Porcelain laminate veneers are an excellent restorative option for those patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their individual teeth. The correct tooth colour, tooth shape and mild tooth malpositioning issues very well. Typically, they are a more conservative restoration than a full crown or cap.
Dr. Vlahos offers free consultations to determine if porcelain veneers are appropriate for you. It is very important that you outline very specifically what exact changes you want to have done to your teeth. The clearer your vision is relayed to Dr. Vlahos and his team; a successful treatment plan will be obtained.
The treatment planning process begins with a detailed smile analysis. High-resolution photographs and an iTero digital scan are important tools in deriving an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is obtained and the patient has made clear what their desired result should be, Dr. Vlahos will perform the treatment on models of your teeth obtained from the digital iTero scan. This “mock-up” will be evaluated both from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. You will get to see the mock-up and can make any changes to it so that it is to your liking. Once the mock-up is approved both by you and Dr. Vlahos, the clinical procedures can begin.
Essentially, porcelain veneers are comprised of very thin layers of porcelain that are chemically bonded to the tooth by a composite resin cement. Most often, a small amount of enamel must be removed (about 0.5-2mm) for your tooth to accommodate the veneer. This is important so that your tooth will fit in your mouth and in the arch of the jaw (otherwise, the tooth will be oversized and bulky). Also, the veneer needs to be a certain thickness so as to block out any undesired colours. Typically, veneers are chemically bonded to your tooth. This bond is very strong and will impart some degree of additional strength to your natural tooth.
Porcelain veneers are good treatment options for those patients who wish to change the appearance of their tooth where your natural tooth has developed some discolouration’s (not removed by tooth whitening), unesthetic shape of the tooth (possibly because of wear and/or trauma) and teeth that do not have a pleasing arrangement such as gaps or mild crowding.
Porcelain veneers are an excellent treatment option in improving your smile in a short period of time. With careful planning, your overall smile can be greatly improved. Each veneer is individually crafted for each tooth and patient. This is a custom treatment. Porcelain veneers are quite resistant to staining due to food and/or tobacco. They are very durable and easy to maintain. Also, since only a small amount of natural tooth is removed, the bulk of your tooth is intact which does not decrease the strength of your tooth significantly.
If porcelain veneers are maintained well with proper oral hygiene and protected from any excessive biting forces such as clenching or grinding, your veneers should last a long time.
As some tooth structure is removed to allow proper placement of the veneer, the procedure is irreversible. You can never get the tooth back to the original condition. As well, properly maintained veneers can last a very long time (possibly decades) however, at some point in your life, they may need to be replaced for a variety of reasons.
There is some downtime waiting for the laboratory to make your veneers usually about 2 weeks or so. During that time, you will have some very carefully made temporary veneers on your teeth. Dr. Vlahos will ensure that these temporary veneers will be esthetically satisfying to you during that time.
After the veneers have been placed on your teeth, your natural teeth may exhibit some temporary temperature sensitivity. Usually, this goes away within a short period of time. Sometimes, it can last a while longer and uncommonly, can progress to a toothache. Your tooth may need some more treatment to eliminate the pain or sensitivity.
Porcelain veneers are pretty strong but they can be damaged with any excessive biting forces like clenching or grinding. Typically, a nightguard appliance will be recommended to prevent any damage that might happen during any clenching/grinding while you sleep. Also, be very aware of using your teeth to open bags, hold things, eating utensils, bottle/glasses, etc. If you play any sports that involve physical contact, a sports guard is highly recommended.
Your veneers require the same care as you would for your natural teeth. Brush and floss daily. See your dentist at least twice a year for regular maintenance. Use non-abrasive toothpaste at home.
Initially, after the veneers have been cemented on your teeth, Dr. Vlahos will require to follow up visits to ensure your bite is proper. Often, a patient is not sure of how their bite will be until after using their new teeth for a few days. Ensuring your bite is proper will increase the success of your veneers for a very long time!
As mentioned earlier, nightguards and sports guards are highly recommended.