Have you ever sat on the couch watching television and wished that you could have a smile as beautiful as the star of the show?
Do you have a long list of things you would like to fix about your teeth, but lack the time and money to have everything done?
The dentist can fix a cracked or discolored tooth with a dental crown, but they require the removal of a large amount of enamel.
Crooked teeth can be straightened with orthodontics, but who wants to wait two years for results? At Desert Family Dental, Dr. Scott Lee can place porcelain veneers that will give your smile an instant makeover.
To learn more about porcelain veneers and how they can benefit your smile, call our Mesa, AZ dental office today and schedule a consultation.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
A veneer is a shell consisting of a very thin layer of porcelain that Dr. Lee custom designs to fit your smile.
In most cases, the doctor will need to remove a very small layer of tooth enamel so your veneer does not look too bulky or thick, but not nearly as much as a crown would necessitate.
Dr. Lee can design your veneers to match the exact color and shape of your natural teeth. He will attach the porcelain veneers to the front of your teeth and, once in place, they will cover up most cosmetic flaws.
They can also reshape your teeth and, in some cases, hide minor orthodontic tissues. Veneers provide amazing results. Among other things, they can address:
- Eroded and Misshapen Teeth – Some patients may notice their teeth eroding due to age or other issues. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can cause teeth to wear down and will lead to serious damage if left untreated. Porcelain veneers can cover the worn teeth, adding length and uniformity. Patients who grind their teeth may need to talk to the doctor about options for preventing continued grinding that will cause the veneers to wear and ultimately lead to more damage.
- Crooked or Rotated Teeth – Dr. Lee will give your uneven teeth a feeling of symmetry with veneers, and can use them to cover mildly crooked or misaligned teeth, improving their appearance and function much faster than with orthodontics.
- Stains or Discoloration – While whitening treatments will eliminate many stains, some patients experience especially stubborn stains on their teeth, including intrinsic stains, which emanate from the inside of the tooth and respond poorly to conventional whitening treatments. Porcelain veneers cover these areas of discoloration and keep your smile looking healthy, clean, and white.
- Chipped Teeth – When a patient bites into a hard piece of candy or an ice cube, or suffers a trauma to the face, he may end up with a chipped tooth. Dr. Lee places veneers over chipped teeth to improve their appearance and provide additional strength.
- Small Gaps Between Teeth – Dr. Lee can design his patients’ veneers so that they give their teeth a wider appearance, effectively filling in any gaps they have in their smiles.
Once Dr. Lee places a patient’s veneers, he will find it virtually impossible to see where his natural teeth end and his veneers begin.
The porcelain used to create our veneers has a similar translucency and texture as natural teeth, and mimics their structure and reflective properties, creating a very natural appearance.
Porcelain provides great resistance to staining from wine, colas, and tobacco, and provides strength and security to the patient’s teeth. With proper care, porcelain veneers can last 20 years or longer.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Veneers?
If you struggle with any of the problems listed above, come see Dr. Lee. He will review your medical and dental records, and ask you what you like and dislike about your smile.
Then he will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth to determine if veneers present a good solution for your dental problems. Ideal candidates will exhibit good overall health and a positive attitude, with realistic expectations of the improvements porcelain veneers will provide.
The doctor will take into consideration your cosmetic goals, as well as the overall health of your teeth before recommending veneers. If you have untreated decay or gum disease, you may need to take care of it before the doctor will approve you for veneers.
After appropriate treatment, Dr. Lee will reevaluate your candidacy. If the doctor determines that veneers are not right for you, he will recommend an alternative treatment.
Placing Porcelain Veneers
When compared to the length of time necessary for other dental work, the placement of porcelain veneers seems very quick and easy.
Once Dr. Lee has approved you for veneers, he will begin the preparation of your teeth. This will require the removal of a very small amount of enamel from the surface of the teeth receiving veneers.
The doctor does this to ensure a proper fit for the porcelain shell, and to make sure the veneer does not look or feel too thick or bulky.
The doctor will then take impressions of your teeth, which he will use to create a wax model of your mouth. Using the wax model, the doctor will create a mockup of your new veneers to provide you with a preview of what your smile will look like when he places them.
When you and the doctor feel comfortable with the look of the veneers on the model, he will send the impression, along with his design for your new veneers to a reputable U.S.-based dental lab, where dental technicians will begin the fabrication of your new veneers.
When your completed veneers arrive in our office about two weeks later, you will return to the office to have them permanently placed.
Dr. Lee will place the veneers on your teeth and check to make sure they fit properly and provide good occlusion. He will make any adjustments he deems necessary, then clean, polish, and etch your teeth in preparation for bonding. This helps the veneer bond to the tooth better.
Dr. Lee will apply a strong, yet safe dental cement to each veneer and place them on your teeth. When satisfied with the position of the veneers, the doctor will use a curing light to activate and harden the cement, permanently bonding them in place.
In just two visits, your teeth will look as though they have had months, or even years, worth of work done, and you will have a smile you can feel proud of.
Caring for Porcelain Veneers
You will care for your veneers the same as you do your natural teeth. Continue to brush at least twice daily, and floss at least once each day.
Your new veneers will resist most stains, so you will need to practice vigilance with your brushing habits, to ensure all of your teeth remain the same shade of white.
You will need to plan to attend regular cleanings and checkups every six months, so the doctor can monitor your veneers and make sure they continue to function properly. With proper care and maintenance, your veneers can last over two decades.
Call Us for a Consultation
If you have a laundry list of dental issues you would like to have fixed, but lack the time and money necessary to complete all of the procedures necessary, come visit us at Desert Family Dental.
With porcelain veneers, Dr. Lee can correct many of your issues with just one procedure, giving your smile the makeover you have always wanted. Call our Mesa, AZ dental office today to schedule a consultation with the doctor.