Sandy Springs cosmetic dentist Dr. Brenda Paulen recommends porcelain veneers for a variety of dental health and cosmetic concerns, including uneven teeth, worn enamel, discoloration, chipped teeth, and irregular spacing.
One of the most popular and effective developments in cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made casings that cover the front of your teeth. In some cases, veneers can serve a restorative purpose and can protect a damaged tooth from further harm.
Porcelain veneers are permanent, durable, and stain-resistant. With proper oral hygiene and preventive dental care, they can last for up to 20 years.
What is the difference between a crown and a veneer?
While crowns and veneers are a very similar type of restoration, there are a few key differences. One of the main differences between crowns and veneers is that a dental crown covers the entire tooth, while a dental veneer only covers the front and sides of a tooth. Veneers are also conservative, requiring much less tooth surface removal and providing a more natural look.
Porcelain veneers can improve the function and health of your teeth in addition to enhancing your natural smile. Veneers are used to correct uneven teeth, worn enamel, discoloration, chipped teeth, and irregular spacing, and can last over 20 years.
The process for porcelain veneers begins with a comprehensive exam and consultation. Dr. Paulen will discuss your goals and will examine your teeth to see if veneers are right for you. In some cases, Dr. Paulen may be able to create temporary veneers, giving you the chance to “try out” your smile before the final veneers are placed.
The porcelain veneer procedure usually takes two or three visits to the dentist. During the first visit, Dr. Paulen will prepare the teeth for the veneers by removing a small amount of the natural tooth structure. This creates room for the veneers to fit comfortably and stably in your mouth. She will take digital impressions of your teeth which will be used to make your custom dental veneers. Dr. Paulen will send an impression of your teeth along with treatment specifications to a highly talented ceramist, who will hand-fabricate each tooth veneer. The porcelain veneers will be fabricated in a dental laboratory which takes about two to three weeks.
In most cases, she will place temporary veneers on the teeth to protect them until the final restorations are ready. It generally takes about 3 weeks to receive your final restorations.
When they are ready, the lab will ship them back to our office and we will contact you to schedule your final appointment. At the final appointment, Dr. Paulen remove the temporary veneers and try the new ones on your teeth. If the fit and color is perfect, she will then cement them to the teeth for a permanent restoration.
Patients often ask about the cost of veneers or how much a single tooth veneer costs. There are several factors that go into the price of veneers, the first of which is materials. Other factors include the size and location of the tooth as well as the cosmetic goals of treatment. Dr. Paulen offers porcelain veneers as well as the less expensive alternative, tooth bonding procedure.
Our goal is for your porcelain veneers to last for many years. After several years, it is common to need some minor repair or maintenance. You can ensure long-lasting veneers by maintaining a healthy diet, brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning and examination. Resin veneers do not last as long as porcelain veneers. Most patients will need a “touch-up” procedure in about five years or less.
Porcelain veneers are incredibly durable and stain-resistant. They also look and feel more like natural teeth compared to alternatives like lumineers or tooth bonding. Some patients may be hesitant about porcelain veneers because they are an irreversible procedure. If this is a concern you share, Dr. Paulen may suggest you try an alternative procedure like tooth bonding which requires little or no tooth preparation.