Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

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 dentistry needs 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.

Having a great smile is about more then a white, perfectly aligned smile. For many of us, we have one or more perceived flaws we might want changed with our smiles. These flaws can effect a person’s self esteem and a person’s self confidence. Cosmetic dentistry gives you the ability to make small corrections or even major transformations to your smile. These changes can have a major impact on your entire life.

What Is A Perfect Smile?

Everyone’s idea of a perfect smile is different. So every cosmetic dentistry consult should begin with you telling your dentist what you are looking for. Your dentist will complete a thorough dental examination along with taking impressions for study models. These models can be used to give you a visual reference of what your new smile might look like. This examination will allow your dentist to explain to you what can be done to keep a balance between cosmetics and function and give you options to choose from. It is important to remember to keep open communication with your dentist. If you are not happy with any part of the treatment plan options or the cosmetic dentistry treatment selected, you need to let him or her know so changes can be made.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Changes

Straighter Teeth

Adult orthodontics have come a long way. Gone are the days of wearing braces for several years to give you the smile you want. The newest development is the six month smiles system. This system uses tooth colored materials so that no one will notice you are undergoing treatment. This treatment can transform your smile, giving you straighter teeth in an average of six months.

Teeth Lengthening

Over time and use, our teeth change. These changes include them becoming shorter. This can change your smile from a youthful one to one making you appear older. Lenghthening your teeth back to their natural dimensions is possible with porcelain crowns, gum contouring, and porcelain veneers. These options will add length and structure to your teeth making your smile look the way you always imagined.

Whiter Teeth

A whiter, brighter smile can give the appearance of youth and vitality. This is one of the easiest and most cost effective cosmetic dentistry procedures available. There are generally two types of teeth whitening – in office and at home treatment. The in office treatment is immediate and highlyeffective, the at home products may take a bit longer but will still give you a dazzling smile.

Rebuild A Lost Smile

Over time, tooth decay and periodontal disease can wreak havoc on our smiles. Our teeth can break down, shift, create dark spaces, or even be lost. To restore a lost smile, cosmetic dentistry can offer porcelain crowns, bonding, and dental implants to give you a full smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Change Your Smile

-Teeth Whitening. This has become a billion dollar cosmetic dentistry business with products ranging from in office whitening to at home whitening with customized dental trays, whitening strips,  paint on gels and even whitening toothpastes and rinses. The differences between the types has to do with speed and depth of whitening. Teeth whitening can have a dramatic effect on almost anyone’s smile for a relatively low cost and minimal time involved.

-Dental Implants. Missing teeth can make you feel uncomfortable with smiling, socially awkward, or may make you look older than you are. Replacing lost teeth can be done with very natural results. Dental implants are a great way to achieve cosmetics, strength, and durability.  Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. The best part is, once restored, the dental implants will often last a lifetime.

-Dental Bonding. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves reshaping and blending teeth. Bonding utilizes tooth colored materials that can be bonded to teeth to change shape, color, and length. This same material can also be used to fully cover the front surface, (called a composite veneer). Dental bonding can generally be completed in one visit, and is less expensive than porcelain restorations.

-Porcelain Veneers. While the initial cost is higher than some other cosmetic dentistry options, this may be cost effective if extensive changes need to be made. Porcelain veneers can change shape, color, length, and even correct minor misalignments of teeth. This will last a long time, will not stain, and is a very strong, natural looking material. The veneer is also a conservative restoration as it generally only requires minimal enamel reduction, and sometimes no reduction.

-Porcelain and Zirconia Crowns. These types of crowns combine strength with the most cosmetic options available. They are made from modern dental porcelain materials that range in strength and esthetics. If done properly, no one should ever be able to tell a porcelain crown from a natural tooth. Modern porcelains possesses strength, color properties, and light reflection properties that very closely mimic our natural teeth. Porcelain crowns can be used to change bite alignment issues as well as change alignment of front teeth which are more extreme such as those issues that porcelain veneers alone cannot fix. More natural tooth structure needs to be removed in preparing a porcelain crown vs a porcelain veneer.

-Snap On Smile. This is a modern, conservative way to improve your smile without any permanent dental work. All that is required is having your dentist take impressions of your teeth, choose a color, and the dentist sending them to a lab to have your snap on smile fabricated. Once the snap on smile is made, you simply clean your teeth, apply a fluoride gel inside, and slip it on over your teeth. You can talk, eat and smile with it all day long.

-Gum Contouring. For those with a gummy smile, this can be a real confidence booster. This cosmetic dentistry procedure is generally done in one visit and can give incredible results for many with an overly gummy smile. Gum contouring simply removes the excess gum tissue and reshapes the gums to ensure you obtain the desired look. For some, this may require reduction of bone also, in this case, it is recommended that you see a periodontal surgeon.

-Tooth Recontouring. Changing the shape or alignment of teeth in a minor way can have a dramatic effect on a persons smile. Tooth recontouring involves removing small amounts of tooth structure from edges of teeth to correct a tooth that might be misshapen or slightly misaligned.

-Orthodontics. Minor tooth movement can be completed in weeks to months by your cosmetic dentist to bring your smile in line and allow for a better harmony between your smile and function.

Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion

The beauty of cosmetic dentistry is that only you and your dentist should ever know it was done. A well trained cosmetic dentist can create a smile that is both beautiful and natural looking. There are so many ways in cosmetic dentistry to make changes to your smile. Talk yo your dentist to see what will work best for you.

There are many questions when it comes to dental procedures. Why do we need certain treatments?, What does the dentist look for besides cavities?, Are x-rays safe?, etc. While you may know the answers to some of the questions, there are many questions asked by patients on a daily basis that relate to the ones mentioned below.

-Are You Ever Too Old For Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is about more than just looking good. It is not suggested to do cosmetic dentistry until after growth and development have ended, beyond that there is no age limit. Cosmetic dentistry will often repair and restore our teeth’s function along with improving esthetics. Cosmetic dentistry has also been shown to improve self esteem and how others see you. Whether it be the use of porcelain crowns to rebuild lost tooth height from years of use or dental implants to replace missing or badly damaged teeth, cosmetic dentistry can give you the smile you have desired and need to live a full, happy life.

-What Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are a thin, plastic-like coating that is applied onto the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are usually placed on the premolars and molars. The sealant flows into the grooves of the teeth and are set using a special dental light so they harden forming a protective shield.

It is generally recommended that children have sealants placed on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as the erupt into the mouth. However, it is also recommended for anyone with deep grooves and pits in the enamel of the biting surfaces of back teeth. Sealants generally last about 2-10 years depending upon wear and seal strength, but they should be routinely checked to ensure they have not fractured or chipped off exposing the tooth structure underneath.

-What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?

While oral cancer is usually believed to be associated with those who drink and/or smoke, more then 25% of all oral cancer cases are of those who do not smoke and only drink alcohol on occasion. Oral Cancer signs and symptoms include:

-Development of white or red patches in the mouth.

-Development of sores that do not go away within 2 weeks.

-Unexplained pain or tenderness around the face and neck.

-Development of unexplained numbness in the face and neck.

-Chronic sore throat or voice changes.

-Ear pain.

-Change in the “bite” of your teeth.

It is important to remember that early diagnosis of oral cancer gives you the best chance for full recovery.

-How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?

This has been a hot topic with many in the media and many families. We are exposed to radiation all day long going about our daily lives. This includes radiation from the sun and appliances in our homes. Luckily, these radiation levels are extremely small. A full set of dental x-rays is similar to the normal radiation we are exposed to on a normal day outside.

Dental x-rays have improved dramatically over the years. Modern x-ray units limit radiation to a small area using a single beam and use higher speed film to require a shorter exposure time. It is important to remember that radiation exposure is cumulative over the course of a lifetime. Dental x-rays are a necessary part of maintaining dental health. The ADA has standards of care in regards to acceptable diagnostic radiographs (x-rays) for all dentists to follow.

-I Have A Gap In My Front Teeth. Can That Be Fixed?

The procedure to close a gap between teeth is called dental bonding. Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure using a tooth colored material that is applied to your natural teeth to close the space. The final product will look natural and match color perfectly. No one should know but you and your dentist. The procedure can be completed in as little as an hour.

-Are Teeth Whitening Toothpastes Effective?

Toothpastes contain mild abrasives and are generally effective at removing light surface stains. However, over time the staining goes deeper and more difficult for toothpaste alone to remove. Teeth whitening toothpastes are more effective at removing surface stains but the most effective way to whiten teeth is through your dentist using bleaching agents that can go deeper than just the surface. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

-When Is The Best Time To Remove Wisdom Teeth?

When the removal of wisdom teeth is determined necessary, it is best done when the roots are approximately 2/3rds formed, usually in the teenage years. Removal at this time allows for an easier procedure and decreases the risk of damage to the nerves in that area.

 Conclusion

An educated patient armed with dental health knowledge is going to be able to ask good questions regarding their dental care. You should know what options are available to you treatment-wise, why treatment needs to be done, and whether or not it specific treatments will work for you. The next time you are at the dental office, ask questions. Your dentist and hygienist will be happy to answer your questions and help you make informed decisions.

From time to time, we may all experience dental issues that we may not quite understand. Many dental symptoms may seem harmless at first but could develop into something far more serious. Below you will find some of the more common dental symptoms that can arise and what they might mean for your dental health.

Common Dental Symptoms

-Sensitive Teeth. This can start out as a slight twinge of discomfort when eating hot or cold foods (or drink), eating sweets, or while brushing. The sensitivity may subside quickly or become increasingly more painful. Sensitive teeth can be due to tooth decay, worn down enamel, tooth fractures, periodontal disease, or gum recession. Whatever the reason, it is important to have the sensitivity checked by a dentist to assess whether further might be necessary . There are many treatments for sensitive teeth.

-Bleeding Gums. This is a sign of the early stages of gum disease also known as gingivitis. Gums that bleed should not be ignored.  Many often make the mistake that brushing, flossing, or their dental cleaning caused the bleeding, this is rarely the case. Healthy gums do not bleed during hygiene procedures.  If caught early enough, gingivitis can be reversed with proper professional help and good at home dental hygiene.

-Pain In Teeth. Toothaches can occur from a variety of causes. These can include tooth decay, fractured teeth, infected teeth, or even periodontal disease. Any toothache should be examined by a dentist to see why it is happening.

-Halitosis (Bad Breath). This can be a troubling symptom for many as it makes us feel socially embarrassed. Bad breath can be caused by any number of things including poor dental hygiene, periodontal disease, smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and even due to some medications we may be taking. If the bad breath persists after professional cleanings and improved at home care it is important to see your dentist to further evaluate the root cause of your bad breath.

-Oral Ulcers. These can be quite painful with causes ranging from infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal) to apthous ulcers (canker sores), or irritations from dental appliances. It is recommended that any sore lasting more than 5-7 days should be checked by your dentist to ensure your health.

-Clicking Noises, Jaw Pain, and Dislocation of Jaw. Temperomandibular Joint disorders can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. If you experience any type of jaw pain it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible to figure out the source of the problem.

-Discolored Teeth. A tooth discoloration could be the sign of a tooth that is dying due to trauma or infection. If the discoloration is more widespread it could be caused by ingestion of staining foods like coffee or teas. The discoloration needs to be assessed and possibly radiographed to determine the cause and decide upon treatment.

-Dry Mouth. Salivary flow is extremely important to maintain dental health. Our saliva acts to wash over our teeth and gums constantly cleaning and maintaining the proper pH balance in the mouth. Dry mouth (xerostomia) can be a symptom of many different health issues and medications. Your dentist can help you find a solution to dry mouth issues.

-Loose Teeth. Noticeable movement of teeth is a sign of attachment loss of connective tissues. Whether due to trauma, infection, or periodontal disease, mobility of a tooth needs to be checked by your dentist.

-Swelling. Infections of the mouth can and usually will exhibit swelling as the bacteria multiplies in the mouth. Dental swelling can be life threatening and should be evaluated immediately as to the cause.

-Cracked or Fractured Teeth. Damaged teeth can be caused by trauma or brittle tooth decay. Some cracks are so small they cannot be detected even with X-rays, but it is important to have cracked teeth checked by a dentist to ensure that no additional damage or decay will occur.

Dental Symptoms Conclusion

Being informed and educated regarding possible dental symptoms will give you an advantage in knowing when to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Generally, the earlier you receive dental treatment for dental symptoms, the better off you will be. Maintaining a healthy oral environment requires your attention to dental symptoms, and proper treatment in a timely fashion. It is best to consult with a dentist even if you feel the symptom might be minor.