Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. As a cosmetic dental procedure, dental veneers create a brighter, whiter smile composed of more perfectly aligned and shapely teeth. Veneers are sometimes placed for cosmetic reasons alone, rather than for necessary health purposes. The translucent quality of today’s porcelain veneers provides a more natural look than what has been available to past generations. This allows a beautiful and natural looking smile. Porcelain material is a perfect solution for the demands of your teeth.
Placing custom teeth veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to cosmetic detail – skills that demonstrate the extensive training prosthodontists undergo. Hal N. Arnold, D.M.D., M.S. Esthetic & Implant Dentistry places veneers routinely and designs each case individually to match and enhance the characteristics of each patient’s smile.
Despite the cause of unattractive teeth, veneers alone have the ability to solve most, if not all, of your cosmetic concerns regarding your smile and existing teeth. These problems include:
- Wear and Tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Older teeth are more likely to have cracks, chips, or an uneven appearance.
- Worn Enamel: The thin, hard white substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled, and discolored over time.
- Uneven Teeth: Uneven length or width of teeth can be the result of teeth grinding or general wear.
- Genetics: Certain people may be born with abnormal appearance of teeth or spacing between the teeth that grows wider as they age.
- Alternative to Orthodontics: Some malalignment issues can be addressed with these conservative restorations.
HOW DURABLE ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS?
With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for well over a decade. Dr. Arnold will ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available.
Refraining from using your veneers as tools to open and cut things will prolong their life and if accidental breakage or damage occurs, it is usually possible to replace only the veneer involved.
Veneers are a permanent solution, but it’s an easy procedure. In fact, you can have a completely new smile – with less risk of tooth decay – in just a couple of visits.
The first step involves trimming the tooth that will receive the porcelain veneer. A good treatment plan will always include trimming the area of the tooth that shows signs of decay (if any) first before other areas.
Dr. Arnold fits a temporary smile to the patient. He then minimally shapes and fits their teeth for the temporary veneers they will wear for two weeks. This unique step allows patients to test drive their new, improved smile.
SELECTING A SHADE FOR YOUR CUSTOM VENEERS
Dr. Arnold will choose the color of the porcelain shade based on the color of the rest of your teeth, mainly the surrounding teeth. You will be involved in this part of this process, and your input is very important.
This is a vital part of the process where Dr. Arnold will also determine which part of the laminae needs to be more translucent so that the new tooth looks just like your real tooth. He will then involve his dental lab in the process where a custom blend will blended for you to match his specifications for your case.
Once Dr. Arnold has trimmed your teeth or tooth and cleaned the surrounding area, an impression of your tooth (or teeth) along with the gums and neighboring teeth will be taken. The impression creates an image of your jaw which helps us determine how to proceed with veneering.
The process involves applying a thick paste-like substance onto the teeth and making the patient bite on a tray to lock an impression. Sometimes in our practice we also use the camera attached to the chair to take a picture of the teeth.
Since it takes several weeks for our custom lab to prepare a porcelain veneer, a temporary veneer may be applied during this period.
After wearing the temporary smile, the patient returns to provide feedback on the look and fit of their veneers. Using this feedback, a master ceramist makes a new mold before creating the final veneers.
EVALUATING THE FIT
Once the new veneer is ready, Dr. Arnold will put it in place to determine the accuracy. This is important because even a slight miscalculation can result in bigger problems. So, the veneer may be placed in your mouth, removed and trimmed several times to get the perfect the fit.
You’ll be asked to bite, close your mouth, and even move your mouth to make sure there is no discomfort when the veneer is in place.
Bonding It on The Tooth
Once everything is in place, including the shade, shape, and aesthetics of the veneer, it’s time to get it bonded to your tooth. The surface of both the veneer and your original tooth will be polished before bonding.
An acid gel is then etched onto the surface of the tooth for 20 seconds or less. This process is called etching and it creates a surface that allows the veneer to bond to the original tooth. The gel is then washed off and a bonding agent is placed on the veneer to tighten the bond.
The custom color of the shade is then squished inside the veneer and a blue light is then passed on to the porcelain veneer for about a minute to finalize the bonding