Porcelain veneers are ceramic shells placed on the front surface of the natural teeth. They provide an instant transformation to a patient’s smile; dentists make custom veneers for every patient to ensure a perfect fit. Porcelain veneers resemble natural teeth due to the advanced materials used in making them. Dentists can use porcelain veneers for a wide range of cosmetic dental corrections, from teeth whitening to orthodontic treatment. Porcelain veneers rank among the most reputable and popular cosmetic dentistry procedures due to their natural and lifelike appearance. If you or a loved one needs porcelain veneers in Carson, CA, Washington Dental can help.

About Dental Veneers

If you are curious about porcelain veneers, the chances are that you have a stubborn tooth coloration that at-home teeth whiteners and teeth whitening strips are not helping. Maybe you have a chipped tooth that you would want to fix. Perhaps you are not happy with your teeth' shape and size, and you would love to transform your smile. Whatever the reason, porcelain veneers have gained immense popularity in the last few years.

People constantly post the transformation photos after the application of porcelain veneers. The before-and-after images make porcelain veneers look quick and easy. However, the process of getting porcelain veneers is more involved and expensive than you might expect. If you are interested in porcelain veneers, you should ensure that you know everything about them to avoid surprises.  Veneers are popular because of their surprising results. They leave you with a natural-looking and realistic smile that; veneers can make your teeth look perfect. 

The History Of Dental Veneers

Porcelain veneers have gained immense popularity in the past decades. Veneers originated almost a century ago and were commonly used in the film industry. Dr. Charles Pincus, a famous Hollywood dentist, devised dental veneers to help actors improve their smiles while on the screen. Charles Pincus temporarily placed false fronts to the actor’s teeth to perfect their smiles and make them appear attractive. Before long, the temporary dental veneers had become a staple in Hollywood, and many players in the industry were using them.

During this time, it was not possible to place veneers permanently on the teeth. Dr. Michael Buonocore devised adhesive dentistry in 1960. Buonocore used a mild acidic solution to etch the teeth slightly. This procedure helped create a surface that allowed a stronger bonding for dental sealants and restorations. In 1982, J.R. Calamia and R.J Simonsen further employed the techniques that Dr. Buonocore had devised for porcelain veneers. By this time, people could achieve the flawless smiles that were previously available to Hollywood Elites.

Dental Veneers Today

In today's world, dental veneers have become lifelike and more convenient than they have ever been due to the consistent advancements in the dental industry for the past 30 years. The current types of porcelain veneers that dentists use are stronger and reflect light. Porcelain veneers resemble natural dental enamel. With the availability of dental imaging systems, dentists can create natural-looking restorations within a short time. Porcelain veneers identify a patient's natural teeth shape and color. Dentists combine several procedures, including teeth whitening, dental crowns, and other dental treatments with porcelain veneers to ensure that they provide comprehensive cosmetic results to patients.

You can get a dental veneer for just one tooth or multiple teeth. You also have the option of choosing between partial and full veneers. Partial veneers do not cover the entire tooth, while full veneers cover the whole front of your tooth. Whether you go for partial or full veneers will depend on your needs and your budget.

A Good Candidate For Dental Veneers

How can you tell whether you are a good candidate for dental veneers? You should meet specific criteria to be a good candidate for dental veneers:

  • You should have good oral health and periodontal health
  • You should know your cosmetic goals, be realistic, and communicate your expectations to your dentist
  • You should constantly maintain good oral hygiene and care after receiving the porcelain veneers
  • A patient should have enough enamel on the tooth because the dentist will remove a thin enamel layer before placing the porcelain veneers.

Several signs may indicate that you are not a good candidate for porcelain veneers. You may not be a good candidate for dental veneers if you have dental conditions like tooth decay, root canal infection, or gum disease. However, you can receive root canal treatment if you have undergone an effective treatment for these dental conditions.

If you consider receiving dental veneers, you should understand that this dental procedure is generally permanent. This is because the dentist will remove some enamel from your tooth before placing the veneers. In some instances, a veneer replacement or a different restoration might be necessary. Because porcelain veneers are more of a lifetime commitment, you should be sure about this dental procedure before you decide to undergo it.

If you often grind or clench your teeth, you might not be an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are relatively strong and durable. However, the forces that result from teeth grinding and clenching could put an intense strain on the porcelain veneers, making them break or come off completely.  However, many dentists can treat the issue of teeth grinding and then place porcelain veneers.

The best way for a patient to determine if they are a good candidate for porcelain veneers is to visit a cosmetic dentist. During the first appointment, the cosmetic dentist will evaluate your teeth and determine if you can receive porcelain veneers. The dentist will also consider other essential factors like the patient’s health history and enamel condition. A dentist will let you know if porcelain veneers are a viable option for you or recommend an alternative treatment.

Most people are good candidates for porcelain veneers. Any person with healthy gums and good oral hygiene can consider porcelain veneers. 

Choosing Between Porcelain Veneers And Resin Composite Veneers

Veneers are often made from resin composite or porcelain. Porcelain veneers are also known as dental porcelain laminates. Compared to resin veneers, porcelain veneers are stain resistant. Porcelain veneers also have similar light-reflecting properties as your natural teeth better than resin veneers. Your cosmetic dentist will help you choose between the two options.

Dental Problems That Dental Veneers Fix

What types of dental issues do dental veneers correct? Porcelain veneers can fix the following dental issues:

  • Discolored teeth — teeth could be discolored because of a root canal treatment, excessive fluoride, stains from drugs and tetracycline, large fillings, and other causes.
  • Worn-out teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Misaligned, irregularly shaped, and uneven teeth that have bulges and craters in them
  • Teeth with spaces between them — porcelain veneers help reduce or eliminate the gaps between teeth.

Veneers Vs. Lumineers

If you browse the internet, you have probably come across a no-prep version called lumineers. Lumineers are a type of semi-permanent veneer, a more affordable option than porcelain veneers. However, lumineers do not last as long as conventional veneers. Lumineers do not require preparation like shaving down the teeth first.  However, just like with porcelain veneers, not everyone is a good candidate for lumineers. You should check with your dentist first to determine whether you are a good candidate.

Porcelain Veneers Procedure

You may make up to three visits  to the dentists to complete the dental veneer fitting. The initial trip is for consultation, while the other two visits involve making and applying the veneers. One or several teeth can undergo the dental veneering process. 

Diagnosis And Planning The Treatment

During the initial appointment, you will inform the cosmetic dentist about the results you intend to achieve through the dental veneers. The dentist will evaluate your teeth and determine whether you are a good candidate for veneers.  The dentists will take x-rays and properly make an impression of your teeth.

The Preparation

The dentist will reshape the tooth surface to prepare it for dental veneer placement.  The dentist will remove a thin layer of your enamel, almost equivalent to the veneer’s thickness. The dentist may numb the area before shaping  the enamel to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure.  The next step involves making an impression or a model of the tooth. The model is forwarded to a dental lab that makes custom porcelain veneers. It may take between two and four weeks for the veneers to come back from the dental laboratory. During this time, you may use temporary dental veneers.

The Bonding Procedure

The dentist places the veneer on the top of the target tooth to determine its fit and color. The dentist may trim and remove the veneer to achieve the desired fit before cementing the veneer on the tooth. The dentist can adjust the veneer color with the cement shade to be used. The dentist then prepares your tooth for  the veneers. The preparation involves cleaning, polishing, and etching the tooth’s surface. Etching helps roughen the tooth surface to enhance the bonding process.

The dentist applies special cement on the veneer and then places it on the tooth. After placing the porcelain veneer correctly, the dentist will shine a  light to activate certain chemicals within the cement, making the cement harden quickly.  The last step involves removing the excess cement, checking your bite, while making any necessary adjustments.  The dentist may schedule a future appointment after several weeks to review the veneer's placement and the condition of your gums.

The Advantages Of Porcelain Veneers

There are several benefits of dental veneers:

  • They resemble natural teeth — no one will notice that you are wearing dental veneers.
  • Gums tolerate porcelain veneers well
  • Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains
  • The veneers can make darker teeth appear whiter
  • Porcelain veneers do not require much shaping like dental crowns, yet they look better and are more robust than dental crowns.

The Downsides Of Porcelain Veneers

Despite the many benefits of porcelain veneers, there are several risks:

  • The procedure of fitting veneers is permanent and cannot be undone
  • Porcelain veneers are more costly than the resin composite bonding
  • If veneers chip or crack, they cannot be repaired
  • Your teeth might become more sensitive to cold or hot foods and drinks because the enamel has been removed
  • The veneers may not match the exact color of your teeth. Once the veneer is in place, it’s impossible to alter its color. If you plan to whiten your teeth, you should conduct this procedure before installing the porcelain veneers.
  • Even if it is rare, a dental veneer may dislodge and fall off. You should reduce the likelihood of this happening by ensuring that you do not bite your nails, ice, chew on pencils, or other hard items. You should avoid applying too much pressure on your teeth.
  • Even when your teeth have porcelain veneers, they are still prone to tooth decay, which might necessitate the full coverage of the tooth with a dental crown.
  • If you have unhealthy teeth, dental veneers are not suitable for you, especially if you suffer from gum disease or tooth decay. The veneers are also no idea if you have weakened teeth because of large dental fillings, fractures, and decay. The veneers are also not ideal if you do not have adequate enamel on your tooth's surface.
  • The veneers may break or chip off if you grind or clench your teeth

Taking Care Of Porcelain Veneers After Installation

Dental veneers have a lifespan of 7-15 years, after which you will need to replace the veneers. How long dental veneers last will depend on several factors, including how you take care of them. Unlike other dental procedures, you do not need an extended period to recover from the dental procedure of installing porcelain veneers. After the veneers are cemented in place and the anesthetics wear off, you can chew or eat as you usually would. You should avoid chewing before the anesthetics wear off because you might chew on your cheeks or tongue.

You may notice that the veneers feel a bit rough immediately after they are fitted. The roughness may result from the extra cement that adheres to the veneers. However, you do not have to worry about this because the cement will wear off after several weeks of eating and brushing your teeth. If the roughness persists, your dentist can smooth the teeth out.

Taking good care of your porcelain veneers will ensure that the veneers serve you for an extended period.  The recommended precautions include:

  • Ensuring that you do not chew on hard objects like ice, pens, and fingernails
  • You should not use your teeth to open the packaging.
  • Avoid chewing food using your front teeth. You should use the back teeth while chewing hard foods. You may consider cutting hard foods like chocolate bars into small pieces to make it possible to eat with your back teeth.
  • If you clench or grind your teeth at night, you should get a retainer or a splint to protect your dental veneers.
  • You should ensure that whenever you play sports, you wear a mouthguard

Brushing Your Dental Veneers

Consistent cleaning and brushing are necessary to keep your porcelain veneers looking fantastic for the longest time possible. You should also visit the dentist at least twice every year for cleanings. Porcelain veneers are an investment that you have to take care of the same way you take care of your natural teeth. If you do not brush often, you might have to replace the veneers sooner than their standard lifespan. It is important to note that you can still get dental cavities even when you have dental veneers. The application of porcelain veneers is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of dental procedure.  Taking good care of your veneers will ensure that they last as long as possible.

Whether Dental Veneers Are Painful

One of the questions that most patients ask is whether dental veneers are painful. Porcelain veneers might be a bit uncomfortable after installation. It takes several hours to apply dental veneers. How it takes will depend on the total veneers you require.  You may have to remain on the dental chair for around three hours to have the dentist apply ten porcelain veneers. 

What most people wonder is whether dental veneers are painful, both during installation and afterward. You do not have to worry about pain during the application of porcelain veneers because the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area he or she is working on.  It is normal to experience a sharp or dull pain a few hours after the anesthesia wears off. You may consider taking Ibuprofen to prevent inflammation.

There is often an adjustment period after the procedure. Your bite might feel off, and you may experience pain when you bite an object. If the discomfort persists, the dentist may make slight adjustments to your teeth with a file to remove excess cement that could be stuck between your teeth. After some time, you will forget that you had your teeth done because your teeth will feel normal again.

The Cost Of Porcelain Veneers

The costs involved in the application of porcelain veneers include the consultation costs. Porcelain veneers are more costly than resin composite veneers. The prices of porcelain veneers will vary depending on several factors. The average cost of installing porcelain veneers averages around several hundred dollars per tooth. Additional factors that will determine the cost of porcelain veneers are:

  • The geographic location
  • The dentist’s level of experience
  • The number of porcelain veneers you need

Whether Porcelain Veneers Are Worth The Investment

Compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, porcelain veneers are costlier. However, veneers are a worthwhile investment because of the instant transformation they give your teeth.  Porcelain veneers are convenient and provide lifelong results.

Whether porcelain veneers are worth it or not depends on how you feel about your current situation. It also depends on the amount of money you are willing to spend and the commitment you are willing to make to take care of the veneers. Just as you would do when considering another irreversible dental treatment, you should take some time to talk things over with your dentist during the initial consultation. After seeking the counsel of a dentist, you will understand what you are getting yourself into, making it easy to determine whether the procedure is worth it. 

The application of porcelain veneers is a cosmetic dental procedure, which means that dental insurance plans do not cover this procedure. However, there are some exceptions to this coverage. Dental insurance plans may cover the application of porcelain veneers if it is evident that your health and quality of life will improve after the application of porcelain veneers.  The replacement of an old porcelain veneer might also be covered under your dental insurance plan. You need to find out if your dental insurance plan covers dental veneers.

If your dental insurance plan does not cover porcelain veneers, you can explore several financing options. Different financing options come with varying options of repayment.  Most dentists provide in-house repayment options. It is advisable to ask your dentist whether they offer a payment plan since you might not cover the entire cost at once.

Choosing A Cosmetic Dentist For Porcelain Veneers

It is essential to ensure that you receive porcelain veneers from an experienced dentist because it provides a higher quality and safety level. Always take time to consider the professional affiliations that a dentist has. A reliable dentist should be an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The dentist should have all the necessary qualifications and should demonstrate excellence in clinical practice. 

A good cosmetic dentist should take an artistic approach to porcelain veneers.  You can examine the before-and-after photos of other patients to ensure that the cosmetic dentist can provide what you want. Make sure that the results look natural. You would not like every other person you meet to know that you are wearing dental veneers. 

Find An Experienced Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to bring out a patient’s beauty. Porcelain veneers will help you achieve a stunning look that appears natural and like it was always there. Porcelain recreates the tooth's natural characteristics and is stain resistant. For high-quality porcelain veneers at Carson, CA, contact Washington Dental. Call us at 310-217-1507 and speak to one of our dentists.