A porcelain veneer is an extremely thin shell of porcelain that bonds to the front of a tooth (enamel). At Aloha Dental Group, our cosmetic dentists use veneers to change the shape, color, size, and symmetry of the teeth and smile.
In cosmetic dentistry, porcelain is the material of choice because it replicates human enamel the most naturally.
At Aloha Dental Group, we use 3 types of porcelain systems: Empress, Emax, and Feldspathic Porcelain (as well as variations of our No-Prep / minimal prep options like Ultraveneers and Durathins).
These systems are recognized as the superior porcelain systems available in cosmetic dentistry today, and these are the systems our skilled dentists have used in all of their award-winning cases. In the right hands, each system is capable of achieving equally beautiful results, and an Atlanta cosmetic dentist will help decide which is best suited for you.
So one question I get asked very often in my day-to-day is, “What are porcelain veneers?” Well, the best analogy for a veneer, think of it like a contact lens that goes over the front of your tooth. A thin sheet of porcelain that fits right over the top of your tooth. They’re very, very thin, on the order of 0.3 mm, almost about the thickness of this business card that I have in my hand.
Technologically, the porcelain systems we have today are much different than they were in the past. The correct term that we use now is actually biocompatible lithium disilicate glass ceramic. Quite a mouthful.
Who is a candidate for porcelain veneers?
If you have teeth, chances are you are a candidate for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are ideal for people who want to improve their smile. Popular reasons include worn teeth, uneven teeth, discolored teeth, crooked teeth, chipped/broken teeth, or a desire to have a gorgeous smile. Porcelain veneers are a conservative treatment, and can improve the color, shape, symmetry and overall appearance of your smile. Porcelain veneers are not just for elective purposes. While they are the “gold standard” treatment for improving your smile, they are also used to replace old mercury fillings, fix cracked and broken teeth, and replace enamel that has been worn down over time. Many people come to Aloha Dental Group to fix broken and unhealthy teeth. And because we have so much skill and experience using porcelain veneers, our patients get their teeth fixed AND a major smile improvement as an added benefit. Look at this example below:
Many people spend years disliking their smile. They are embarrassed to smile for pictures, and they cover their mouths when laughing. Sometimes people misjudge a person as unfriendly just because the person doesn’t smile very much. Sometimes a person is so self-conscious of his or her smile that he or she feels they can’t interview for certain jobs even though they are highly educated and qualified. Some grandparents don’t want to show their teeth when they smile at their grandchildren because they are afraid of looking unattractive to a child they love so much. Obviously, cosmetic dentistry using porcelain veneers can be life-changing for many individuals. It is our privilege at Aloha Dental Group to be involved with thousands of these dramatic life-changing smile-makeovers.
What steps are involved in getting porcelain veneers?
At Aloha Dental Group, we have transformed thousands of smiles, placed tens of thousands of porcelain veneers, all using the needed art, skill, science and experience to make sure every case is a perfect ten. We have taken this experience and created systematic methods, so that every case runs smoothly every time. This system starts with a simple phrase: “We begin with the end in mind.”
How does the smile transformation process work?
Step one, you’ll simply come in for a consultation just to see if you’re a candidate, and we’ll discuss your options. Next, we’ll discuss your objectives for your new smile, whether that’s closing spaces, reducing flare, fixing a kant.
This is where the artistic aspect starts coming into play. The third step is that we’ll actually go through pictures of amazing smiles to see which one appeals to you. We’ll give guidance for which smile might look the best for your shape of your face, the contours, et cetera.
After that, we’ll actually start the process, and take impressions of your teeth exactly how they are. Next, we’ll send those models of your teeth to our master ceramist. They will then mount these stone models up and replicate the position of your bite, essentially forming a chewing simulator. Next, the ceramist will then review the objectives that we’ve sent from our previous conversation, and he does what’s called a diagnostic wax-up on those stone models. Essentially, at this point we can visualize a before and after using the stone model and the wax model.
Following that, we’ll get this back in our office, and then we’re ready to proceed with the actual dental procedure. The wax-up may or may not replicate what the permanent veneers are going to look like, but, at least, it’s a starting point for forming your temporaries. Next, we do any necessary contouring of the tooth, ensuring that we’re being as conservative as possible in our tooth reduction. By having a diagnostic wax-up, essentially we have a road map of the goals. We’ve kind of begun with the end in mind. This ensures precision and illuminates unnecessary reduction of tooth structure.
After we are done contouring of the teeth, we then fit you with the dental temporaries that have been predicated from the wax-up that we had designed before. At this point, you’re almost at the finish line. You’ll wear the temporaries for about three weeks during which time we call that the test drive where we can make any modifications to those temporaries, whether they’re too long, too short, too round, or maybe they’re just perfect. You’ll get to identify those changes as we move toward to the permanent veneers being fabricated. These changes are then communicated to our master ceramist. The final step is the bonding and placement of your beautiful porcelain veneers. The process is now complete.