Porcelain Veneers

Those with cosmetic dental concerns have long turned to veneers to obtain sparkling white teeth that are in perfect alignment. Porcelain is one of the materials that are commonly used. Completing the process will require two to three visits to our dental professional and is known to be a very safe procedure. Another perk to veneers is that they can last for decades. 

What is the time frame for this procedure?

This process takes approximately two to three visits over a span of about two to three weeks.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are often referred to as porcelain veneers or dental laminates. They are custom-made shells that are secured to cover the front surface of your teeth. These thin veneers are made to specifically fit you by customizing the size, shape, color, etc. The material is typically porcelain or composite resin material. 

They are used on patients with discolored, worn, or misaligned teeth. Over time, tooth enamel erodes and may be chipped or cracked. Those who have problems with their bite can also benefit from veneers. Veneers may be a great solution for those with stained teeth that are unable to be treated effectively through teeth whitening

Who Is a Good Candidate?

The ideal candidates for this type of “smile makeover” are those with healthy gums. Those with an underbite or overbite may need treatment from an orthodontist. Your dental professional can assess whether veneers are appropriate for you and which material to use. 

Those who grind their teeth are typically not good candidates because they are more likely to damage their new veneers. This type of cosmetic dentistry is also suitable for those with gum disease. Your dental provider may use x-rays to help make these assessments. 

Common Reasons for Getting Veneers

Tooth discoloration is among the leading reasons for considering porcelain veneers. Discoloration may be caused by certain medications such as tetracycline. Surprisingly, excessive exposure to fluoride can alter the color of your teeth as well. Those who have had large cavities filled that are visible often pursue veneers, too.

People who have had a root canal often have discolored teeth and veneers can correct this discoloration. Veneers are most commonly applied to the upper front teeth. Some individuals that have a single broken or cracked tooth will have a single veneer applied. 

Others may have them applied in sets of six or more. Although veneers are most commonly used on the most visible teeth in the mouth, some individuals will also have them applied to their lower teeth. For some, this allows for a more uniform overall appearance.  

Advantages

Some of the best aspects commonly associated with porcelain veneers include the following:

  • They are a longer-term solution to discolored teeth compared to tooth whitening, which requires multiple treatments.
  • The porcelain veneers resist stains better than natural teeth and treatment does not harm the enamel that protects the tooth structure.
  • The color of the material will be customized to closely match your other teeth.
  • The majority of individuals do not experience discomfort.
  • Depending on the type of veneer and your lifestyle, they may not need to be replaced for many years.
  • The material tolerates the majority of foods and beverages well and does not irritate the gums. 

Disadvantages

Several primary disadvantages include the following: 

  • Porcelain veneers cost more than resin composite materials.
  • They are typically not able to be repaired if they are chipped or cracked.
  • Some individuals experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks.
  • Many individuals will find that they are unable to afford porcelain veneers. 

Estimated Cost

Similar to dental implants and other cosmetic procedures, porcelain veneers are usually not covered by dental insurance. The costs are influenced by a host of potential factors. Prices will vary depending on the dental providers and may be affected by regional costs of living. 

There are several “no-prep” types of veneers in the market today. They do not require as much preparation compared to traditional veneers. Common brands include Lumineers and Vivaneers. Keep in mind that these types of veneers are generally not as durable as traditional veneers. 

In 2017, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reported that no-prep veneers range from $800 to $2000 each. Traditional veneers cost between $925 and $2,500 per tooth. They also noted that no-prep veneers lasted for an average of five to seven years. The lifespan of traditional veneers averages from 10 to 15 years. 

The Procedure

The veneers process is irreversible and is performed in several visits. It’s important to be sure you want veneers before beginning the process. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth. This mold is then taken to a dental lab where the permanent veneers are created. 

Your dentist may need to temporarily place a veneer on your tooth to properly gauge the fit and color. The surface of the tooth will be cleaned and etched to roughen the surface for better adhesion. Your dentist will extract approximately a half millimeter of enamel from the surface of the tooth. 

The dentist will typically apply a numbing agent to keep pain to a minimum. Some individuals may need pain medication to cope with sensitivity. 

The thickness of the veneer will be very similar to that of the enamel that was removed from the surface. A custom cement-like adhesive is usually used to attach the veneer permanently  to the tooth. A special beam of light may be used to adhere the adhesive more rapidly. 

Proper Maintenance

Your porcelain veneers should be cleaned, protected, and cared for the same way that your natural teeth should be. Avoid chewing hard foods such as nuts or ice to avoid potential damage. Try developing a habit of chewing with your rear teeth. Those who participate in athletics should always wear a mouth guard protector as well.

Avoid using your teeth to open packaging such as ketchup packets. Certain types of mouthwash contain high levels of alcohol that can potentially weaken the adhesive used to secure the veneers. You should continue brushing your teeth twice a day and floss daily as well.

Porcelain Crowns

Veneers composed of porcelain should not be confused with porcelain crowns. A crown functions to cover a tooth. They may be used to reshape and resize a tooth. They are effective in strengthening and improving the appearance of your teeth. They are commonly used on teeth that have had large fillings or that are broken. 

Dental Professional for Porcelain Veneers in Mesa

Porcelain veneers are one of the many cosmetic dental procedures that are performed at East Valley Dental Professionals. Other cosmetic procedures include porcelain crowns, teeth whitening, and dental bonding. Beyond regular cleaning and general dentistry services, we also offer Invisalign, Botox and Restylane.

EVDP is a full-service family practice that has been providing top-quality care for local patients for many years. Contact our team of professionals at (480) 838-3033 for an appointment today.

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