Have you ever watched a magician and wondered how he did a trick? If the magician is good, you may be astonished at his abilities. Porcelain veneers are the “magic” of cosmetic dental treatments, and when they’re done right, the results are astonishing.
At Lifetime Smiles, our cosmetic dentists don’t use sleight-of-hand or illusion, but they can make crooked, uneven, or oddly spaced teeth instantly disappear with porcelain veneers.
You can skip the two years in braces and enjoy a more uniform smile in just two visits. Just like magic.
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are brilliantly white, custom-made shells that cover the front surface of teeth to erase all the imperfections and flaws that show when you smile. They are a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment—and for good reason. Veneers offer dramatic results in only a few dental appointments.
The process begins with a consultation, where one of our doctors will assess your smile and oral health and discuss the concerns you have with your smile. Our doctors will answer all of your questions, as well.
First we get diagnostic records including photos and a copy of your current smile. These are used to create the ideal smile for you, which is then designed in wax on those models. This allows us to critique and fine tune the design, as well as try it in your mouth for a test run without cutting on any teeth. Once the final design is agreed on, we will schedule your first clinical appointment.
At that appointment, we will use our computerized anesthesia delivery system. This amazing technology is so gentle that most patients report no discomfort at all. We will then prepare your teeth by carefully etching a thin layer of enamel to create enough surface area for the veneers to adhere well.
Next, we will take digital impressions and send them to the dental lab. A ceramist will handcraft each veneer to perfectly match the shape, size, and color that the dentist specified in his or her design.
While you wait for your customized veneers, which take about two to three weeks, you can enjoy a trial smile with temporary veneers, which are a replica of the design we designed in wax. The final restorations will look more lifelike. They’ll be totally customized and permanent.
When the finals are ready, you will return to our office for a fitting, which usually involves a few adjustments. Once we are thrilled with the fit and look of your veneers, we will bond them in place.
Ta-da! A gorgeous smile you will want to constantly share with others.
Patients with severe misalignment or bite issues may need orthodontics.
Straight teeth aren’t always just about aesthetics.
Issues that affect how your upper and lower teeth fit together, as well as how your jaw joints are aligned, will probably require wearing braces or aligners. A misaligned bite puts you at risk of TMJ disorder, bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth), and headaches. Moreover, it can affect your speech, diet, and nutrition.
Severely crooked or crowded teeth pose a threat to oral health. For instance, they can make flossing and brushing more difficult and less effective. If you can’t clean all the food particles and plaque from between your teeth, you are at a much higher risk of cavities and gum disease.
Misaligned teeth can also push against neighboring teeth. This may result in pain, tooth root damage, or even tooth breakage.
When braces are necessary, we suggest our cosmetic patients consider Invisalign® clear aligner treatment.
Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers?
Not everyone is a candidate for porcelain veneers.
If you have any oral health issues, we will need to address them before placing veneers.
Patients with gum disease need periodontal care to remove infection so that gums can heal. Those with dental decay may require a tooth-colored filling or crown. Infected, weak, broken, or otherwise damaged teeth need to be treated, as well.
If you grind or clench your teeth (a condition called bruxism), we will discuss treatment options, because this habit can damage your natural teeth as well as porcelain veneers. Many patients find relief from bruxism by wearing a simple oral splint at night, which is when bruxism typically happens.
However, if you have bite issues or severe bruxism, you may require treatment with orthodontics, bite adjustments, or even qualify for full mouth rehabilitation. Your Lifetime Smiles dentist will advise which restorative treatments are necessary before veneers and other cosmetic procedures can be performed.
Want to learn more about porcelain veneers?
If you are in the North County or Escondido areas, call (760) 621-6214 today.
One of our friendly team members would love the chance to answer all your questions. We will also schedule your consultation with Dr. Mallakis or Dr. McDonald, so you can find out if porcelain veneers are right for you.