Restore Your Smile with Dental Veneers
Statistics tell us that a large majority of people would like to change something about the appearance of their teeth. At Deer Park Dental in Stockton, CA we help our patients accomplish this goal with comprehensive care that we would want for our own families.
What Are Dental Veneers?
A dental veneer is a thin piece of porcelain used to re-create the natural look of teeth. While providing the esthetic look of natural teeth, it also provides comparable strength and resilience to natural tooth enamel. Dental veneers are custom made to the contour of the patient’s teeth and are bonded to the tooth’s original enamel during a series of in-office procedures.
The beauty of this versatile treatment is that we can customize care to the individual. If you have one tooth that is slightly turned and you would like it to appear straight, a direct or indirect veneer can accomplish this. If you want your smile to reflect a certain “personality,” such as sporty or sophisticated, veneers can be shaped in a specific manner to achieve this look.
What Problems Can Veneers Fix?
The purpose of dental veneers is to enhance the entire tone of the smile. This may be done in numerous ways, such as enhancing the size and/or shade of the teeth, or by disguising a prominent gap. Some of the common concerns that are beautifully handled with veneers include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Spots or stains caused by internal damage
- Shifting or turning of a tooth
- Small size or odd shapes
- Gapped teeth
Dental Veneers Procedure
The veneer process may differ based on the type of veneer a patient selects for his or her intended purpose. There are two types of veneers available at Deer Park Dental, direct and indirect.
The first step is the patient’s consultation with the dentist were the patient’s goals for their smile are discussed. Photographs are taken and models of the teeth are made. Next, we send all of the information to our laboratory to create a “wax-up”. This is a model showing the new proposed smile. Often times a mock-up based on the wax-up will be done on the patient so that he or she can get an idea of how the proposed veneers will look on them.
This method of enhancement may also be referred to as dental bonding. Resin veneers are well suited for the following small problems, because composite resin is not as translucent as other materials, such as porcelain.
Direct veneer treatment involves the application of a putty-like resin onto the prepared tooth. We are able to mold this material to the exact shape and size needed to create a natural-looking result. Once this has been achieved, the shaped resin is cured, or hardened with light. Once the tooth veneer is polished, the finished restoration will result in a tooth which compliments that natural esthetics of surrounding teeth.
Porcelain veneers may be used to create a small change or to completely make over your smile. These sheaths of quality porcelain are created in a dental lab based on a model of your teeth. Before they can be bonded, surface enamel must be slightly reduced. This keeps the veneers from standing out away from the gums.
Because porcelain veneers are made in a lab, two visits are required to complete the smile transformation. Before bonding final veneers, we evaluate the coloring, shape, size and proportion in relation to surrounding teeth. If necessary, small revisions can be made here in the office prior to placement. Because porcelain veneers are considered a permanent enhancement, it is important that you feel satisfied with your new smile before we complete the bonding process.
How to Protect Dental Veneers
Once your dental veneers are in place, they can actually strengthen the tooth to which they are bonded. However, it is important to take good care of these restorations and your teeth, in order to avoid cavities at the margins, or failure. Some helpful tips include:
- Brushing regularly
- Floss consistently
- Avoid chewing on hard objects
- Have regular appointments for dental examinations
- Wearing a night guard
Dental veneers can withstand normal biting and chewing pressure, but biting and twisting can compromise the bond. Additionally, often times it is recommended that patients wear a night guard to protect their veneers. This is especially the case if the patient shows signs that he or she has a history of grinding. At Deer Park Dental, our dentists fabricate a bite guard called an SRA (superior repositioning appliance). This type of guard is more complex to make but it provides protection not only for the teeth but for the joint. It is often used for patients who grind or patients who have jaw joint or TMJ/TMD problems.
Veneers Before & After Photo
How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?
The exact number of years that veneers last will vary from patient to patient. Factors affecting the longevity of veneers include how hard people are on their teeth, the type of bite that they have, how much enamel is available for bonding to, among others. Average life span for veneers is 7-15 years, but with good enamel bonding and protection from grinding forces with a bite guard, they may last even longer.