Porcelain and Composite Veneers

Dental veneers are a great way to get a beautiful smile. They are actually restorations made of a thin layer of material. Veneers look very much like a shell and are custom made for each patient. So forget about discolored, yellow or irregular teeth. This might be the solution to all your problems. Of course, veneers are not meant for every single patient, but for specific cases. If your problems are mostly cosmetics, and you’ve been longing for a pearly white smile, the chances are you can get this amazing procedure done by your dentist. These thin shells of material are only placed on the frontal surface of teeth, without the need of reducing the whole tooth. It is definitely a revolutionary procedure in dentistry, that is both simple, easy and fast.

When are Veneers Used?

VeneersThere’s plenty of indications in dentistry that allow the use of veneers. Plenty of people are struggling with teeth that are discolored, misaligned, chipped, with abnormal size or position and much more. To avoid the use of crowns, dentists introduced the use of veneers. If the dentist agrees that veneers are a good treatment or cosmetic option in your case, then you will get a beautiful smile in no time.

The most common indications for veneers include: discoloration (including yellow teeth, stained teeth, gray discolorations and more), chipped teeth, worn down, fractures, misalignment, spaces between teeth, uneven teeth, or teeth with abnormal shapes. The range of cosmetic issues is quite diverse, which means that plenty of patients decide to get a smile makeover with veneers these days. The most common reason is always the lookout for a more appealing, perfect smile.

Types of Veneers

As mentioned before, veneers can be made from different dental materials. The two materials most commonly used for the production of these restorations are porcelain and composite.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain is a material that provides durable restorations. These ceramic veneers are extremely natural looking and a great way to improve the appearance of your smile. Patients very often decide to go with porcelain, especially when they want to get a long-lasting product. It is a highly-transparent material which provides that ideal looking end-result. Porcelain imitates the natural enamel substance and gives teeth a perfect natural smile. People won’t even notice that you’ve had any work done. These veneers require a minimal prep procedure, and the dentists preserve a lot of the dental tissues. Porcelain veneers are located in the enamel.

Composite Veneers

These veneers are completely made of composite resin. They are very similar to the ones done in a composite. The main differences are that composite is cheaper than porcelain and it provides restorations with a lesser aesthetic moment compared to porcelain. Composite is not as strong as porcelain, but the veneers are very durable. This method of restorations requires little to no prep of the tooth which is a great advantage. In other words, the dentist completely preserves the tooth tissue while making the restorations. If by any chance they fall off, get discoloration or get chipped, it is very easy and simple to fix them and replace them. The main reason why patients choose composite over porcelain veneers is mainly the financial factor. They will still look amazing and will really transform your smile for the better.

Cerec Veneers

This is one of the latest advancements in the world of dentistry. The Cerec CAD/CAM technology is an amazing system that allows dentists to create perfectly precise, high-quality and durable restorations. This is currently the best thing you can get on the market. The veneers are custom made for each patient and are made of porcelain. First, the impression is scanned with a special unit and the veneers are done with a milling unit. The system uses a high-tech 3D software which makes things even better. These veneers cost more than the previous two types but it is completely worth it. If the financial factor is not the deciding one for you, you should definitely opt for this type.

Cerec Veneers

Procedure

The procedure is very simple and pain-free. The first thing you have to do is schedule a visit to your dentist so that he can give you advice and opinion whether veneers are a good solution for your case. There are people which are simply not the best patients for this type of restoration. Veneers require healthy teeth, perfect oral hygiene, and healthy gums. In other words, if you haven’t really been taking care of your oral health you might not be able to get veneers. Patients with gum disease, frequent and untreated caries, root canal procedures and other oral diseases are not candidates for veneers. Once all of these problems are resolved, then the patient can think about getting a cosmetic reconstruction.

The following step is deciding which type of veneers is the right one for you. It all depends on the individual case and the doctor’s opinion. You can always hear the advice, but the final decision is yours. If your financial situation allows you to get the most expensive restorations, then you don’t have too much to think about. As a part of the treatment plan, the dentist will get an x-ray from your mouth and impressions. During the visit you will express all your wishes on how exactly you want your new teeth to look like. The dentist will note all the information on size, color, height and will transfer it to the dental technician who actually fabricates the veneers.

Wax-Up

The beginning point of the procedure is a special impression taken from your teeth, together with x-rays and photographs of the teeth, face and smile. Once you and the dentist have decided that you are going to get veneers, he has to take impressions from both of your dental arches. They are sent to the dental laboratory, where dental technicians fabricate stone models.

Based on those models, technicians create a wax-up, which is actually a diagnostic model for cosmetic procedures. Sometimes it is hard for patients to visualize the way their new teeth will look like, so dentists use this technique to create a preview. Technicians use a white wax and place it on the stone teeth of the model, changing their shape, height and appearance. In other words, they create the veneers, just in wax. That way, all patients get a chance to take a look at their future restorations. Of course, before creating the wax-up, technicians gather information from the dentist and the patient. You will always have your say in how you actually want the veneers to look like. If there’s anything that you don’t like on the wax-up, feel free to express your opinion.

Mock-Up

During the following step, the dentist will create a mock-up. Once the patient has agreed on the shape and form of the wax-up, dental specialists use specific dental materials to fabricate an intraoral mock-up. The impression with the wax-up is copied in a silicon fabric, and that is how the dentist gets a silicon index. He chooses a composite material in the right color, fills the index with composite and places it in the mouth. What the patient gets is actually an exact duplicate of the wax veneers but done in a different dental material, that serves as temporary veneers. In other words, the patient will have temporary veneers in the mouth called a mock-up until the permanent ones are ready. This will give them a chance to test their new smile way before the restorations are complete. Some patients accept them immediately, while others find it a bit weird.

Once the patient agrees that he likes the first look at how the permanent veneers will appear, dental technicians start working on them in the laboratory. The wax is exchanged with a permanent material, and very soon the patient gets brand new permanent restorations.

In some cases, the dentist needs to prepare your teeth for veneers, while in others there is no need for preparation. He will only remove a very thin layer of the enamel, depending on the material that the veneers will be done in. Composite veneers require very little, with no preparations. For the porcelain ones, the layer varies, but it’s usually less than an mm. Dentists usually apply a local anesthetic to numb the surrounding tissues and avoid pain.

Veneers can be made in a dental laboratory, which is the most common way, or directly in the patient’s mouth. Composite veneers are done both ways, sometimes the impression is sent to the dental lab, while other times the dentist does them directly in the mouth. Porcelain veneers are always fabricated in the dental laboratory. The wait also differs, but they are usually done within two visits. Many dental labs have them ready the same day, especially if we’re talking about the Cerec veneers. Once they are ready, the dentist will check all the details and will bond the veneers on your teeth.

When you want to learn more about the procedure, please check our youtube instructional video:

Advantages

The best thing about getting veneers is that you have a perfect smile in a very short time. They look extremely natural and don’t stain. Another great thing is the fact that there isn’t a significant loss of dental substance. The procedure is not painful. Veneers are a cosmetic solution to a number of different conditions. They provide an amazing smile makeover, which gives patients a boost of confidence.

Disadvantages

This is a permanent procedure and there is no turning back. That’s why every single patient has to really think over the decision of getting veneers. If you are not 100% sure, don’t do it. Another thing you have to know that these restorations won’t last forever. Just like anything else, they have an expiration date, which can vary from 7 up to 20 years. The veneered teeth can still suffer from decay or periodontal disease if you don’t have a great oral hygiene.