Porcelain Dental Veneers
are a form of cosmetic dentistry in which a shell or layer of
tooth-colored porcelain or composite is placed over the facial
surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven
tooth alignment or spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks.
dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry
because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully
aligned, shapely teeth, they also protect the surface of damaged
teeth and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatments.
Other benefits of veneers include durability, an improved smile
appearance, and the need for little-to-no removal of tooth
structure compared to crowns.
Regardless of what causes unattractive
teeth, dental veneers may solve most
or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:
Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, hard translucent substance
covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled and
discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or
result from a genetic predisposition. However, it often
results from consuming soft drinks, tea or coffee; smoking;
using certain medications, etc.
Wear and tear:
Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more
likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven
Genetics: Certain people are born with abnormal spacing
between their teeth that widens with age.
Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or
general wear and tear.
Veneers Consultation and Treatment Planning
if you are a candidate for dental veneers, your dentist will
schedule a preliminary consultation during which your oral
health will be evaluated and all available treatment options
discussed. Veneer treatment involving tooth preparation is
irreversible, so it is important that your dentist discuss any
alternatives that provide the same results but with minimal to
no removal of tooth structure. If you and your dentist decide
that veneers are the best option, the next step involves a
thorough review of treatment details, including preparing your
teeth for your specific veneer procedure and what will be
necessary for them to look and fit correctly.
veneers consultation, you will actively participate in the
"smile design process." By sharing your preferences for the
shape, length, width and color of the veneers and the change in
the appearance of your smile that you want them to create, you
help ensure that your veneer treatment will meet your
expectations. It is important that your dentist understands your
objectives when undergoing a veneer procedure.
veneer procedure can often be completed in two dental visits
over the course of six weeks. The visits are comprehensive and
may require several hours of examination and tooth preparation.
Dental offices typically ask that you bring an iPod with your
favorite music which will help you to relax and stay
and examination phase of dental veneer treatment is essential
and identifies any oral health concerns that must first be
addressed before veneer placement. Your dentist also will work
with you to select the best tooth color for you from a special
shade chart. Imaging technologies can provide you with a preview
of your expected results, and before and after images can allow
you to view other successful cases. Treatment begins when the
examination is completed and the customized plan designed.
several steps in the dental veneer procedure. First, your
dentist will likely administer a local anesthetic so you will be
comfortable during tooth preparation and placement of the
veneer. Your natural tooth is then prepared by minimally
reshaping it with a small handheld rotational cutting device
called a bur to provide the best fit. Burs come in various
shapes and sizes and allow precise and minimal shaping of a
tooth prior to veneer placement.
treatment involves direct composite resin veneers, your dentist
then will apply the appropriately shaded composite to your
teeth, shape the material and harden it using a high intensity
light. Additional layers of composite may be applied to build
the veneer to the correct shape, length and form for your smile.
When all composite is placed, the veneers will be finished and
polished using burs and polishers to create a vital and lifelike
treatment requires porcelain veneers, your dentist will make an
impression of your teeth from which a mold of your mouth will be
made. This impression may be sent to an outside dental
laboratory where the veneers will be professionally fabricated.
Some dentists have an in-house dental laboratory and technicians
to provide restorative and esthetic treatments such as porcelain
veneers in less time.
typically work with outside dental laboratories for the
fabrication of the restorations they need. Some dental
laboratories use CAD/CAM technology to fabricate veneers. If
your veneers will be made in a dental laboratory, you may
receive temporary veneers at your preparation appointment.
veneers provide a preview of the expected outcome. Temporary
veneers may not always be placed. If your dental veneer
treatment involves one or a couple of teeth and enough enamel
remains on the surface, your dentist may forgo the temporary
your teeth are shaped, they may be more sensitive to hot and
cold due to the loss of enamel during tooth preparation.
Increased sensitivity may also occur if you have temporaries
placed and for a brief time following placement of the final
initial consultation and examination, discuss temporaries with
your dentist. Temporaries offer a preview of the expected look,
feel and fit of the veneer. Temporaries also help cosmetic
dentists identify adjustments that may be needed during
fabrication of your permanent veneer.
veneer placement appointment, your dentist will remove the
temporaries and place your final veneers. Your dentist also will
evaluate and adjust the newly placed veneers to ensure the
optimal fit and color.
Recovery and Post-Procedure Care
durable and have been shown to last for many years before
requiring replacement. Seeing your dentist and hygienist for
regular examinations and dental cleanings is important for
maintaining the health of your mouth and longevity of your
other porcelain restorations, chipping and fractures may occur.
Chipped or fractured porcelain veneers cannot be repaired, so
your dentist will advise you of the costs and added time
associated with replacing a damaged restoration.
To reduce the
risk of damage to your veneers, do not bite or chew on hard
objects such as nut shells or bones, and do not use your teeth
to open or tear packages. Your dentist also may advise you to
avoid certain foods that could damage the porcelain or composite
floss your teeth as you normally would, and be sure to use a
non-abrasive toothpaste. Because veneers are highly polishable,
the risk of staining the veneers with food or drink after the
procedure is complete is greatly reduced. However, brushing
after drinking red wine, coffee, tea or soda is advisable.
The cost of
dental veneers depends on many factors, including:
The fees of the cosmetic
dentist performing the procedure.
The artistic and technical skill of the ceramist making
the veneers and the cosmetic dentist who places the veneers.
The location where dental veneers treatment is
performed. Costs for dental veneers and all cosmetic
dentistry procedures vary widely by region of the country,
specifically from large metropolitan areas to smaller towns.
The type of dental
insurance you have. Dental insurance
typically does not cover cosmetic procedures.
The material used. Porcelain veneers are more expensive
than indirect or direct composite resin veneers.
The number of teeth requiring veneers.
offer payment plans for cosmetic and restorative dental
procedures. Ask your dentist about financing options you may
qualify for. There are third-party financing through companies
like CareCredit & Chase Health Advantage. Qualified candidates
can work with a financing company to develop a monthly payment
plan to fit their budget.
Authored By: Greg Johnstone
Reviewed By: Dennis J. Wells, DDS