We are known for our beautiful veneer cases. Most patients who are considering veneers have done considerable research or have spoken to someone else with veneers. This section will give you more information about veneers and smile transformations and will help clarify what is important in your decision-making process.
Veneers also go by the names “porcelain veneers”, “porcelain laminates” and “ceramic veneers”.
Veneers may be used for the following purposes:
- Straightening of crooked teeth
- To lighten dark or discolored teeth
- Correction for worn edges of teeth
- Coverage teeth with decay on the front surface
- Closing of spaces between teeth, including dark triangles from recession
- To create better proportions of the front teeth
- Replacement on older veneers
In each of the above situations there are extreme cases where veneers may not provide all the answers.
Veneers can be very thin, conserving most of the existing tooth structure. In some situations there can be little or no drilling (see ultra-thin veneers, below). Veneers can be made of composite (see Direct Veneers), feldspathic ceramic or pressed ceramic. With feldspathic ceramic a skilled dental laboratory technicians mixes porcelain powders with liquid and incrementally builds the veneer in layers. This provides many options for shading and characterization. Different brands of feldspathic porcelain have different color characteristics and working properties. With pressed ceramic, a skilled technician first builds the veneer in wax, then replaces the wax with by pressing the ceramic into a mold made from the wax design.
The best decision you can make as a patient is to discuss with the dentist which material is best for your particular situation. At Studio Dentistry we use both materials and decisions are based upon the condition and strength of the teeth, the amount of characterization desired, whether the patient wishes a natural or a Hollywood smile and the additional goals the patient may wish to achieve with veneers. It should be understood that a technician who is fantastic with one material may not be as skilled with the other material.
You may have heard of many trade names for veneers. Here is a list of some:
- Vita porcelain (feldspathic)
- Noritake porcelain (feldspathic)
- Willi Geller porcelain (feldspathic)
- Empress (pressed)
Lumineers is a heavily marketed trade name that you may recognize. The manufacturer and dentists may advertise this material as “no-drill” or “painless” veneers. The primary application is for situations where the teeth are undersized and larger sized teeth are desirable. Unfortunately, the results can be overly opaque and too large to maintain healthy gums. If you have a situation where ultra-thin or no-drill veneers are ideal, we provide an alternative.
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Before & After
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What to expect
We first make molds and models of your teeth and take diagnostic photographs. We may provide a photographic preview of the proposed design for your new smile. We almost always do a diagnostic wax-up. This is used as a guide to the preparation design of the teeth to be treated. It is also used to create “trial restorations” that you will wear while your work is completed by our laboratory. The trial restorations will give you an opportunity to approve the design and to suggest any changes you may wish.
The teeth to be treated are usually anesthetized and conservative preparations are made on each of the teeth. An impression is made that accurately transfers the information to our laboratory. You will return for your veneers in two or three weeks (in urgent situations and with advance notice this time can be shortened to less than one week). The trial veneers are removed, the porcelain veneers are tried in, approved for appearance and bonded. It normally takes a few days for initial tissue healing once the finished veneers are placed. Once healing is complete, we like to schedule a personal smile portrait for you.
While veneers can last 20 years or more, not all do. Length of service depends on your bite, the beginning condition of your teeth, design of the prepared teeth, bonding technique, and maintenance of excellent dental health, especially gum health.
Here are the most important things to having a beautiful and lasting result:
- Pick a dentist who has lots of experience with veneers. This dentist will exercise skill in case design (critical) tooth preparation (critical) and bonding technique (critical). Dr. Strain is a long time member and Accreditation Candidate with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. This helps provide you assurance as to his experience and skill level.
- Pick dentist who uses a highly skilled laboratory technician. This technician will exercise skill in individual tooth design (critical) and material handling (critical).
As you might imagine, veneers are a most remarkable way to make a beautiful smile, but they are the most skill and technique sensitive treatment offered in esthetic and restorative dentistry.