Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can help to perfect your smile. Made from very thin shells of porcelain that fit precisely over the front surface of teeth, dental veneers can hide small imperfections, improving their overall appearance. The chances are that if you have ever admired the smile of someone in the public eye, they either have veneers or dental crowns covering and protecting their teeth. Someone is rarely lucky enough to have a perfect smile as it’s more often due to excellent cosmetic dentistry.

Why Choose Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers could be an excellent solution for you if you dislike the overall appearance of your teeth, but they are generally strong and healthy. You may want to choose veneers if you have:

  • Discolored teeth perhaps because of older root canal treatment or from stains due to tetracycline exposure. Tooth discoloration can also occur because of excessive exposure to fluoride during childhood, creating a condition called fluorosis that causes lacy white flecks or even brown stains on teeth that are difficult to remove properly.
  • Teeth that are worn down perhaps because of bruxism, due to clenching and grinding your teeth, or general wear and tear. Some teeth are too small or too short.
  • Irregularly shaped teeth that might have bulges or craters in their surfaces, or which aren’t nicely contoured.
  • Misaligned teeth that are crooked or rotated, but where orthodontic treatment isn’t really needed. Dental veneers can be a more cost-effective and far quicker solution compared with cosmetically oriented braces.
  • Unsightly gaps in between teeth that can trap food, or which create undesirable dark areas in your smile.

How to Tell if Veneers Could Help You

If you are interested in having porcelain veneers, it’s a great idea to visit us here at Washington State Prosthodontics to have a consultation with our prosthodontist, Dr. Russell Johnson, and a dental examination. Dr. Johnson can examine your teeth and gums to ensure this treatment is safe and appropriate and will meet your needs adequately. He will also discuss how many veneers might be necessary as some people may only require one or two. Others will choose a greater number that can even cover all teeth shown whenever you talk or smile. If you decide to go ahead with treatment, Dr. Johnson will possibly carry out other diagnostic tests, such as taking x-rays and photographs of your teeth. He might also take dental impressions, especially if you want an extensive number of veneers.

Can I See How My Teeth Will Look after Treatment?

One thing that often concerns people when choosing cosmetic dental treatment is how their teeth could look once it is finished. It is possible to adapt models of your teeth to show how they will look after treatment, and this approach can be extremely useful. For example, diagnostic models allow you to preview your smile and to make any adjustments before treatment begins. Sometimes photos of teeth are digitally manipulated to provide the same effect.

What Is the Process for Getting Dental Veneers?

Once you have discussed treatment with Dr. Johnson, he can prepare your teeth to receive their new veneers. Tooth preparation is carried out using a local anesthetic to make sure you feel comfortable during treatment. Usually, it’s necessary to remove a small amount of material from the front surface of each tooth to be veneered. Only a tiny amount of enamel is removed, typically 0.5 mm which is the thickness of a veneer. Removing this tooth structure ensures that your veneers won’t feel too bulky once fitted and that they will look natural.

After your teeth are carefully shaped, we take a detailed dental impression of the prepared teeth. The impression is sent to the dental lab along with precise instructions so the technicians can custom make your dental veneers. It’s a detailed process that usually takes a couple of weeks, during which time we can protect your prepared teeth with temporary veneers. If you have diagnostic models beforehand, these may be used to create your temporary veneers so you can trial your new smile!

Once your veneers are ready, we remove your temporary veneers and will try in your permanent veneers. Dr. Johnson will examine them closely to make sure they fit precisely and that they are the correct color before they are bonded permanently in place.

Dental Veneers are Durable and Long-Lasting

The great thing about porcelain veneers is that they are very durable and won’t stain, unlike dental bonding, where the composite resin can stain after a few years. Once you have porcelain veneers, they will not change color, and if you care for them properly, they can last ten years or more. Ensuring you visit us regularly for checkups and hygiene appointments, and brush and flossing thoroughly at home will help to prolong the natural life of your veneers.

Caring for Dental Veneers

It is easy to care for your new veneers, as you can brush and floss around them just like your other teeth. However, it is important not to use veneered teeth to open packets or to crunch on ice, as they can chip or fracture, just like real teeth. If you have any oral health problems like clenching and grinding, we must treat this problem first as the pressure could crack your veneers, causing them to fail.

Using Veneers with Other Dental Treatments

Dental veneers can work extremely well in conjunction with other treatments, for example, professional tooth whitening procedures. Sometimes combining two or more treatments can be a more conservative approach toward dentistry because dental veneers do require teeth to be modified slightly, and the process isn’t reversible. If you only have one or two teeth that need veneers, a teeth whitening treatment beforehand can brighten your smile so your new veneers can be matched accurately to your new tooth color. We can also use dental veneers with other treatments like crowns to protect and cover teeth that are more badly damaged and which aren’t suitable for veneers, or with dental bridges used to replace teeth that are missing entirely.

There are many benefits to choosing dental veneers, and we can discuss them more fully with you during your initial consultation. Contact Washington State Prosthodontics today!