What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin coverings, as thin as a “fingernail”, bonded over teeth to improve their appearance. They can be used to straighten smiles, close-up gaps as well as spaces, replace worn-down teeth and make teeth permanently whiter.
The procedure involves taking impressions of the teeth, any necessary x-rays, and photographs. This allows Dr. Goldberg to ensure that this restorative option is a great fit for the patient and their lifestyle.
Am I a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Individuals who have strong bites, have had heavy restoration work already done, and are teeth-grinders, are not good candidates. Those patients can always consider full crowns as a possible option in achieving the same results as porcelain veneers. When it comes to improving a smile, there are multiple options for most patients who come into Dr. Goldberg’s office. After the initial workup, he will be able to make the best recommendation based on your personal situation, lifestyle, and budget.
Porcelain Veneers vs Composite Veneers
Traditionally, porcelain has been the most common material because composites have not been able to provide the same results as porcelain. However, that has significantly changed over the last few years, and today it is difficult to distinguish between the two materials.
Although porcelain veneers are typically problem-free, occasionally they pop off or chip. This can cause a patient some inconvenience and embarrassment and may require an emergency visit to their dentist. A veneer that has come off can usually be rebonded, but chips are extremely difficult to repair and sometimes impossible. Composite veneers don’t pop off like porcelain veneers, and if they do chip, Dr. Goldberg can easily repair them.
Another huge difference between porcelain and composite veneers is the laboratory and temporization. With porcelain, a laboratory must fabricate the veneers, and occasionally they don’t fit correctly. This can be stressful for both the patient and the doctor, since this may require new impressions, temporaries, lab time, and more visits. Also, with porcelain veneers, the teeth must be temporized for one to three weeks, and occasionally these temporaries can break leading to more emergency visits. With composite, there are no impressions, no laboratories, and no temporaries needed.
Porcelain Veneers Procedure
First, your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and “occlusion.” Occlusion refers to your bite, and how your teeth function with respect to each other. In certain cases, it is VERY important to take impressions and for your dentist to study these models with great intensity, and to also discuss your particular situation with the laboratory.
When the study is complete, the next step is to shape your teeth, take a new impression, put temporary veneers onto your shaped teeth, and send the impression to the laboratory. The lab will need anywhere between one and three weeks to fabricate your veneers.
At the following appointment, your dentist will bond the veneers, and your new smile will be complete.
Porcelain Veneers Before and After
Composite Veneers Procedure
As with the first step for porcelain veneers, we must examine and address your “occlusion”. When everything is acceptable, Dr. Golgberg can start your composite veneers. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers can be accomplished directly in the dental office. “Composite” is the same material used for “white fillings,” but the process is more involved due to layering, intense shaping, and high polishing. Depending upon the number of veneers desired, the process can be accomplished in one to two appointments: since all patients are different, you’ll have to talk to your dentist about your individual time-frame.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
This is highly variable since people subject their teeth to stimuli with varying degrees:
- Intensity and amount of clenching and grinding
- Placing objects between their teeth such as pins, nails, pencils
- Staining foods such as coffee, tea, chocolate and medications
- Diet: foods that require more tearing or harder chewing will cause more stress than softer foods.
Typically, veneers should last between 7 and 15 years.
Veneers Maintenance and Care
Daily care and regular checkups are necessary to help prevent decay (cavities) from forming, allow for early detection and treatment of cavities (before they get too large), and to help remove stain build-up. Some other ways to help care and maintain your veneers are:
- Daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing is a requirement.
- A DENTIST-made night-guard is a necessity: store-bought mouth guards can cause damage!!!
- Regular dental check-ups are necessary: typically every 6 months.