A dental porcelain veneer is a thin esthetic corrective shell of porcelain cemented to the tooth after a minimal enamel removal to correct various tooth abnormalities (size, shape, color, gaps). It’s a fast, simple and conservative way to get a Hollywood smile.
The main goal of porcelain veneers is to create a bright radiant smile by correcting any tooth defects such as fracture, discoloration, and malalignment while conserving tooth structure. and maintaining healthy gum tissues. Dental porcelain veneers last longer than full coverage crowns because it is a much simpler technique and saves more precious tooth structure.
$60 to $400
The road to a perfect smile is a painless one. Your dentist starts with anesthesia and then tooth preparation. Tooth preparation depends on the problem, where either full-prep veneer, minimal prep, or no-prep technique is used.
In a full-prep veneer, a half millimeter of tooth structure is removed to provide room for the veneer, the cutting edge of the tooth may be included in the preparation when teeth need to look shorter. While in minimal prep technique less tooth structure is removed when the problem is simpler. No-prep veneer (no enamel removed) is used when no change in tooth shape is required. After preparation, your dentist takes a negative replica of your teeth called an impression that is sent to the lab to create the veneers for one to three weeks.
To avoid emotional trauma (unpleasant teeth appearance after preparation) during the transitional period between preparation and receiving the veneers, your dentist will provide you with temporary veneers. Temporary veneers are weak transient restorations so it is indicated not to use them to eat hard food such as apples, bagels, or steak to avoid their breakage. During this transitional phase avoid too hot, cold sweets or acidic food because the material of the temporary veneers is a weak one.
Another final visit to your dentist will take place when the veneers are ready. This visit will take some time (around 3 hours for every 10 teeth). Your dentist will start with local anesthesia to avoid any discomfort, then he will try the veneers on and check their fit to perform any necessary changes.
Once the veneers are ready, your dentist will use some chemicals to create a rough tooth surface to allow a better adherence of the veneers, then special blue light is used to cure the cement layer and a final check and verification for the fit and the bite is performed.
Before starting any step your dentist will try to understand your needs and expectations for the final smile design. Special computer-aided programs are used to simulate and try different sizes, shapes, and colors of teeth to discover the different options and agree on the best treatment options to create a beautiful natural smile.
Porcelain veneers are durable restorations but they require regular follow-ups to increase their longevity. Post-treatment care instructions must be strictly followed as broken porcelain veneers can’t be repaired and must be replaced (more information about time and cost of replacement will be provided to you by your dentist).
Instructions following porcelain veneers treatment include: avoid chewing or biting hard objects, avoid using teeth covered with veneers to open or tear packages, avoid certain food, regular hygiene measures including brushing and flossing, and finally it is better to brush after drinking colored drinks such as coffee or tea.
We understand you may want to change your plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its health implications.
Are porcelain veneers painful?
While the process is not painful, during the tooth preparation and application of veneers, your dentist will use local anesthesia to reduce any discomfort. After cementation and wear-off of the anesthesia, some people may experience sensitivity to the cementing material that lasts for just a few hours and then subsides to occasional dull pain. If the pain doesn’t go away, please check with your dentist to examine the teeth and the surrounding gum for any excess small parts of the cement that may be irritating. During recovery, gums may feel a little painful for a short time while it gets familiar with the veneers.
Are porcelain veneers permanent?
Porcelain veneers are designed to function for a long time as long as you follow the instructions provided by your dentist to avoid the need for their replacement. These instructions include: avoid biting on hard objects, do not use it to open packages, the use of non-abrasive toothpaste, and following the regular routine for oral hygiene including brushing, flossing, and regular follow-up visits to avoid caries sneaking under the veneers which will cause their breakage.
What is aftercare like for porcelain veneers?
Aftercare is the difference between keeping the veneers for a long time, or having them cracking/breaking quickly, which will lead to their replacement. Porcelain veneers cannot be repaired and must be replaced, which means more time and money. Avoid biting hard objects such as bones or nutshells. Do not use these teeth to open packages.
Porcelain veneers are covering the natural tooth, so brushing after meals, and regular flossing is mandatory. Avoid the use of abrasive toothpaste. Your dentist may advise you to avoid certain food. Although porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, brushing after drinking colored drinks such as red wine, tea, coffee, and soda is recommended.
How long can porcelain veneers last?
Porcelain veneers are long-lasting restoration; they may last for 5-15 years in most cases. However, this could be affected by several factors including your eating habits and oral hygiene measures.
Composite veneers are manufactured of a different material that lasts shorter than porcelain ones (3-5 years).