Do you have crooked or stained teeth and feel those conditions hurt your overall appearance? If this is the case, it’s time to talk to the dentists at the Washington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry about porcelain veneers. Often referred to as dental porcelain laminates or dental veneers, these tooth-colored shells are fragile. They are custom-made to match the individual’s tooth and to address their specific issue. The wafer-thin shell bonds to the front of the tooth to change its shape, color, length, or size.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers, also known as porcelain laminates, are our specialty. 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 conservative approach and versatility. With veneers as an alternative, there is no reason to put up with gaps between your teeth, teeth that are stained, poorly shaped, or crooked. A veneer placed on top of your teeth can mask these maladies, and quickly, to help you achieve a beautiful smile!
Will They Look Like Normal Teeth?
When bonded to the teeth, our ultra-thin porcelain veneers are radiant, natural, and beautiful and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options. Because they are thin, light can shine through them, and they take on the natural color of the underlying tooth.
How Durable Are Porcelain Veneers?
With proper care, porcelain veneers can brighten your smile for well over a decade. Drs. Pollowitz and Brown will ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available.
How Veneers Can Improve The Appearance Of The Smile
Veneers treat uneven, misaligned, and irregularly-shaped teeth or teeth that have gaps between them. Broken and chipped teeth may be repaired with veneers, and the same is true of those that are worn down. Any teeth discolored from the use of certain medications, those with large resin fillings that negatively impact the appearance of the tooth, and those that are discolored following root canal treatment benefit from veneers also.
This procedure will usually require three appointments:
- Diagnosis and treatment planning
- Bonding / Delivery
Patients typically find multiple visits are required for veneers. In many cases, an initial consultation is needed for the veneers unless they are part of an overall treatment plan. The dentist determines how many teeth to address in a given appointment, as multiple teeth may receive veneers the same day.
During the consultation, the patient and dentist discuss what they wish to achieve with the veneers. At this time, the dentist explains what veneers can and cannot do, along with other alternatives available to the patient. During this visit, the dentist may opt to take x-rays and impressions of the teeth and mouth.
During a follow-up visit, a thin section of enamel on the front of the tooth being treated is removed. In most cases, this section is 1/2 millimeter or less, as this makes room for the veneer, which is approximately the same size. Anesthesia may or may not be used during the process, and additional impressions or models will be made. The model is then sent to the dental lab responsible for making the veneer, and this process typically takes one to two weeks. In certain situations, a temporary veneer may be offered at an added cost.
The final visit involves the actual bonding of the veneer. Before the bonding occurs, the dentist ensures the veneer is the correct size, shape, and color and may trim the veneer or make other adjustments. The tooth is then cleaned and polished before being etched to ensure a strong bond.
A special dental cement is applied to both the tooth and the veneer, and the veneer is placed on the tooth. The dentist adjusts the position of the veneer and adheres to the tooth with a special light beam, and this beam activates chemicals present in the cement to harden or cure it rapidly. Excess adhesive is removed, and the bite evaluated, as this allows for any final adjustments. A follow-up visit may be requested to check the gum health and ensure the veneer is placed correctly, and the dentist will determine when this is needed.
Diagnosis and treatment planning:
You will want to take an active role in planning your smile design. Drs. Pollowitz & Brown will review the corrective limitations of this procedure and help you plan your new smile.
The second appointment will take up to a few hours. Although the porcelain veneer is fragile, the teeth may need to be prepared to allow for the added thickness.
Then a mold is taken of the teeth and sent to the lab for fabrication. If the teeth are too unsightly, temporary veneers can be placed at this time. The veneer should be ready in approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
Bonding / Delivery:
At the time of your third appointment, Drs. Pollowitz & Brown will first place the veneer on your teeth with water or glycerin to check their fit and color. At this point, the color of the veneer can still be adjusted by the shade of the cement used to adhere to it. Once the color is determined, and the veneer is ready to be applied, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. A special cement is placed between the teeth and the veneer, and a visible light beam is used to harden the cement.
Care and follow up:
Brush and floss daily. If asked, return for a follow-up visit after one to two weeks.
Maintenance of your new Veneers:
Patients must continue to brush and floss after the placement of veneers. Care has to be taken, as particular food and beverages can stain the veneers, even those that are stain-resistant. This should be discussed with the dentist to ensure there are no issues in the future.
Individuals have options when it comes to rectifying issues with their teeth. Porcelain veneers are one option, with crowns and bondings being others. With the help of a dentist, patients can find the options which offer the best solution for their unique needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you get the smile you desire and deserve.
If you are a known clencher (bruxer), please be sure to let us know. Dr. Pollowitz and Dr. Brown may recommend a night guard for you to wear to minimize the stress placed upon your teeth while you sleep.
We hope that your new veneers fulfill your esthetic goal. With proper home care and scheduled visits, they are sure to provide you with a beautiful smile for years to come. If you have any questions regarding porcelain veneers or any of our other dentistry services offered, give us a call at 202-363-2500.