Are your teeth chipped, cracked, or malformed? Were you born with naturally darker enamel that makes getting your picture taken a nightmare? Have your teeth been permanently stained beyond the help of professional teeth-whitening systems? Having a smile that’s misshapen or discolored is less than desirable, and can make it hard to maintain a high level of self-confidence. You may have heard about recent advancements in cosmetic dentistry, such as porcelain veneers, which can simply and effectively correct cosmetic problems to create new smiles. What you might not be aware of is what porcelain porcelain veneers are and how the treatment process works. Using porcelain veneers, teeth that are discolored, chipped, or have gaps between them can look as good as, or better than, new.
- What Are Porcelain Veneers?
- Porcelain Veneers Success Story: Meet Nattiel
- Porcelain Veneers vs. Lumineers®
- Video: Correcting Teeth Imperfections with Porcelain Veneers
- The Porcelain Veneers Process
- Porcelain Veneers FAQs
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material that are bonded firmly to the front of your teeth to improve the color, shape, and alignment. They are natural-looking and are highly resistant to permanent discoloration from tobacco use or drinking coffee, tea, and red wine. Veneers can simply and effectively restore the health and beauty of your teeth, and give you the self-confident smile you’ve always wanted.
Porcelain Veneers Success Story: Meet Nattiel
Several years ago, Nattiel told us she was unhappy with the gaps between her front teeth along with the shape of her teeth. She was interested in a conservative, long-lasting way to improve her smile. As you can see, placing veneers on the front four teeth easily turned a beautiful smile into a gorgeous smile, and this photo of her completed smile was taken six years after the veneers were placed! Veneers can simply and effectively restore the health and beauty of your teeth, and give you the self-confident smile you’ve always wanted.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Lumineers®
Lumineers® work the same way that porcelain veneers do, and they may be preferable in some situations. The Lumineers’ thickness is commonly compared to being as thin as a contact lens. It will take less time to be fitted for Lumineers because Dr. Gillis can send the order for their creation straight to their company, DenMat, who has streamlined their production services. Lumineers can sometimes be completed without anesthetic, as they are able to be placed with very little or no preparation or shaping of the teeth.
The Porcelain Veneers Process
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain made to fit over existing teeth so they can hide your teeth’s imperfections. These veneers are created to mimic the light-reflecting quality of natural teeth, which is possible because the porcelain used is of such a high quality.
Initially, you’ll visit Dr. Gillis for a consultation appointment and she can record the size and color of teeth. This is done to ensure the porcelain veneers created for you will blend into your smile, so if you want to receive a teeth whitening treatment, it’s advisable to have this completed prior to the date you begin treatment. Dr. Gillis will send the record of your tooth’s size, shape, existing color, and desired color to a certified ceramist for creation of the porcelain veneers. Once the veneers are created and Dr. Gillis receives them, you’ll be able to come in to have them bonded to your teeth. With the use of specialized try-in gels, you will be able to evaluate the appearance of your veneers before they are permanently bonded to your teeth to assure that you are thoroughly pleased.
All of our porcelain work is crafted by a lab technician accredited by the AACD. This combination of an artistic, talented cosmetic dentist and a high-quality dental lab equals superior dentistry and lasting results.
Frequently Asked Questions about Porcelain Veneers
How much do porcelain veneers cost?
This is a very good and very important question. Not all porcelain veneers are created equal and patients cannot shop around for the best price for porcelain veneers and expect to achieve the same result. The cost reflects the quality of the materials used, the talent of the dentist and lab technician, and the entire comfortable process.
In our office, porcelain veneers range in cost from $1300 to about $1600 per porcelain veneer. The difference in cost is due to any special conditions that are present on the teeth receiving veneers. For example if a major color change is required, more steps are involved for an ideal result. The veneer is fabricated specifically to achieve the result desired. If only one veneer is recommended, it is very important that the veneer match the adjacent teeth so it looks natural—as if the tooth did not have any restoration at all. We utilize photography, video information, and custom shading steps to achieve this.
Does insurance cover porcelain veneers?
If porcelain veneers are done for cosmetic reasons only, they will not be covered by most dental insurance companies. If a porcelain veneer is required to structurally preserve the tooth and this is the best treatment option, sometimes we can get insurance to cover a portion of the cost of a porcelain veneer similar to what that insurance might cover for a crown.
What’s the difference between porcelain veneers and crowns?
A dental crown covers more of the surface area of the tooth than a porcelain veneer. Veneers usually cover just the front of a tooth, possibly wrapping the incisal edge. A crown, which is sometimes called a cap, will cover as much of your tooth as needed including all sides of the tooth and the top, or chewing surface, of the tooth.
Can I get just one veneer or will I need a whole set of veneers?
Yes, you can get just one veneer! Your dentist should offer options regarding how many veneers are needed to achieve the desired result. Your concerns regarding cost and the desired end result should be part of this discussion. We have many cases resolved perfectly with just one or as many as 12 or even 14 veneers.
Do porcelain veneers hurt?
Porcelain veneers should not hurt! Immediately after treatment there may be some sensitivity to temperature changes, chewing, brushing, and flossing. This sensitivity should go away and your teeth should feel comfortable very soon.
How long do porcelain veneers last?
A properly done porcelain veneer should last as long as a tooth crown. The length of time varies between patients based on three things; my job, your job, and genetics. These three things are as follows:
- How well the veneer was made and the entire dental process. This is my job as your dentist, as well as the job of my lab technician and our selection of quality materials and excellent techniques.
- How well you take care of your veneer. Are you brushing and flossing as much as recommended? How is your diet? Do you clench and grind your teeth? Do you have any destructive habits that could shorten the life of dental restorations?
- Genetics. This one neither you or your dentist has control over. Some teeth are just stronger than others and any kind of restoration – not just veneers – lasts longer.
How do I clean and care for my porcelain veneers?
Your dentist and dental team should review any special care required. In general, you just brush and floss and eat a good diet to help your porcelain veneers (and really any restorations) last as long as possible.
Do porcelain veneers stain?
Your porcelain veneers may stain similar to your natural teeth. Any surface staining can be removed with brushing and flossing as you would your other teeth. Tougher stains—like the ones that your natural teeth get—should be able to be removed during a dental cleaning with a good hygienist.
Are porcelain veneers reversible?
Usually porcelain veneers are not reversible because your tooth has been shaped to allow the placement of the porcelain veneer in a way that would not feel too bulky. We do some ultra conservative porcelain veneers with very little preparation of the teeth that could technically be removed and your original tooth returned to almost the condition it was in before the porcelain veneer was placed.
Are there alternatives to porcelain veneers?
Your dentist should be able to offer you alternatives to any treatment that is proposed for you, including no treatment at all! One alternative to porcelain veneers is direct composite veneers.