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Porcelain veneers have become a popular and attractive cosmetic dentistry procedure for many people around the world. Many more are interested but unsure what the procedure entails to improve their smile. Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions regarding porcelain veneers.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are custom made wafer thin pieces of porcelain. Porcelain veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth giving the dentist the ability to change the color, shape, length, and size of your teeth. Porcelain veneers reflect light in a very natural way. For many, porcelain veneers are performed in multiples usually the front 2- 8 teeth. Some might only require one to correct a flawed tooth.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are used to correct cosmetic issues with a person’s smile and made with a translucency that mimics natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics” for their ability to correct mildly crooked or small teeth. They also have the ability to close spaces between teeth (also called diastemas),restore chipped teeth, or even to change the color of teeth.

Many people are good candidates for porcelain veneers, however, patients with tooth decay, periodontal disease, heavy clenching, or severe misalignment of teeth are usually not good candidates.  Patients with a history of bruxism (tooth grinding) may end up cracking their veneers, although if you only grind at night you can wear a mouth guard to protect the porcelain veneers.

What Happens During The Porcelain Veneers Procedure?

Once you have decided that you want porcelain veneers your dentist will take study models of your teeth. The reason for this is that your dentist will be able to give you a mock up of what your teeth can look like when the porcelain veneers are in place. At this time you and your dentist can discuss the size, shape, and color of your new porcelain veneers. Once these models are approved, an appointment can be set up for the actual procedure. A small amount of tooth structure is usually removed from each teeth to prepare them but sometimes they can be done without preparation to the tooth. Local anesthesia is generally recommended if there will be tooth preparation to avoid any discomfort. Once the preparation of your teeth is completed, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used by the dental laboratory to create your custom porcelain veneers. Once fabricated, you will return to have the porcelain veneers placed onto your teeth. Initially your dentist will place the veneers  to check that the color, shape, and size is as desired. If they meet both your expectations, the dentist will bond them to your teeth creating your new smile.

How Do I Care For My Porcelain Veneers?

Dental hygiene visits should continue as usual. Home care is more important than ever, brushing and flossing will help prevent decay around your veneers. Porcelain veneers are quite strong but it is possible to break or fracture them. The following activities should be avoided: breaking nuts with teeth, tearing open packages, biting and tearing it hard items, and ice chewing. A soft electric toothbrush such as a rotodent could be helpful in polishing them and keeping looking like new.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

The longevity of porcelain veneers will vary by individual. The general rule is they last about 10-15 years although some can expect a longer lifespan for them. If a porcelain veneer chips, cracks, or shows any wear they can be replaced refreshing your smile.

Can I Stain My Porcelain Veneers By Drinking Wine?

No, porcelain veneers are resistant to coffee, tea, and wine stains. Once a patient selects their desired color, the veneers will stay this way, without color changes .

Are Porcelain Veneers Expensive?

Cost will vary depending upon where you go. The cost is generally reflective of the materials and lab used. Be wary of offices where the price seems too good to be true. You get what you pay for and using an inferior dental laboratory or an inexperienced cosmetic dentist might lower the cost but will lead to earlier failure of the porcelain veneers. Studies have shown that almost half of all cosmetic dentistryneeds to be redone. Porcelain veneers require high quality dental materials as well as an experienced cosmetic dentist. If done properly you will enjoy your new smile for a long time.

Are Porcelain Veneers Covered By My Dental Insurance?

Generally, no, as porcelain veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure. Most insurance companies do not cover porcelain veneers.

Conclusion

Porcelain veneers can transform an ordinary smile to an extraordinary one. The information above should give everyone some information on what to expect if they are considering making changes to their smile. As always maintain regular dental examinations and professional cleanings to maintain your current and future smile.

We are always looking for ways to prevent tooth decay. Most of us are aware of the traditional methods, such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Fortunately, there are dental sealants, a dental procedure which produces significant protection from tooth decay. Dental sealants are a great way to ward off tooth decay in the grooves of our teeth. Many of us have an inherent weakness in the structural formation in the grooves of our teeth. Weakness in the grooves on the top surface of our teeth allows food and bacteria to stick and stay. This creates a highly concentrated environment of cavity causing bacteria which are very difficult to thoroughly remove.  Dental sealants can help young children, teens, and adults prevent cavities.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Our teeth are formed with grooves and pits in them that can trap foods. When  food particles become trapped, there is a marked increase in probability of tooth decay. The longer the food debris stays, the more likely it is that tooth decay will begin. With proper dental hygiene, we are able to remove most of the food debris and dental plaque before it does any damage. For many with deeper grooves in their teeth, toothbrushes are unable to adequately get inside of the grooves leaving bacteria and food behind. Sealants are placed to help those with deeper, uncleansable, grooves.

Dental sealants are generally recommended to all children as their permanent premolars and molars erupt into the mouth. The dental sealant is a thin resin that is painted onto the biting surface of teeth. The thin resin then bonds down into the base of the grooves in the tooth’s surface. This resin will fill in those narrow grooves decreasing the chances of tooth decay developing in those teeth. The smooth surface makes it easier for you to maintain good dental hygiene. Even though the chance of tooth decay on the biting surfaces has decreased, tooth decay is still possible. The other surfaces of the teeth are still unprotected and the dental sealant does not last forever. They generally last about 5-8 years before needing to be reapplied.

Dental Sealants Conclusion

Dental sealants are a great preventive method for all ages. The most common cavities are those found in the grooves of our teeth. Dental sealants will definitely decrease the chances of developing tooth decay on the biting surfaces of your premolars and molars. Dental sealants provide you an opportunity to gain an extra edge in the fight against tooth decay. Dental sealants are placed in a painless manner, are relatively inexpensive, and long lasting. Ask your dentist if any of your teeth should be sealed and protected, because not all teeth need sealants. Remember to maintain regular visits to the dentist for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry and patient’s lives for over 60 years. In the old days, patients with lost teeth had limited options that came with drawbacks. Dental implants have given patients the ability to restore a natural looking and comfortable feeling smile. Implants can replace single teeth, multiple teeth, or your full dentition with great long term success and stability.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an artificial tooth root ( made of titanium) that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, support multiple teeth as a bridge, or support a denture (making it more comfortable and secure).

Dental implants are an ideal option for people in generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, fracture or decay. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not cut down healthy teeth or rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Sufficient bone, and good overall health will give you the best prognosis for ideal oseointegration, (the way bone fills in around the implant for strength). Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. So, proper fit, good occlusion, and excellent oral hygiene are necessary for long term success. With technique and material advances, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Periodontal disease, diabetes, bleeding problems, etc. can cause difficulty in placement, healing and longevity of the dental implants. Be upfront with your dentist regarding health issues so that the proper steps can be taken to give you the highest chance of success. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who are smokers. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.

Top Reasons For Dental Implants

-Cosmetics. Dental implant restorations, (crowns and bridges) are matched to your existing teeth. The only two people in the world who should know you have dental implants should be you and your dentist.

-Stability. Traditionally, many patients opted for removable dentures when missing multiple teeth. This led to compromises in esthetics and function. Dental implants can replace individual teeth but can also be used as support for a removable denture. This makes them as stable as your own natural teeth.

-Maintain Dental Health. Dental implants help to maintain bone levels of the jaws. This will allow your face to maintain its natural structure as long as possible.

-No Worries. Dental implants are stable so you won’t have to worry about them falling out, rocking, or not feeling stable enough to eat what you want. Although dental implants can have complications, they are few and far between. You will never need a root canal on a dental implant nor will you ever get tooth decay.

-Longevity. Dental implants have an over 98% success rate and should (with proper care) last a lifetime.

-Cost. Initially, many think that an implant is way too expensive. Think about these facts, replacing 1 tooth with an implant is only slightly more expensive than a cemented bridge. Bridges generally last 10-20 years if you are diligent with your oral hygiene. The implant will not decay, and usually will last a lifetime with care. In the long run, it is less expensive and does not further damage surrounding teeth.

Dental Implants Conclusion

Dental implants should always be considered as an option  when a missing tooth or teeth are involved. There are great ways to have the smile you want, an implant may be the perfect way to give you back what you’ve lost. An informed, educated patient will make the best choice for his/her dental care.

Many people often overlook the need to “feed” our smiles to keep them healthy. Feeding our smiles is just like feeding our bodies. If we eat poorly, our general and dental health will deteriorate over time. Just like our bodies, our teeth need certain essential vitamins and minerals to stay as healthy as possible. Below you will find a few that support good dental health.

Essential Vitamins And Minerals

-Calcium. Almost 100% of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth. Calcium provides structural support for our bones and teeth. A reduction in calcium can lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay (as well as possibly osteoporosis over time). Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, and kale

-Iron. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Low iron can lead to an inflamed tongue (glossitis), bald or cracked tongue, development of mouth sores, and cracked teeth due to an incredible urge to chew ice. Good sources of iron include red meat and Liver.

-Vitamin A. Helps maintain good salivary flow. Saliva is important to wash away oral bacteria and excess food particles along the gumline and between the teeth. Good sources include sweet potatoes, melons, and spinach.

-Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Vitamin B3 helps your body convert food into energy and helps your nervous system function properly. This essential nutrient can lead to excessively bad breath and canker sores in the mouth. Good sources include chicken and fish.

-Vitamin B12 and B2 (Riboflavin). Consuming Vitamin B12 and B2 can reduce your risk of developing canker sores. Good sources of vitamin B2 include red meat, chicken, liver, pork, yogurt, and cheese. Good sources of vitamin B12 include pasta, spinach, and almonds.

-Vitamin C: This vitamin is not only helpful for your immune system, but it also plays a crucial role in protecting your gum tissue from developing gingivitis. Good sources of vitamin C include red peppers and oranges.

-Vitamin D: This vitamin is one of the most important vitamins for your oral health. It’s the vitamin that supports the absorption of calcium. A deficiency of vitamin D, can lead to the development of “burning mouth” syndrome. This syndrome causes a burning sensation in the mouth along with the possibility of dry mouth and a change in taste (metallic taste). Good sources of Vitamin D include milk with egg yolk or fish to increase Vitamin D intake

Vitamins And Minerals Conclusion

Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a great first step to supporting your oral health at any age. Diet is often overlooked in its role in maintaining dental health but it is very important to create a good foundation for good dental health. Better to be proactive then reactive when it comes to our health.