Have you been a person to hide your smile, especially during a group photo, self-consciously? What about during a first date or job interview? Fortunately, Porcelain veneers are a safe and effective way to improve the color and shape of your teeth. The veneers are tooth-shaped covers designed to alter the shape and size of imperfect teeth. These veneers come with numerous benefits once bonded to your teeth. For example, they are durable and reduce the need for extensive treatments.

However, they still come with potential risks and side effects, including teeth sensitivity. To achieve a beautiful smile as soon as possible, you need to work with an experienced cosmetic dentist. At The Whittier Dentist, we will start by evaluating whether you're the right candidate for the veneers. So, if you are in Los Angeles and seeking to improve your smile, call us as soon as possible.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers can give you a new smile in just a few visits to a cosmetic dentist. Unlike orthodontics, porcelain veneers will not change your teeth. The veneers have porcelain shells that cover dental flaws. The shields of the porcelain on the sides and in front of the teeth create a new fantastic smile. Your dentists can take only two to three dental procedures to complete this procedure. The following are the potential issues porcelain veneers can cover:

  • Crooked Teeth or Gaps

Instead of using extensive orthodontic methods to fix crooked teeth or gaps, you can use porcelain veneers to hide the issues. The porcelain shells fit over your teeth and are perfect and straight, side by side teeth for a confident smile without orthodontics aligners or braces that take extended periods to produce good results.

  • Misshapen, Long or Short Teeth

Porcelain is perfect for changing your teeth' shape and improving your smile. The manufacturers create veneers to enhance your smile even when your teeth are uneven or show too much on your gums.

  • Discoloration

Several strains and discoloration are resistant to whitening. So, they leave yellow and dark spots on your teeth. However, porcelain covers discoloration. Fortunately, porcelain is more resistant and helps you keep a white smile for a more extended period.

Are You a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?

If you suffer any of the above problems, you might be the right candidate for porcelain veneers. First, the dentist needs to remove a small part of your enamel before fixing the porcelain. Therefore, the dentist will first observe your teeth to ensure that your enamel is enough to make this procedure safely.

Secondly, you need to know that porcelain veneers will not correct your oral health problems. Therefore, you must observe and maintain good dental and hygiene health. Keep on having regular cleaning and checkups to maintain excellent dental health.

Lastly, you must know porcelain veneers are part of cosmetic procedures. The procedure will be out-of-pocket since insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures. However, their appearance is critical to the self-confidence of too many people. So, ensure you have enough money to cater for this process.

The Porcelain Veneers Procedure

In many cases, the procedure is broken during two appointments. However, the dental experts with the required equipment can fix the veneers in a single appointment. The expert will follow the following steps during the procedure:

     1.Teeth Trimming

The dental expert will trim your tooth enamel to the same thickness as the porcelain veneer. When the tooth has parted with decay, the dental expert will cut those surfaces to remove them. Remember, the dentist can fix the porcelain veneers over the dental composite. If you replace those composite fillings with new ones, the teeth bond well with the veneers.

The amount of tooth enamel shaved during the trimming process will range between 0.5 to 0.7 mm. The amount is twice the layer of an eggshell. Again, the dental expert will trim your tooth beyond 1.5mm in rare cases. The dentist can prepare your teeth without using an anesthetic. Remember, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers will offer alternatives to traditional veneers. So, the dental expert will not require tooth trimming.

     2. Taking Shade

To determine the color of the porcelain veneer matches your teeth, the dentist will use a shade guide. Also, the guides will determine whether you require different colors of veneer in different teeth. Remember, the dentist can adjust the color of veneers after cementing on the teeth.

     3. Taking Impression

After completing the trimming process, the dentist will take an impression of the gum and the teeth. The expert may use two different ways to take the appearance:

  • Option A: Use of Paste or Putty

The process will involve using a thick goo, where the dentist will load it into a tray and squish it over your teeth. The dentist allows it to sit on your teeth for several minutes and remove them. The officer will send the impression to the dental laboratory to make your porcelain veneers.

  • Option B: Use of Dental Milling Machine

The dental expert may decide to use a dental milling machine coupled with a camera to take an impression of the teeth optically. The milling machine can grind your porcelain veneer in several minutes through this image. The main advantage of this option is the dentist will trim and bond the veneers within a single appointment.

     4. Placing Temporary Veneers (When Needed)

If a dental laboratory fabricates your veneers, you will wait for around two weeks before they are ready. You will likely ask whether you will wear a temporary veneer during this period.

  • Situations Where You Will Not Wear a Temporary Veneer

You will not wear a temporary veneer in cases where the dentist removes minimal tooth structure. However, your teeth may appear strange. But this will just be for a week or two. Remember, you might experience increased sensitivity during this period, especially to cold or hot beverages and foods.

  • Situations Where You Will Use a Temporary Veneer

It's common for the dentist to recommend using a temporary veneer in places where they trim a great surface of your teeth layer. Also, using these veneers will include teeth with a high level of sensitivity and appear strange. When you think that a temporary veneer is critical to you, ensure to discuss your matter with the dentist to determine whether you require them. Do not fear asking any burning questions to your dentist.

     5. Pre-Cementation Evaluation

At this stage, the dentist has fabricated your veneers and is ready for bonding. If your dentist has placed a temporary veneer, they will remove it. Remember, the temporary veneers are not cemented. To remove them is an easy task.

  • Checking Whether The Veneer Fit

The dentist will evaluate the sitting of your veneers on the teeth. To achieve this, they will fix it, inspect, remove, and trim them repeatedly until they become fitting in your teeth. The dentist will not use an anesthetic to place the veneers in many cases.

  • Evaluation of the Veneer's Shape

Even though the milling machine or the dental laboratory has crafted the veneers to an ideal shape, your dentist may decide otherwise. You may need to shorten certain edges, round or square them off, so it looks the way you want.

  • Evaluation of Color

Your dental expert will have picked a shade matching your surrounding teeth. First, the dentist will choose a cement they think will fit your teeth' color. They will afterward place cement corresponding to your veneers. After bonding the veneer to your teeth, the dentist will evaluate the color to ensure they match the teeth.

     6. Bonding the Porcelain Veneers

After your dentist determines your veneer's shade and shape, they can now bond the veneers. The health care will wash the paste, clean, and prepare the tooth surface. Also, they will polish and wash off your teeth' surface and ensure it's dry, clean, and ready. The dental expert will use etching gel to etch the tooth surface for around twenty minutes. Again, after etching the tooth surface, the dentist will apply a bonding agent to your tooth. The bonding agent will facilitate the bond between the tooth and the porcelain veneer.

     7. Wrapping-Up and Setting Next Appointment

After securely attaching the veneer to your tooth, the dentist will scrape the excess cement and floss them. Also, they will polish the tooth if need be. Lastly, the dentist will evaluate your bite to ensure the veneers do not bring any effect. When you notice anything unique in your tooth after the porcelain veneers, let your dentist know as soon as possible.

Your dentist will more likely want you to return to their office after one week. They will evaluate whether the veneers have affected your gums during this appointment. Also, if you have decided to adjust your tooth's shape, they will do so during the appointment. Many people experience sensitivity to cold and hot foods. When this is your case, let your dentist know.

Benefits of using Porcelain Veneers

Everyone doesn’t have a mouth full of perfect teeth. Sometimes the teeth may have too small gaps between them, and others may have stains or cracks. Fortunately, porcelain veneers can cover all your dental issues and give you a smile you have always wished for with less pain and discomfort. The following are the Potential benefits you will come across after undergoing a porcelain veneer procedure:

  • Looks Natural

Since veneers are custom-made for each patient, they always fit your natural teeth well. You have to note that porcelain veneers look and feel natural. The ceramic cover typically hides the cracked teeth to make you eat and talk usually.

Again, the dentist makes slight changes by matching the color of your tooth enamel and cutting excess material. Your porcelain veneers are customized to fit over your teeth to seem natural.

  • Resists Stains

Porcelain veneers are more resistant to stain than your natural teeth. With proper care, the dental veneers can last up to fifteen years. However, although they are durable, you still want to take care of your veneers as you would take care of your natural teeth. For instance, excessive drinking of coffee can stain your porcelain veneers. Again, when you use your front teeth to bite hard food, your dental veneers can chip.

  • Easy To Maintain

An advantage of dental veneers is that they don’t need any special maintenance. However, You want to take care of your dental porcelain as you would care for your natural teeth. Dental porcelain is easy to maintain since you want to brush twice a day to reduce plaque build-up.

Again, in maintaining the porcelain veneers, you want to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. You have to note that dental veneers are non-porous, therefore, more able to resist cavities and permanent stains than the natural teeth enamel. Dental veneers require minimal maintenance and thus keep the wild white shine in your veneers. Do not miss any dental appointments to maximize the chances of maintaining a beautiful smile.

  • Fixes Dental Issues

Using porcelain veneers can help fix various cosmetic issues, including missing teeth, stained teeth, misshapen, broken or chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, and discolored teeth. Most cosmetic dentistry procedures tend to cause discomfort and even take a long time to be completed.

However, dental porcelain veneers can help boost your confidence by minimizing the gaps, chips, or cracks between your teeth. That involves painting the discolored teeth and restoring the natural look. Again, the procedure can last for a long time and doesn’t require periodic touch-ups yearly.

  • Dental Veneers Require Little Enamel Removal

The advantage of fixing dental veneers on your teeth is that you don’t have to sacrifice your natural teeth to have them fixed. The veneers require a small amount of enamel removal to fit the front of your tooth.

  • Dental Veneers Whiten Your Teeth

People regularly visit us to have their teeth whitened. Most patients opt to use dental veneers to have their teeth white. Unlike natural teeth, dental veneers resist stains from the excessive taking of cigarettes or coffee. Again, the porcelain veneers reduce the burden of having your teeth whitened regularly since they are resilient. Therefore, you want to prefer the permanent way of whitening your teeth instead of doing it yearly.

  • It Is Minimally Invasive

Compared to other dental restorations options, dental veneers are a less invasive procedure. To fit the porcelain veneers, the dentist will remove half a millimeter off the front surface of your tooth. The dentist will then put each veneer in place using special cement. Afterward, the dentist may adjust the size and color of the veneers to make them look natural. Patients don’t require anesthesia for the veneers to be placed during the procedure.

Risks and Side Effects Associated with Using Porcelain Veneers

As discussed above, Porcelain Veneers have numerous benefits. However, they still come with various side effects and potential risks to the user. Although the risks are minimal, they might bring discomfort to the users. The following are the common risks and side effects you are more likely to encounter after undergoing a porcelain veneer procedure:

  • Increased sensitivity

For the dentist to place the dental veneers on your teeth, they must remove a layer of your natural teeth enamel. As you know, the enamel is the most rigid layer in the body. Therefore, once the enamel is removed, the inner layer of your tooth is exposed. Although dentists tend to be very careful to remove a small layer of the enamel, he/she may interfere with your dentin during the procedure.

Interfering With your tooth enamel may increase sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. The sensitivity is not permanent, and if yours exceeds more than six months, you want to seek medical attention. Prolonged sensitivity is an indication that your porcelain veneers were not placed accordingly.

  • Poor Fit

Before placing your veneers, the dentist continuously assesses to determine whether the veneers fit correctly on your teeth and cannot affect your bite. However, a lack of enough skills and veneers made from low-quality materials can lead to unwanted results. The dental porcelain veneers may fail to fit perfectly in your teeth and impact significantly. It affects the balance of your bite, causes discomfort when chewing, stresses the jaw joints, and increases the risk of breakages.

  • Chipping and Breakage

Dental porcelain veneers may not be the best option for your teeth. When you clench and grind your teeth, the pressure can crack, wear out, or come off your teeth. Again, some habits, including chewing pen caps, nail-biting, or eating ice repeatedly, can make your veneers break prematurely. When the veneers break, it may cost you expensive re-treatment.

  • Changes In Color

Porcelain veneers have preferred white color, which may not match 100 percent with the color in your teeth. Therefore they don’t make a perfect match with your surrounding teeth. You want to consider a teeth whitening procedure before fitting the dental veneers. Again, although the veneers are pure white, the cement used in bonding them to your teeth is not white. Over time, the glue changes color and makes your smile gray.

The Cost for Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are more costly compared to direct or indirect composite resin alternatives. The cost of traditional porcelain veneers ranges between $925 to $2,500 per tooth and have a lifespan of up to 15 years. Although they are expensive, you must also know they have a longer lifespan. However, the general costs of these veneers will vary based on various factors like:

  • The fees are charged by the cosmetic dentist carrying out the procedure.
  • The location where the dentist is carrying out the procedure.
  • The technical skills of the expert making the porcelain veneers and the cosmetic dentist fitting the veneers.
  • The number of your teeth under being veneered.
  • The type of material used to make your porcelain veneers.
  • Your dental insurance.

Many dentists will offer payment plans for restorative and cosmetic procedures. You want to discuss with your dentist the payment option. When the dentist doesn't provide financing, you may seek a third-party financing option like CareCredit. You can work with a financing agency to develop your monthly payments which fit your budget.

Aftercare for Porcelain Veneers Procedure

The longevity of the porcelain veneers will more likely depend on proper care. Also, proper care will minimize the side effects and potential risks associated with porcelain veneers. Your dentist will recommend you observe the following tips:

  • Regular flossing and Brushing

It's good you know that even the teeth with porcelain veneers can suffer cavities. Therefore, you must floss your teeth once daily and brush them at least twice daily. You will ensure your teeth are healthy and the veneers remain bonded strongly for an extensive period.

  • Use Non-Abrasive Toothpaste

After fitting the porcelain veneers, your dentist will more likely recommend you use non-abrasive toothpaste. Abrasive toothpaste can scratch your veneers, making them look dull.

  • Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Visiting your dentist regularly is vital even after fitting the porcelain veneers. The dentist will play a key role by cleaning your teeth and ensuring the veneers are not fractured or chipped. Visit your dentist even when you feel okay. Do not wait until a dental issue pushes you to do so.

  • Avoid Chewing or Biting Hard Objects or Items

After the porcelain procedure, your dentist will advise you to avoid chewing hard items like nails or pens. The hard objects may wear down, damage, or crack the porcelain veneers. In addition, follow your dentist's instructions carefully after the porcelain procedure.

Contact a Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Are you seeking to improve your smile? Its true crooked teeth, discoloration, and gaps can hinder you from a confident smile at social events. You do not need to struggle anymore; Porcelain Veneers can help you achieve a new smile within two dental appointments. However, you must work closely with a well-trained and experienced cosmetic dentist.

At The Whittier Dentist, our dental experts are ready to help you achieve a beautiful smile. We offer general dental care, including Porcelain Veneers procedures to ensure you have healthy gums and teeth as you enhance a beautiful smile. Therefore, if you’re in or around Los Angeles, call our dentists for more details. Contact us today at 562-632-1223 to evaluate whether you are the right candidate for the porcelain veneer procedure.