WHAT ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS?
Porcelain veneers are thin tooth colored and shaped porcelain shells that are designed to cover the front and top surfaces of the teeth as well as help create the ideal smile you have always wanted. They can change the color, shape and design of your smile. Due to our philosophy of Minimally Invasive dentistry, we will discuss the treatment objectives with the you and in most cases if appropriate, offer you a Smile Design Preview or Mock-Up by placing composite tooth colored bonding material directly onto your untreated teeth and shaping a preview of your new smile so that you can evaluate as well as view first hand what the final treatment would look like. The bonding material is easily removed after the appointment since the tooth surface is untreated. During the Smile Design Mock-up appointment, you are encouraged to bring friends or family to help you decide if the proposed smile design is right for you.
The main advantages of porcelain veneers over composite bonding is the strength of the porcelain, which is significantly stronger than the composite. Both can appear very natural with the porcelain being highly resistant to coffee, tea, food or smoking staining.
WILL PORCELAIN VENEERS LOOK LIKE NORMAL TEETH?
Porcelain veneers, once cemented, are literally undetectable and appear as natural teeth as well as being highly resistant to coffee, tea and other food stains and allow you to have the smile you have always dreamed.
Designing, preparing and placing veneers requires a high degree of technical as well as artistic skill and requires considerable attention to detail so the end result exceeds your expectations.
HOW DURABLE ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS AND HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST?
Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Berman will ensure that your veneers are designed and fabricated from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced materials available. Porcelain veneers can last up to 10 to 15 years and even longer with proper care and maintenance including regular dental and periodontal health maintenance.
Please note, your teeth that are covered with porcelain veneers or composite bonding should never be used as tools to open up plastic bags or biting your nails, etc..
WHAT IS A SMILE DESIGN MOCK-UP OR DENTAL MOCK-UP PREVIEW?
A Smile Design mock-up is a procedure used by Dr. Robert Schwartz to offer you a preview of the final results of your smile without the considerable expense and time necessary to go through the complete procedure to help you decide if full bonding or porcelain veneers are the best treatment for tou. It involves the placement of composite, which is initially a soft white putty type of material that is hardened with the exposure to a very bright light, on the anterior teeth. The composite is placed, shaped and designed by Dr. Robert Schwartz who then sculpts your ideal smile. It is placed on the tooth without any conditioner or treatment to the tooth surface so that it can be removed easily at the end of the visit. Most untrained dentists who perform cosmetic dental procedures usually rely on their dental laboratory to come up with the design and final results, but Dr. Robert Schwartz, an Accredited American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry dentist, can help you, the patient directly design the perfect smile for you that you have always wanted.
Additionally, transitional bonding which is similar to a smile design mockup is used for anything from a long term mock-up that you live with for a few weeks or months to determine if it is right for you to a full-mouth rehabilitation. It’s called transitional because it allows you to live with the teeth on either a long term or short term basis to eventually transition into more permanent dentistry as the treatment sequence demands. It will also allow the Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Berman time to work out any bite related and aesthetic issues and it is an important tool in the vast skill-set of an accomplished accredited cosmetic dentist.
THE MAKEUP or anatomy OF A TOOTH
The external part of the tooth consists of enamel, which is composed of very closely knit calcium crystals and contains no living tissue which dental porcelains can easily and efficiently imitate.
The inner part of a tooth is composed of dentin, which is more porous and similar to bone. It consists of microscopic tubes of collagen with calcium crystal deposits. Dentin is living and very sensitive. To mimic the natural dentin and enamel in the teeth, today’s dental composite resins and porcelain restorations are common in non-amalgam fillings.
WHAT ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS OR LAMINATES?
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. It is often the material of choice for those looking to make slight position alterations, or to change tooth shape, size, and/or color.
pORCELAIN VENEER CONSULTATION
Visiting Dr. Robert Schwartz, an Accredited American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry dentist and asking about porcelain veneers is the first step in determining if veneers are the right option for you, or if there are alternate solutions available. Communication with Dr. Schwartz about what you want corrected is critical for a successful result. Spend time clearly identifying what cosmetic improvements you want to accomplish.
You’ll often hear people say that celebrities have veneers and this may seem like the best way to replicate picture-perfect teeth, but each mouth is different and veneers need to be carefully researched.
Dr. Robert Schwartz will most begin with a smile analysis to determine what steps are necessary to achieve the smile you desire. In addition, he may suggest a diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try on” veneers and other procedures to see if the final result is actually what you’re looking for.
THE HOWS AND WHYS OF PORCELAIN VENEERS
Porcelain laminate veneers consist of a compilation of several thin ceramic layers which replace original tooth enamel, and an adhesive layer. To apply a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed, usually less than a millimeter. This is essential as it creates room for the porcelain veneer to fit within the mouth and most accurately restore natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth.
The bond between original tooth and porcelain veneer is critical as it not only provides the aesthetic perfection desired, but also a strong bond which is essential for correct veneer function. Light-sensitive resin is placed between the original tooth and the veneer and then hardened using a special curing light.
Porcelain veneers are a very successful option in many situations where the original tooth has developed poor color, shape, and contours. It is also a good choice for fractured teeth, gaps between teeth, and in some situations where the tooth position is compromised and there are minor bite-related problems. For some people, superficial stains do not respond well to tooth whitening or bleaching. In these situations, a porcelain veneer may be the best option.
MINIMAL PREP OR “NO-PREP” VENEERS
Some patients are looking for an alternative to traditional dental veneers or bonding, but be aware that this treatment option is not appropriate for everyone.
Just as with porcelain veneers, “no-prep” or minimal preparation veneers— so called because they typically don’t require the dentist to remove as much tooth material—are bonded to the front surface of your teeth. Often, the placement of no-prep veneers can be done more quickly and with less discomfort than traditional veneers.
Dr. Robert Schwartz will let you know if you are a good candidate for minimal preparation or “no-prep” veneers and if this option makes a sensible treatment plan.
THE BENEFITS OF VENEERS
Since porcelain veneers are individually sculpted for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, custom-made veneers resist coffee and tea stains, and cigarette smoke because they are made of high-tech non absorbent porcelain material.
With porcelain veneers—as opposed to crowns—your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount on the face of the tooth being altered to fit the veneer.
For teeth that resist whitening, veneers can make even the darkest teeth appear bright white while maintaining the structure of the tooth with ideally minimal alterations.
POTENTIAL VENEER DOWNSIDES
Because a portion of the original tooth enamel is reduced, a veneer is not considered a reversible treatment. Although adjustments and even new veneers can be made, you can never reliably return to the original condition of the tooth.
Creating porcelain veneers requires some laboratory time, so expect at least a week before they’re ready to be applied.
After the porcelain veneers are attached you will probably have some minor sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures due to the removal of a thin layer of enamel. This typically disappears within a few days. In a healthy mouth properly treated with porcelain veneers—and where destructive forces are minimized or eliminated—a patient should be able to use porcelain veneers like his or her own teeth for years without any problems such as chipping or staining. Although they’re very strong, veneers are also brittle. You should avoid the same excessive stresses you would avoid with non-veneered teeth: don’t bite your fingernails, chew ice, or open beer bottles with your veneers!
MAINTENANCE OF A PORCELAIN VENEERS
Maintaining porcelain veneers is actually quite simple: Treat them as you would your original teeth, with routine brushing and flossing. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste is suggested by our office.
One week after your veneers are placed, you will be required to return to our office for a follow-up visit and evaluation so that we can see how your mouth is reacting to the veneers. Even if you feel the veneers are a success, this appointment is vital to your future oral health.
If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, you may need to be fit with a night time bite guard so you do not damage your veneers.
You should also return to our office for regular professional maintenance because porcelain veneers should be polished with a specially formulated, non-abrasive paste, and because we need to inspect your dentistry for any sign of potential problems.