Porcelain Veneers – Frequently Asked Questions
Dental veneers can make a major impact on one’s appearance but more importantly, the boost in self confidence can significantly improve quality of life. People who have been hiding their smiles for years due to discolored, cracked or chipped teeth can quickly turn their lives around through the application of porcelain veneers.
Dr. Matian in Encino has helped thousands of patients regain their self esteem as well as their dental health through the application of veneers. He has had to answer many questions about veneers and has included the most frequently asked questions and answers here.
What are dental veneers? Can they repair damaged teeth?
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of precisely cut porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth. If there is damage such as cracks, chips or gaps, porcelain veneers are the perfect solution to cosmetically and structurally improving the teeth.
What are some of the benefits of having veneers?
Besides the obvious cosmetic improvement, studies have shown that using porcelain veneers strengthens teeth by 95%. Teeth that have been damaged by cracks, chips or that are uneven in length will be aesthetically pleasing with the application of veneers.
Another benefit is that porcelain veneers will close any gaps in teeth, possibility eliminating the need for braces. Teeth that are too short or long in relation to the rest of the mouth can be brought into balance.
The teeth are rejuvenated by whitening stained and discolored teeth.
Emotionally, the boost in morale can be dramatic when going from an aged or embarrassing smile to a bright, youthful smile.
How much time does it take from start to finish?
Porcelain veneers can be completed in two visits spaced one to two weeks apart. The first visit includes a lengthy consultation where the dental plan is formed based on what the patient wants to achieve. Then the teeth are shaped and prepared for the veneers. An impression is taken of the teeth and temporary veneers are placed.
The second visit permanently places the veneers that have been prepared by the lab. Before they are bonded, patients have an opportunity to have further adjustments made to color or shape as after they are bonded, they are permanently affixed.
What kind of anesthetic is used?
Most patients are comfortable having the usual local anesthetic common for dental procedures. During the shaping and preparation procedures approximately 0.5 mm of the surface of the teeth is removed. Depending on the amount of preparation work that will be done, an anesthetic may not be needed at all.
Is the process reversible?
Because a very thin layer of tooth enamel must be removed to accommodate the thickness of the veneer, the process isn’t considered reversible.
How do I take care of my teeth after veneers are placed?
Once veneers are permanently bonded to the teeth they are essentially your teeth only stronger. Normal hygiene practices of brushing and flossing and regular visits for cleaning are essential to maintain dental health.
Will having veneers make my teeth more prone to cavities?
No. The veneer makes the teeth more impervious to decay since the veneer is bonded to the natural tooth. There is no greater incidence of decay but teeth must be cared for to avoid cavities forming in the unbounded natural teeth.
Will my teeth be sensitive to hot and cold?
There will likely be some sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages for a short time due to having a thin layer of enamel removed. This should disappear in a few days. Avoiding hot and cold foods is recommended for the first few days to allow the veneers to settle.
Can only the top or bottom of the teeth be treated with veneers?
The goal of the finished product is to ensure everything in the mouth matches, whether a full set of veneers is placed or just a few teeth are treated. Patients are advised to have the untreated teeth whitened before placement of the veneers to ensure uniformity of color.
How strong are veneers? Are there restrictions on what I can eat?
Porcelain veneers are very strong. However porcelain is a glass and can crack if very strong forces are applied. It is advised to avoid chewing ice, hard nuts, candy apples, popcorn kernels as well as avoiding using the teeth to open packages, etc.
The natural teeth are often damaged by these same foods and practices and while porcelain veneers are very strong, they aren’t invincible.
I grind my teeth at night. Will this damage my porcelain veneers?
Yes this will eventually damage your veneers just as this behavior will grind down natural teeth. Dr. Matian will provide you with a protective bite guard to wear at night to reduce the stress on your teeth while you sleep.
How long will porcelain veneers last?
Porcelain veneers last a long time. Most patients get ten to twenty years use from their veneers before they need to be replaced. The aging is derived from the natural teeth as gums recede and teeth become brittle. If a veneer comes off Dr. Matain can re-bond it to the tooth or replace it if it has become damaged.
Note: do not try to re-bond the veneer yourself. If you are away from home, your best option is to find a qualified cosmetic veneers dentist who can properly re-bond your veneer.
Do veneers stain?
No, they should never stain. If you have natural teeth without veneers you will need to maintain regular dental cleanings and take measures to avoid staining if drinking red wine, coffee etc.
Will my insurance cover the cost of veneers?
Most cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance. Some companies will cover a percentage of the cost. Our insurance specialist can help you determine your coverage limits.