Dental veneers are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and resistant to coffee, tea and cigarette stains. Their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options.
WHAT ARE PORCELAIN VENEERS?
Porcelain veneers are a thin shell that attach to the front surface of teeth to help transform an imperfect smile into a more desirable one. We are able to use dental veneers for a variety of cosmetic corrections and result in a natural appearance and function of the tooth. Molded and shaped to match adjacent teeth, porcelain veneers are a quick, safe, and effective way to perfect your smile.
CANDIDATES FOR DENTAL VENEERS
Porcelain veneers are a strictly cosmetic procedure. As such, we are unable to use them to correct larger issues like broken or missing teeth. However, porcelain veneers are one of the safest, most effective solutions for minor cosmetic repairs such as the following:
- Holes or pits in teeth
- Stained or discolored teeth
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Misaligned or crooked teeth
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PORCELAIN VENEERS?
A distinguishing benefit of porcelain veneers is the near inability to differentiate between veneers and your natural teeth, perfecting the size, shape and color you would like to achieve. Due to Porcelain veneers being highly stain resistant, they are an ideal choice for those whose teeth don’t respond to teeth whitening as well and wish to attain a brighter smile.
- Look and feel like your natural teeth
- Resist stains, providing a lasting, brilliantly white smile
- No gum sensitivity nor will they promote gum disease
- Will not cause tooth sensitivity since we place them over the teeth
- Do not require any special care after they have been placed
DR. LEE’S PATIENTS SEE THEIR RESULTS FOR THE FIRST TIME
THE DENTAL VENEER PROCEDURE
In preparing a tooth for veneers, your dentist will have to remove a small amount of enamel (approx. 1/2 mm) from any teeth that will be getting a veneer placed. After we trim off the enamel, we will then take an impression from your teeth, that will be sent to a dental laboratory for construction of the veneers. Each veneer will be precisely customized to assure the best size and shape.
On the next visit, we place your veneers on your teeth temporarily to ensure a proper fit. During this process, we customize the shade of cement in use to match the shade of your teeth. Once everything looks and feels right, the veneers will be permanently bonded onto the teeth and will be checked again during a follow-up appointment
DENTAL VENEERS PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
“I had older veneers and my habit of eating lemons had made them all pitted. At first, Dr. Oh was using bonding to fix the pits, then we decided to redo the veneers. What a difference, my new veneers are so much more attractive and natural looking then my old ones ever were. Dr. Oh just brings a different level of quality and care to his dentistry. He also brings a different level of emotion – he genuinely cares about improving his patients’ overall health and confidence. He has even inspired patients to lose weight, supporting them in ways that go way beyond dentistry.”- Jean
ARE DENTAL VENEERS PERMANENT?
Although a great alternative to other methods, porcelain veneers are permanent and are not a reversible process due to the altering of your natural teeth.
MAINTAINING AND CARING FOR PORCELAIN VENEERS
Over time, normal wear and tear will damage veneers, giving them a lifespan of ten to fifteen years. While you have these veneers, there are a few ways to take care of them to ensure they stay in their best condition. Here are a few tips:
- Brush and floss them like normal teeth
- Floss cautiously
- Use a bleaching toothpaste
- Avoid smoking
If you follow these tips, you can keep your porcelain veneers looking bright and shiny for years to come.
CAN PORCELAIN VENEERS STAIN?
Porcelain veneers are not susceptible to staining the same way normal teeth are. The enamel of the veneer is not porous, so coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods should not stain the veneers as easily as natural teeth. However, we suggest using a whitening toothpaste to keep veneers as white as possible.
HOW LONG DO PORCELAIN VENEERS LAST?
With proper hygiene, veneers should generally last 5 to 10 years before needing to be replaced.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PORCELAIN AND REGULAR VENEERS?
The main difference between porcelain and regular veneers is the material they are made of. Porcelain veneers are made of thin porcelain, whereas regular veneers are made of engineered resin.
Porcelain veneers are more expensive and require multiple visits to create, but they are more durable than regular veneers. If taken care of properly, they can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years and are both stain and chip resistant.
Regular veneers, on the other hand, can be applied more quickly, but will only last 4 to 8 years. It’s easier to chip or stain regular veneers too, similar to how your natural teeth are.
HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
In order to achieve a natural, bright white for your new smile, we may recommend a teeth whitening procedure before we place your veneers. This helps us color match your veneers to your natural tooth shade, which makes your smile look more natural.
If you decide to get porcelain veneers, we will schedule a series of procedures in order to shave down your enamel, make an impression of your teeth, place temporary veneers while your porcelain veneers are being made, and, finally, place your personalized veneers.
IS THERE ANY RECOVERY INVOLVED WITH VENEERS?
For many patients, it can take up to two weeks to recover from their new veneers and feel like they are completely settled. It’s important you take care of your teeth and gums and avoid foods that may aggravate any gum or teeth sensitivities.
We recommend being careful when eating extremely hot or cold foods and anything hard or crunchy that may add further pressure to your veneers.
To help keep your new smile clean and healthy, make sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly and take extra care not to let any food or bacteria get stuck between your veneers and gums.
ARE THE ANY RISKS TO VENEERS?
Although veneers do not damage your natural teeth, getting veneers placed is a permanent process. Before veneers can bond to your teeth, a layer of enamel must be removed.
This means that once you have veneers, you will always need them, and you should expect to have to replace them every 4 to 15 years.
Just like with natural teeth, there is always a risk of chipping, staining, and increased sensitivity, so practicing proper dental hygiene like using sensitive toothpaste, flossing, wearing a mouthguard, and avoiding tooth-staining foods and drinks can prolong the lifespan of your veneers and keep your natural teeth healthy.
IS THE VENEER PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
Most patients find that getting veneers is a comfortable and manageable experience and do not report experiencing any pain during the procedure. As with other, more invasive dental procedures, we will use an anesthetic to numb your mouth before we begin.
After your final fitting, you may feel some sensitivity or soreness in your teeth and gums, but any discomfort should quickly subside as you adjust to your new smile.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
If you are ready for a beautiful new smile that looks and feels natural, contact our Fairfax cosmetic dentistry staff at Galleria Dental Aesthetics by calling 703.448.1020 to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve patients in the Northern Virginia area, including Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, McLean, and Tysons Corner.
Click here to print the post-operative instructions for porcelain veneers.