Cosmetic dentistry gives an experienced cosmetic dentist the ability to transform any smile from ordinary to extraordinary. Porcelain veneers can be a major component in that transformation. Unfortunately, not every patient who wants porcelain veneers is a good candidate for them. Below you will find what is needed to be a good candidate for porcelain veneers.
Criteria For Porcelain Veneers
-Desire For A Beautiful Smile. when one desires a change, especially one requiring a financial investment, they are usually open to being diligent to maintaining it. If the porcelain veneers are not cared for they will break down overtime. Regular dental examinations, professional cleanings, and excellent homecare are an integral part of keeping your smile transformation.
-Healthy Teeth And Gums. If extensive tooth decay, fractured teeth, or periodontal disease are present, you will not be considered a good candidate for porcelain veneers. A stable platform is needed for porcelain veneers. The mouth needs to be in a healthy, stable state to allow porcelain veneers to be considered an option. You will need a full dental evaluation to assess your dental health. If your mouth is unhealthy, it is best to avoid porcelain veneers due to the high liklihood of failure.
-Alignment Of Teeth. Severely misaligned teeth will cause issues with preparation of teeth for porcelain veneers. Most dentists try to be quite conservative when removing natural tooth structure. If the teeth are too far out of alignment it means more tooth structure will need to be removed to accomodate the spacing. Removing too much tooth structure can lead to tooth sensitivity and even nerve exposure (requiring root canal therapy). For teeth that are severely misaligned, invisalign, 6 month smile, or traditional orthodontics may be needed to bring them into better alignment.
-Sufficient Tooth Enamel Present. Tooth enamel is needed for the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. If the tooth is severely worn down or damaged, porcelain veneers will not bond well and may not be a good option for you. In this case a full crown may be a better option.
-Tooth Color. In general, veneers look best when they are thin and translucent. If you have severely stained teeth (developmental dentin staining, tetracycline staining, root canal staining), it is usually best to whiten your teeth prior to veneers. Blockout of color is possible, but doesn’t look as natural.
-Gum Tissue Alignment. Proper gum contours are necessary to proper tooth shaping of veneers. If the gum heights are out of proportion, they will need to be recontoured with a gingivectomy procedure prior to veneer placement.
- Oral Habits: Nail Biting, Teeth Clenching/Grinding (Bruxism). Severe teeth clenchers or teeth grinders are not good candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are not able to handle the powerful stresses put forth by grinding and clenching. If a patient only grinds their teeth at night then it is possible to still complete porcelain veneers but only with the use of a night guard at night. Other oral habits such as, biting nails, chewing on pens, opening packages with your teeth, etc. will also cause damage to veneers and may cause them to fail.
Porcelain Veneers Conclusion
Porcelain veneers when done on the right individual can change a persons smile dramatically. It is important to remember that veneers are not right for every situation. Be sure to have a thorough evaluation by your dentist to see if your cosmetic options may include porcelain veneers.
-Chipped Tooth. A chipped tooth can happen from tooth decay, trauma to the mouth, or even biting into a hard roll on a sandwich. To repair a minor chip in your tooth, your dentist will use dental bonding. Dental bonding uses a tooth colored material to blend in with your existing tooth and restore form and function again. If the repair is much larger a porcelain veneer or porcelain crown will be recommended as they will last longer and need less care when doing day to day activities.
-Fractured Teeth. If a tooth is fractured, it must first be determined what the extent of the fracture is. If the fracture is superficial and does not enter the nerve of the tooth a porcelain crown will be recommended as it will provide the support and strength necessary to restore form and function. However, if the fracture extends into the nerve of the tooth or even under the gum line more extensive treatment will be needed. If the tooth can be saved root canal therapy will be recommended followed by a porcelain crown. If the fracture makes it unrestorable, a tooth extraction will be recommended.
-Yellow Or Stained Teeth. Teeth whitening is usually the answer to this problem. Teeth whitening can be done in office or at home. It is very effective in brightening most people’s smiles quickly and easily.
-Crooked Teeth. Whether this is a single tooth out of line or multiple teeth, cosmetic dentistry can fix the issue. You can use traditional type orthodontics or “instant” orthodontics. Instant orthodontics is the use of porcelain veneers to correct slight imperfections in your smile. Traditional orthodontics can move teeth that are more out of line. With newer techniques like six month smiles, orthodontic movement can be completed in as little as 6 months.
-Replacing Old Dental Restorations. Over time, even the best dental restorations will wear down and even discolor. Replacing these older dental restorations can rejuvenate your smile and make it look whiter and brighter.
-Close Gaps Between Teeth. Many of us have spaces between our teeth and do not want to go through the time and effort of traditional orthodontics. Cosmetic dentistry can close these gaps using dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and even porcelain crowns.
-Irregularly Shaped Teeth. Sometimes it is a single tooth that seems out of place from the others. This could be from wear over time or just having a tooth slightly out of place. Cosmetic dentistry can restore those teeth to look and function just like the other teeth giving you a winning smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Conclusion
We all have an ideal smile in our heads. For some it is the smile we are born with while others are looking to improve upon what they were given. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry can keep our smiles looking great and also improve upon them if desired.
Oftentimes a smile that shows too much gum tissue makes teeth appear too small for your mouth. Most of us have substantial tooth structure, we just don’t see enough of it to have the full effect of the whole tooth. This exposure of tooth structure through tissue and or gum removal is called crown lengthening. A well trained cosmetic dentist can use crown lengthening (also called a gum lift) to beautify your smile by allowing you visibility of more natural tooth structure. There are other uses for crown lengthening as well.
What Is Crown Lengthening?
Crown lengthening has multiple uses but has gained popularity as a cosmetic procedure. Crown lengthening can be used to remove bone and/or gum tissue from surrounding teeth. From a cosmetic standpoint, the reshaping of uneven gum tissue can make teeth appear more even without the need for braces or veneers. If tooth decay or fractures fall under the gum line, it is necessary to remove bone to allow for better access and support for a dental restoration such as a crown.
What Does The Crown Lengthening Procedure Involve?
Crown lengthening is actually a very simple procedure that gives dramatic results. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. Following numbing of the area, the dentist will begin to remove the excess gum tissue. For most procedures only gum tissue will need to be removed and generally healing does not involve stitches. In others a small amount of bone will also need to be removed. Following completion, the gum tissue is stitched back together to allow for a speedy healing process.
Crown Lengthening Advantages
-One Time Procedure. A major advantage to crown lengthening is that it only needs to be completed once. No follow up is needed.
-Increased Dental Hygiene Access. With more tooth exposed dental hygiene can be completed even easier. With more tooth exposed it will be easier to keep your teeth clean.
-Speed. The entire procedure takes about 30-60 minutes with dramatic results following initial healing over the next 7-10 days.
Crown Lengthening Disadvantages
-Surgical Considerations. As with any surgery, the risks include pain, swelling, excessive bleeding, and possible infection. If you are in good health, do not require medication, and have good oral hygiene, risks are generally minimal.
-Recovery. Initial healing is fast, you should see your tissue looking better in a few days. Normal recovery should take 2-8 weeks. Tissue healing takes a few weeks while bone healing takes almost 2 months.
-Price. Cost is always a factor but dental insurance often picks up part of the price if there is periodontal pocketing or inadequate tooth structure to prepare for a crown. Photos, xrays, and periodontal charting are usually required for preauthorization.
Crown Lengthening Recovery
When your crown lengthening procedure is completed, you may be given a prescription for a pain reliever. You may also be advised to use ice to reduce any swelling. There may be dietary restrictions. You can expect to return to the dental office in 7-10 days to evaluate healing and to remove the stitches if they were placed.
When healing is complete, you may move onto other cosmetic or restorative dentistry procedures. These may include crowns, bridges, or porcelain veneers. It is important for full healing to take place before proceeding to other treatment. A healthy foundation makes for a stable platform for dental restorations.
Crown Lengthening Conclusion
Sometimes, a relatively simple procedure can save you from much more extensive treatment or loss of an otherwise unrestorable tooth. It is important to see a well qualified cosmetic dentist or periodontist to have your smile evaluated to see if the treatment is right for you.
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.
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.