there is very minimal discomfort at all. Most people who have had a cavity filled fear more about the drill and the sound of the drill than the actual drilling itself.
- Will my teeth be sensitive after having veneers?
Some patients have experienced sensitivity after having the preparation sanding with hot and cold food and liquids. If you have sensitive teeth already, the feeling will be more affected. After having the veneers attached there should be no sensitivity for the tooth unless there was a previous problem with sensitive teeth. Every patient is different so the senses will all have different responses to the procedure. Normally there is no problem with developing sensitive teeth after veneers but not uncommon to experiencing sensitive teeth for a short period.
- Are there any disadvantages to having veneers?
As with any cosmetic dentistry there are some disadvantages to veneers. The first is that the prepared tooth cannot be the same as it was before. Once a small portion of enamel is removed, the tooth will need to have a covering on top or else it will be sensitive or even prone to tooth decay. The oterh is that once the tooth is replaced it cannot have a quick fix if it cracks or chips, it must be replaced as a new whole piece. Proper care will prevent this.
- Is the porcelain safe to have in my mouth?
Yes. Dental-grade Porcelain is common in dentistry and is the reason why it is the finest choice for having a veneer material. Besides the overall look of the porcelain, it mimicks the tooth color and has a feel very similar to your own teeth. There is a genuine feel to porcelain since it doesn't feel like other materials and feels more natural in the mouth when it is used for veneers. Because it is so similar to a real tooth it can chip or crack just the same.
- Can veneers be placed on every tooth?
If there is a tooth that can have a surface then it is possible to have veneers made for every tooth that is in your mouth. Most people choose to have certain teeth that are showing from their smile which saves the time to have all teeth covered. If there is a tooth that simply needs just one veneer then covering others wouldn't make much sense. It all depends on which teeth the patient wants to cover for the final work.
- Can my old veneers be replaced for a better set?
Yes. Old veneers that are not the right size, right color, damaged or cracked can all be replaced for new ones. Some patients who have had previous work done and are unhappy with the look of current veneers can choose to have them changed for a totally new look. There is no rule that old veneers cannot be removed. It is up to the decision of the patient who wants a better image of their teeth.
PROCEDURE - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Every patient will have a similar procedure performed when it comes to porcelain veneers. The process involves a consultation with your cosmetic dentist about what should be covered with a veneer. Every specific should be discussed about how the teeth should look including color, tooth size, and how the veneers should be cared for. In the first visit the dentist will need to prep the teeth or tooth surface since this helps make a better bond and also a more seemless fit for the veneer onto the actual tooth. The teeth are sanded down perhaps the thickness of a fingernail and the impression casting is made to use as the base model for making the veneers. Upon the next visit the specially made veneers are a custom fit and are then attached with a cement that is a permanent bond to the tooth itself. After the teeth are attached the patient is totally finished and is ready to leave with a brand new smile.
GOOD CANDIDATE - COSMETIC DENTISTRY
The best candidate for veneers should be aware that having healthy teeth with no related oral hygiene problems is a perfect candidate People with extensive tooth decay, gingivitis, severely crooked teeth, and gum disease are all considered bad candidates. People who have a history of chewing or grinding their teeth also counts as being a bad candidate. In order to keep the teeth from getting chipped or breaking for those who grind their teeth at night are asked to wear a mouth guard to protect the work and your teeth as well. Any person who has wanted to have a more perfect smile but couldn't achieve the whiteness due to discolored teeth or other reasons that are related.