"Improving Smiles with less drilling" - Limiting tooth reduction - Less drilling
This Highland Park patient hated her gummy smile, the spaces between the teeth, and the old chipped composite material. Large amounts of composite filling material had previously been used to reshape her teeth. The bonding had always made her teeth feel thick and it continued to chip. She wanted to replace the old plastic filling material but did not want any of her natural tooth enamel to be removed. Dr. Fondriest removed all of the old composite and covered her front six teeth with porcelain tooth veneers.
Preserving tooth structure with less tooth drilling
The patient had a special gum surgery to raise the gums up to the lower border of the upper lip (this procedure is called a gum lift) and to make the gum scallop symmetry more even. Then "Empress tooth veneers" were done by only removing the old bonding material. Some dark stains on the natural teeth were removed. Patients appreciate it when the dentist saves as much of the tooth structure as possible. The process of making veneers with very little or no tooth preparation is called doing "Prepless Veneers".
What are tooth veneers?
Tooth veneers can help you achieve the look you desire. They are great when you want to correct tooth shapes or cover up stains. These thin porcelain coverings that are bonded or glued to the front surfaces of your teeth. They are custom made to fit the tooth surface. The shapes of these ceramic coverings are idealized to improve your smile. You will learn in many of our “tooth veneers before and after” web pages that improving smiles with less drilling is better than doing more invasive crowns.
Customizing your smile
Our new patients usually come in with a list of things that they don’t like about their teeth. Most people don’t know how to fix their smile issues. The job of the cosmetic dentist is to design a way to transform their tooth shapes into the best shapes for them and their smile.
A patient just can’t bring a picture of Sandra Bullock into our office and want her smile. It is very unlikely that her face is just like yours. Many people bring in pictures of smiles that they like.
Pictures of celebrities help the communication process. Unfortunately we can’t always put Sandra Bullock’s teeth in someone else’s mouth. Just because it works in her mouth doesn’t mean it will look good in yours. Be optimistic, maybe it will! As with all your dental care, please share your hopes and desires with us. You never know what we can do for you.
Elective dentistry deserves multiple opinions
Getting a new smile is elective but it’s also a serious dental procedure. It is time to be choosy. Get at least one second opinion. Request to see examples of the dentist’s work. All of the better cosmetic dentists are good photographers and have many pictures of tooth veneers before and after. Make sure that you like that dentist’s design style. Will they customize your smile to your wishes? If you want fantastic results, then find a cosmetic dentist who is fantastic!
Improving Smiles with less drilling is better!
In the past, veneers required a fair amount of drilling of the natural teeth. Now, the dentist only removes a small amount of enamel with much less drilling. More natural tooth structure is preserved doing these prepless veneers. This allows for a stronger tooth and a stronger restoration. Because more enamel remains, the bond between tooth and porcelain is stronger. Bonding materials attach to enamel much better than to dentin. With less drilling of the teeth, protective temporaries are not needed. Temporaries can be time consuming. Making temporary veneers will double the appointment time. Any way to shorten a dental visit is better.
The Preparation Process with tooth veneers
Patients like to know how their teeth will be affected by having them done. As part of the process, we remove any old filling materials or bonding. We round out any sharp edges that exist on the teeth. It is best not to wrap glass around sharp edges. Cracks can occur in the glass if the underlying teeth are not rounded out. These cracks will eventually cause the glass to break.
The philosophy of minimally invasive dentistry has other benefits. Due to less drilling, Novocaine is not even needed. The tooth enamel may not be touched. The smoothing of edges is done with buffing wheels or ultra-fine grit drills. A light touch by the dentist makes the appointments much shorter.
The last big advantage of this type of veneering process is that the impressions are less invasive. Often the impressions can be done digitally instead of filling your mouth with goop. If you don’t qualify for the digital impression, it is still less invasive. The margins of these veneers can be placed anywhere. The contact lens effect of the ultra-thin porcelain makes the margins invisible or nearly so. When margins are invisible, they can be exposed and don’t need to be buried underneath the gum line. The medicines commonly used to assist below the gum impressions are not needed.
Doing Cosmetic Dentistry with less drilling requires great skill
There are only a handful of cases in which optimal results can be achieved with absolutely no drilling. True, there are certain ads which may suggest otherwise; but remember that overall quality is measured by aesthetics, ability to clean, and longevity. If overhangs are left at the edges of the porcelain, it will have a large affect on your oral health. Typically, gum disease starts when floss snags on the dentistry.
To achieve overall success, a little bit of drilling is usually necessary. While it is easier and faster for the dentist to make crowns and veneers with heavy reduction.
It is common for a poorly trained practitioner to leave large “over hangs” at the margins. This means that the porcelain that does not have a good fit. These overhangs lead to difficult or impossible cleaning. If you cannot clean the teeth properly, recurrent decay, stains, or gum problems will inevitably develop.
How Much Do tooth veneers Cost?
Tooth Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite material. The cosmetic dentist can help you choose which is best for you.
The cost varies by type:
Composite is the same material that white fillings are made from. This tooth colored plastic based material is applied to the teeth in one visit. The cost is starts at $750 per tooth. Cost varies with time and level of difficulty. This type of veneer will look great for about 5 years. After that they slowly loose their shine and tend to acquire stains. After 7 years, they need to be replaced.
These porcelain coverings are custom made to cover and give shape to your teeth. They require at least two visits to make. A lab technician actually makes the porcelain work of art. Porcelain veneers cost more than composite veneers. Depending on how many and the level of difficulty, they range from $2,000-$3500 per tooth.
Learn more about improving smiles with less drilling
If you would like to learn more about more conservative approaches to doing cosmetic dentistry at our Chicago, IL area practice, schedule a smile makeover consultation with Dr. Fondriest by calling 847-234-0517. Taking your unique, personal goals into account, we can help you achieve the bright, dazzling smile you’ve always wanted.
Dr Fondriest is a highly sought after cosmetic dentist. He serves clients from throughout the United States