If you have crooked, misaligned, or stained teeth, porcelain veneers may be the best treatment option. Often referred to as dental porcelain laminates or dental veneers, these tooth-colored shells are custom-made to match the individual’s tooth and to address chipping, staining, or gaps. 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 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.
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.
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 high-quality porcelain 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.
Dental Veneer Appointments
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 and 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 thin, the teeth may need to be prepared to allow for the added thickness.
A mold is then taken of the teeth and sent to the lab for fabrication. Temporary veneers can sometimes be placed at this time, and the permanent veneer should be ready in approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
Bonding / Delivery:
At the time of your third appointment, Drs. Pollowitz and 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 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.
With proper home care, veneers can 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.