What Are Porcelain Veneers?
You can think of the idea of porcelain veneers as the same idea as veneers in the furniture world. There, a thin piece of high-quality wood covers lesser wood beneath. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental porcelain that are applied to the front surfaces of a tooth or teeth. They mask the underlying flaws. Dr. Fong uses porcelain veneers for their beauty and strength at his office in Santa Ana, CA. An alternative treatment option to veneers is Bioclear.
Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are made custom in a laboratory to look exactly like your natural teeth. They are one of the best restorative options available, in addition to Bioclear, when it comes to replicating the appearance of healthy tooth enamel. Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining and they blend in naturally with the other teeth due to their thinness. They are strong, durable and can last for up to 10 or 15 years.
The Porcelain Veneer Procedure
Once you decide that you’d like to have porcelain veneers, the procedure requires two appointments with Dr. Fong. The first step is to thoroughly clean your teeth. If they are stained, we may want to perform whitening before choosing the shade of porcelain. To match the color of your adjacent teeth, Dr. Fong uses a shade guide to determine the veneer color.
Now Dr. Fong prepares your teeth for the veneers. He shaves a tiny amount of the enamel from the front of the teeth (from 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm). This makes room for the veneers on the front side of each tooth. When this process is complete, we take impressions of your teeth and send these off to the dental lab for the fabrication of your custom veneers. In most cases, this takes around one week. So your teeth are protected during this time, Dr. Fong will attach temporary veneers to your teeth.
When your veneers arrive at our Santa Ana offices, you return for your second appointment. Dr. Fong examines the color match and the fit of each veneer. He may shave a bit off here and there if needed. Once satisfied with the fit, the veneers are permanently cemented onto your teeth, and you can show your new smile off to the world. There is no recovery time.
Care And Maintenance Of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers don’t require any special cleaning or maintenance at home, just regular brushing and flossing. You want to avoid overly abrasive toothpastes. There aren’t any restrictions on what you can eat, but you may want to use some common sense here. After all, biting into that hard, incredibly sticky caramel apple could pull off a veneer. Chewing ice (always a bad idea for your teeth) could also dislodge a veneer.
Alternative Option To Porcelain Veneers
Dr. Fong offers Bioclear to patients in Santa Ana, Irvine and surrounding areas as an alternative option to veneers. Bioclear is less expensive than porcelain veneers and requires less appointment time in the office. Contact Dr. Fong today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Bioclear.
Veneers are the ultimate restoration for:
- Revitalizing the surface of a tooth
- Concealing chips
- Covering badly stained, discolored teeth
- Closing gaps between teeth
- Masking alignment problems
- Covering cracks or wear
- Providing an alternative to orthodontic work
Porcelain veneers are only aesthetic in nature; they do not fix problems with the teeth. So, for a patient to be eligible for the placement of porcelain veneers with Dr. Fong, problems such as decay, gum disease, or the need for a root canal must be taken care of before veneers can be applied.
You may hear other dentists touting veneers made from composite resin. Not Dr. Fong. He only uses dental porcelain for his veneers. Not only does dental porcelain last far longer than composite resin, but it is superior all around. Porcelain has high strength, hardness, glassiness, high durability, and is highly resistant to staining. Also, the translucence of porcelain very closely resembles natural tooth enamel in the way it absorbs and reflects light.
A set of porcelain veneers can last anywhere from seven to 20 years. This sounds like a wide range, but it is due to the health of the underlying teeth and gums. If a veneer does come off for some reason, in most cases it can be reattached. You do need to know that veneers are a lifetime commitment. Because the placement requires shaving the enamel off the fronts of the teeth, those teeth will forevermore need to be covered with veneers. So, once your veneers have reached their lifespan, you’ll need to have another set placed.
Porcelain veneers are priced by the veneer, so if you are covering just a single chipped or misshapen tooth, your price will be much different than cosmetically covering all of your visible teeth. When you come in for your exam prior to getting your veneers, Dr. Fong can give you a good idea of what their cost would be and if there are available alternatives that may cost less (like Bioclear).