FAQ About Veneers

1. What is a dental veneer?

Esthetic porcelain veneers contain a Zirconia frame inside and a thin layer of porcelain outside. It often needs a little grinding to natural tooth to improve the strength or appearance of worn teeth or severely damaged teeth (root canal treatment only needed in some special situations).

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2. What are veneers made of?

At Dr Hung & Associates Dental Center, veneers are made from Nano Emax porcelain. Nano Emax (Ivoclar Vivadent) offer the fit, form and function which is expected from pressed ceramics. In addition, they offer improved flexural strength (400 MPa). With optimized esthetic properties creating all-ceramic restorations that offer true-to-nature results, Nano Emax is usually used for front teeth.

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3. How do I know if veneers are right for me?

The only way to know if porcelain veneers are a viable option is through a complete evaluation and exam. Our cosmetic dentist will examine your dental history, as well as your current dental health and the condition of the dental enamel. They will also explain other cosmetic treatments, so that you can make a fully informed decision about your dental care.

4. How long does the placement procedure take?

Traditional veneers placement at Dr Hung & Associates Dental Center takes place over two visits. The length of time required for each of these visits will depend on how many veneers a patient chooses to have placed. Following enamel removal and dental impressions, it typically takes between 1 and 2 weeks for patients to receive their new veneers. When dentists use CEREC technology to fabricate veneers in the office, patients could enjoy a dramatically enhanced smile in just a few hours.

5. Does the placement procedure hurt?

The placement of porcelain veneers at Dr Hung & Associates Dental Center is typically a pain-free procedure. Dentists usually numb the tooth and the surrounding area before removing the dental enamel. In many cases, this amount of enamel is so small that patients do not even require anesthesia. Once the enamel is removed, patients may experience some sensitivity, particularly before the veneers are attached; once the porcelain is in place, this discomfort should disappear within a few weeks. The attachment of veneers involves no discomfort, although patients may need a few weeks to adjust to the feel of the veneers in their mouths.

6. Do veneers look natural?

Veneers are among the most realistic dental enhancements available. Because they are custom-made for each patient, they will match the shape and color of the surrounding teeth. Additionally, because they are translucent, veneers interact with light just like natural dental enamel.

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7. How many veneers should I get?

Veneers are intended to enhance the teeth that show when a patient smiles, so the number of veneers a patient needs partially depends on how wide their smile is. Some people only show six teeth when they grin, while others may display up to twelve teeth. Of course, a patient’s specific cosmetic goals will also determine how many veneers he or she should receive. For example, if someone wants to treat a single chipped tooth, he may only require one veneer. On the other hand, if another patient wants to conceal widespread tetracycline stains, she could require as many as ten or twelve veneers. Patients will also need to consider their budget; because veneers are individually priced, the number of veneers is the biggest factor in determining the overall cost of treatment.

8. What happens if I only get veneers on my upper teeth?

Because veneers are custom-created to match the surrounding teeth, veneers can be an effective way to treat only the upper (or lower) teeth. However, many patients choose to have teeth whitening performed on the other dental arch for more comprehensive, uniform enhancement.

9. How to take care of veneers?

After the placement of porcelain veneers, patients should commit themselves to good oral hygiene regiments, regular visits to the dentist, and generally healthy lifestyles. This helps to ensure the longevity of the veneers, not to mention good oral health.

Preventing Decay

With proper care, veneers are much more likely to reach the 20 year mark. Along with making regular visits to a general dentist, routine brushing and flossing is the most important thing that patients can do to protect the longevity of their veneers. Although the porcelain itself is not subject to decay, when the underlying tooth structure is damaged by cavities, this can damage the veneer. In many cases, after the cavity is repaired, the tooth is no longer able to support a new veneer.

Protecting Gum Health

Good oral care is also important because it helps prevent gum disease and receding gums, which can compromise the appearance of veneers. Because the porcelain ends at the gum line, if the tissue recedes, the edge of the veneer will become visible, and the entire restoration may need to be replaced. Patients should be diligent about frequent brushing and flossing, but they should also be careful to avoid overly vigorous brushing, as this can also compromise periodontal health.

Avoiding Excessive Force

Habits such as nail biting, chewing ice, and using teeth to open packages are already harmful to teeth, leading to cracks, chips, and dental erosion. Although porcelain is quite strong, it is not quite as tough as natural teeth, so these habits are even more detrimental to patients with veneers. Those with bruxism should also seek treatment before getting veneers or as soon as the condition develops. Although lithium disilicate veneers have proven to be durable even for habitual teeth grinders, treating this condition can further extend their lifespan and protect against related health conditions.

Maintaining the Color of Veneers

Because porcelain is not porous, dental veneers are highly stain resistant. However, the dental cement that holds them in place is still subject to discoloration. When this becomes stained, the edge of a veneer can appear yellowed and unnatural. To protect the color of their smile, dental patients should avoid stain-producing substances such as coffee, tea, wine, berries, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. Smoking is perhaps the most notorious culprit for dental staining.

10. What should I do if a veneer breaks or comes off?

In the unlikely event that this happens, patients should gather any pieces and store them in safe place before calling their dentist. You should never try to glue the porcelain back in place, although, if they feel extremely self-conscious without the restoration, they can temporarily apply it with drug store adhesive. Many times, our dentist can reapply a broken or loosened veneer. In other cases, our dentist may need to replace the veneer or restore the tooth with another treatment such as a dental crown.

11. What are advantages of veneers over other procedures?

In addition to the comprehensive nature of veneers, this treatment offers a number of advantages over similar alternatives:

  • Veneers are stain resistant and last for years at a time. When patients choose teeth whitening treatment, they often receive less dramatic results and must undergo touchup treatments approximately twice a year.
  • Veneers look more lifelike than similar enhancements. Cosmetic dental bonding can correct similar flaws, but the material is opaque, meaning it does not reflect light the way porcelain does.
  • Veneers are stronger than composite resin.
  • Although veneers typically cost more than bonding or teeth whitening, they usually have a smaller price tag than dental crowns.

12. Can I get veneers if I have gum disease or dental decay?

Before receiving veneers, patients should have good dental and periodontal health. Although cavities or gum disease do not permanently disqualify patients from veneers, our dentist must treat these conditions before a patient undergoes any cosmetic enhancements. Veneers can be an excellent option for restoring a patient’s smile after it is compromised by decay or a similar condition.

13. What are the health benefits of dental veneers?

The primary benefits of veneers are cosmetic; however, there are several ways that they can boost overall dental health. First, they can lend some strength to damaged teeth. Patients should note, however, that veneers cannot restore a severely damaged or weakened tooth. In these cases, a dental crown will provide better protection for a patient’s oral health.

Encouraging Oral Hygiene

Veneers can also promote good dental hygiene. When patients have a beautifully enhanced, natural smile, they are more likely to practice outstanding care and maintenance. At their initial consultation or at any time during the placement process, patients should ask their dentist about the best way to care for their veneers and protect the underlying teeth.

Health Advantages over Other Dental Procedures

Although veneers typically require some enamel removal, this procedure leaves the majority of the tooth structure intact. In contrast, to place a crown, our dentist must reshape the entire tooth, removing a significant amount of dental material. For patients looking for a more conservative option with minimal tooth modification, veneers may be the ideal alternative.

14. What are the risks of dental veneers?

As with any medical treatment, there are some risks associated with the placement of porcelain veneers. For the most part, these risks are minor and quite rare.

Tooth Sensitivity

Veneers are considered a very low-risk treatment. However, as with any medical or dental procedure, there is some chance of complications. Because this treatment often involves enamel removal, the biggest risk is that a patient will experience permanent tooth sensitivity, especially to hot or cold temperatures. Typically, if sensitivity lasts for more than 3 to 6 months after veneers placement, this indicates an underlying problem with the procedure. For example, the dental cement may be leaking or the nerve may have been exposed and infected during placement.

Dental Damage

There is also a slight risk that the underlying dentin may become damaged during the enamel removal process. Alternatively, a poorly fitting veneer could change the alignment of a patient’s bite, leading to dental sensitivity, discomfort while eating, or, in more extreme cases, bruxism and jaw pain.

Future Replacement

Although veneers can last several decades, they must eventually be replaced, and the second placement process will involve another round of enamel removal. Those who already have some enamel erosion before their first treatment may not have enough material for a second placement. In these cases, they will require an alternative restoration such as cosmetic bonding or a dental crown. Patients should discuss their replacement options before receiving their first set of veneers. If they are not willing to consider alternative treatments in the future, they should not choose a procedure that will permanently alter their teeth.

Minimizing the Risks

As stated above, veneers are considered to be a very safe dental treatment, and there are several things that patients can do to further reduce their risks. First, they should be cautious when choosing their cosmetic dentist, following the guidelines listed above. By reading reviews from past patients, they can determine whether a particular dentist has a history of case complications. Second, if they are truly concerned about dental sensitivity or the permanent nature of veneers, patients may opt for no-prep veneers. Because they require little enamel removal, if any, the risk of sensitivity is lower. Patients should be aware, however, that some dentists believe no-prep veneers look less natural than traditional veneers.

15. What are alternatives to veneers?

If you or our dentist decides that porcelain veneers are not the right treatment for you for any reason, there are several other options that can rejuvenate and restore radiance to your smile.

Bonding

For patients with insufficient dental enamel or for those who are hesitant to permanently alter the structure of their teeth, dental bonding, often called composite veneers, may the optimal solution. Our dentist applies dental composite to the front of a patient’s teeth. This material is carefully selected to match the natural color of his or her smile. By carefully sculpting the material, the dentist can achieve many of the same results possible with veneers. Like veneers, bonding can correct severe stains, cracks, misaligned teeth, and gaps between teeth. Unlike veneers, however, composite resin is opaque and does not offer the natural sheen of porcelain.

Teeth Whitening

Patients who are looking to enhance the color of their smile may opt for teeth whitening. By chemically breaking down the bonds that hold dental stains together, both in-office and at-home treatment can lighten teeth by up to eight shades. However, this treatment is only suitable for extrinsic stains, such as those caused by food or smoking. Whitening treatment will not affect tetracycline stains or the discoloration caused by decay or an old dental filling.

Dental Crowns

In some ways, dental crowns are very similar to veneers. Custom-made to match a patient’s natural teeth, these tooth-shaped porcelain caps fit over a damaged tooth. However, unlike veneers, a crown extends all the way around a tooth, meaning the dentist must remove a significant amount of the dental structure. Crowns are an excellent option for patients who have considerable damage that affects the strength or structural integrity of a tooth. However, for patients who are simply seeking cosmetic enhancements, veneers are an effective, less invasive option.

Orthodontics

As stated above, those with severely crooked teeth or malocclusion may not be good candidates for veneers. Rather, they may want to consider more comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Thanks to modern dental advances, patients are not limited to traditional metal braces; they can also choose tooth-colored brackets, clear aligner trays, and accelerated treatment options.

16. Are dental veneers more expensive than dental crowns?

The cost of veneer is slightly higher than crowns as more details and difficulty are involved. For your health you do not want to decide on which is less expensive. Talk with our dentist, and make the decision together.