Think only celebrities or Instagram beauty influencers are flashing porcelain veneer smiles? Think again. Today’s veneers improve the smiles and self-esteem of everyday people. People just like you. You’re not looking to ‘go Hollywood.’ You like who you are. But you’d love the little boost that fixing stained, chipped, gapped, or misaligned front teeth would give you.
More and more people in the greater San Diego area with seemingly natural, lovely smiles have veneers. If you’re thinking you’d like a more beautiful but natural smile, you can get that in El Cajon. Dr. Renae Wilson, DDS, a highly rated and experienced cosmetic dentist understands all the reasons people chose cosmetic dentistry. She’ll listen to the types of changes you’d like to make—however subtle or dramatic—and ensure you’re a good candidate for veneers.
Today’s Dental Veneers
Veneers are thin but durable customized shells of dental-grade porcelain made to fit perfectly over each treated tooth. This technology has advanced over the last twenty years so that now the veneer material and process are considered the best and most conservative option for a beautiful smile.
Two types of materials are now used for their translucency and durability: sintered feldspathic porcelain and pressable ceramic. Each are produced with computer-aided precision. Both types range from translucent to opaque, and depending upon what you need, your dentist will discuss with you what is best for your circumstance. Porcelain veneers are considered more durable.
What Happens to My Teeth?
An excellent cosmetic dentist leaves nearly all your tooth’s enamel intact before the veneer is placed. Yet, attaching a veneer to your tooth requires buffing off only about ½ millimeter of the tooth’s surface to allow for the added thickness of the veneer. That veneer is bonded to your tooth’s prepared surface with a composite resin that hardens under a special light. The resin is not harmful to the tooth surface. However, the process does permanently change the structure of your natural teeth.
Can I Drink Coffee, Tea, and Red Wine?
Yes, yes, and yes—but think moderation. Porcelain is not porous like tooth enamel, so your veneers won’t stain like your regular teeth. After five or more years, you will likely see some staining on the edges of your veneers where they meet gum lines. This is especially so for patients who experience any gum recession over the life of their veneers. However, with good brushing and flossing habits and regular dental cleanings, your veneers will look beautiful for a long time. Plus, porcelain veneers are incredibly hard and are highly resistant to damage, just like your teeth.
How Long Will Veneers Last?
Porcelain veneers with proper care will last between 10 and 15 years. Of course, individual habits can shorten or lengthen the life span of your veneers, just like your natural teeth. Avoid hard, tooth-cracking foods, don’t chew ice, and don’t use your veneers as tools. Over time, they will stain slightly, just not as badly as your enamel. If you take care of your teeth, you’re taking care of your veneers.
Tell Me About the Procedure
Dental veneers usually require three appointments:
- Diagnosis and treatment planning
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
It’s important to ensure you’re a good candidate for veneers. Dr. Wilson will first ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. Also, if you grind your teeth or are a stress clencher, you may need to wear a night guard while sleeping if you choose to get veneers. (You should probably do that anyway to save your enamel and prevent potential problems associated with Bruxism.)
Plus, we believe that patients should take an active role in planning how their new smile will look. That requires acquiring information and discussing options before making your final decision. We ensure you understand the pros and cons as well as the limitations of the procedure. Need more than one consultation? No problem. Although we do this regularly, we know you don’t. We want you to feel comfortable about your choices.
Preparation of Teeth
Depending upon how many teeth you choose to veneer, your appointment will take from one to two hours. This is when we lightly buff your tooth enamel to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. At this appointment, we take a mold and send it to the laboratory for a high-tech fabrication of your veneers. This can take from one to two weeks.
Once the veneers return from the lab, it will take about one hour to place your new veneers on your teeth.
- We place the veneers on your teeth to check their fit and color. At this point, while the veneers are resting on your teeth, you’ll get to view the esthetic results. This is when we want you to pay particular attention to color, which can still be adjusted with the shade of cement.
- Once you’re happy with the color, we apply the veneers. To do this, we cleanse the tooth with special chemicals to achieve a bond. We then sandwich a special bonding agent between the veneer and tooth, using a special light to harden the cement.
- We hand you a mirror and watch you smile. That’s the very best part.
Care for your veneers the way you would your teeth. Here are some specific recommendations:
- Brush and floss twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride and flossing protect the natural tooth underneath the veneer. Those habits promote healthy gums as well, which is important to prevent staining at the gum line.
- Be dedicated to your regular cleanings and dental check-ups. Dr. Renae Wilson will monitor your veneers for any changes as well as check for any signs of decay near the gum line.
- Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, get some help to stop.
- Although your porcelain veneers will resist staining, over time they can become discolored near the gum line. Remember moderation in all things. Sweet and sticky foods or sodas are bad for your overall health and teeth. Your teeth still need love as well as your veneers, in equal measures.
- Remember that your porcelain veneers aren’t tools. If you play contact sports, for heaven’s sakes, get a custom-fitted mouth guard.
What’s a No-Prep Veneer?
No-prep veneers (often branded as Lumineers) involve little or no enamel reduction. Sound too good to be true? It can be if done by the wrong person. Patients can end up with a ‘toothy’ smile, for the teeth extend out farther than usual. How well a no-prep veneer lasts or functions is case dependent. We believe better results are achieved for our patients with other methods.
Studies Show What We See Daily
We’ve watched personal transformations occur when patients get stained or misaligned teeth fixed. Studies show that aesthetic restorative treatments have positive effects on patients’ self-esteem. Look, we know you’re fine just the way you are. But when you smile more, you feel better and more confident. If you’d like to discuss the possibilities of what veneers might do for you, give Dr. Renae Wilson, DDS a call at 619-588-2420.