Keeping you up to date with the latest dental information.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Bleach Your Teeth
Dentures: Get Your Smile Back
Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Fluoride and Your Health
Nutrition & Dental Health
Porcelain Laminate Veneers
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Root Canal Therapy
Temporomandibular Disorders TMJ/TMD
The Right Time for Braces
Tooth Decay: A Preventable Disease
Women's Dental Health
Your Child's First Dental Visit
Your Child's Teeth and Gums: Tips for Parents
Porcelain Laminate Veneers
Porcelain veneers: An alternative to crowns
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded
to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia, and can
be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain
veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve a
smile. Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette
smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the
tooth, resulting in an esthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by
other restorative options.
Why would you recommend a porcelain veneer?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations.
They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth's color, size,
or shape. Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained
by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are
ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between
their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers.
Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable
longevity when properly performed.
What happens during the procedure?
Patients need three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment
planning, preparation, and bonding.
Diagnosis and treatment planning It's critical that you rake an active role in
the smile design. Spend time in the decision-making and planning of the smile.
Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. Have more than one consultation,
if necessary, to feel comfortable that your dentist understands your objectives.
Preparation of teeth: This appointment will take from one to two hours. To prepare
the teeth for the porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for
the small-added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a half a millimeter of
the tooth is removed, which may required a local anesthetic. At this appointment,
a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication
of the veneers. This can take about one to two weeks.
Because the teeth are buffed or reduced, they will look a little different until
the next appointment when the veneers will be placed. If the teeth are too unsightly
for you, a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost.
Bonding of veneers: This appointment will take about one to two hours. First,
the dentist places the veneers with water or glycerin on the teeth to check their
fit and get a sense of the shade or color. While the veneers are resting on your
teeth, view the esthetic results, and pay particular attention to the color. At
this point, the color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the
cement to be used. The color cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To
apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond.
Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a visible light
beam initiates the release of a catalyst to harden the cement.
How about maintenance?
For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get
used to your new teeth that have been changed in size and shape. Brush and floss
daily. After one or two weeks, you'll return for a follow-up appointment.
Have realistic expectations
Porcelain veneers are reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth, nor perfect replacements.
It's not uncommon to see slight variations in the color of porcelain veneers upon
close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. Nevertheless, this procedure
can greatly enhance your smile, and can heighten inner satisfaction and self-esteem.
Sources: Mark J. Friedman, DDS, professor of restorative dentistry at the University
of Southern California, School of Dentistry, and in private practice in Encino,
California; Coronals H. Pameijer, DMD, PHD, professor of prosthodontics at the
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine; Michael Weisenfeld, DDS,
FAGD, Greenboro, North Carolina, Aetna Insurance dental consultant; "Porcelain
Laminate Veneers: A Clinical Success?, " Dental Update, May 1993; "The state of the art in porcelain laminate veneers, Esthetic Dental Update, October and December 1991; "Direct Composite or Bonded Porcelain: A Clinical
Choice for Anterior Aesthetics," CDA Journal April 1994.Mark J. Friedman, DDS, professor of restorative dentistry at the University of
Southern California, School of Dentistry, and in private practice in Encino, California;
Coronals H. Pameijer, DMD, PHD, professor of prosthodontics at the University
of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine; Michael Weisenfeld, DDS, FAGD, Greenboro,
North Carolina, Aetna Insurance dental consultant; "Porcelain Laminate Veneers:
A Clinical Success?, " May 1993; "The state of the art in porcelain laminate veneers,
October and December 1991; "Direct Composite or Bonded Porcelain: A Clinical Choice
for Anterior Aesthetics," April 1994.
This information was compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry Your
dentist cares about long-term dental health for you and your family and demonstrates
rates that concern by belonging to the Academy of General Dentistry As one of
the 35,000 general dentists in the United States and Canada who are members of the AGO,
your dentist participates in an ongoing program of professional development and
continuing education to remain current with advances in the profession and to
provide quality patient treatment
Posted 2-20-98 [TCJ]