Do you dream of a dazzling “Hollywood” smile? A smile makeover with cosmetic veneers can give you a stunning smile, but there are several types to choose from. They can be made with composite resin or porcelain.
The first question to answer is deciding which material is best for you, porcelain or composite resin.
Choose the right dentist for your cosmetic veneers
In cosmetic dentistry, it’s important to choose the material that best fits your goals and desires. However, choosing the right cosmetic dentist is also essential. For the best results that offer beauty and look natural, it is essential to choose a dentist who knows how to perfectly blend artistry and science.
Are you looking for restorations that offer the highest level of strength and durability? Or is it more important to choose the material that best masks severely discolored teeth? A skilled dentist can help you make the decision that is best for you.
The quality of materials and experience of the technicians in the dental lab are also important. It is wise to ask your dentist about the skill level of the lab he uses.
A high quality dentist will utilize a trained ceramist for the fabrication of your restorations. Together, they will ensure you receive the best results based on your particular situation.
Porcelain Cosmetic Veneers
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain adhered to the front surface of your teeth. Fabricated in a dental lab, the shape, size, and color are customized to match your smile and the shape of your face.
Porcelain has the same translucent properties as natural teeth. Because of this, these veneers are the most appealing option that also offers the most natural look.
While it is possible to chip or crack them, this material provides excellent strength and durability. With proper care, most will last up to 15 years. However, high quality porcelain can last 20 years or more.
Another advantage is that porcelain resists stains, so they remain bright and white.
When it comes to porcelain, however, there are some disadvantages to consider as well.
Even though the shells are thin, your teeth must be prepped to keep the shells from sticking out. To prep your teeth, the dentist will remove a small amount of tooth enamel to ensure a good fit. Tooth preparation permanently alters your natural teeth, so this treatment is not reversible.
Completion of your smile with porcelain veneers will take at least two visits to the dental office. After removal of enamel, you will be given temporary veneers to wear while you await your customized restorations.
Since they are handmade in a lab, the skill level of the technician matters tremendously.
Composite veneers are made of composite resin, which contains minerals and sand that mimic the shine of natural tooth enamel. It is the same material used for tooth colored fillings.
This is a common choice for many patients looking to hide their dental imperfections and improve the beauty of their smile with cosmetic veneers.
The resin is a moldable material that can be used to brighten your teeth or to color match your natural teeth.
The dentist will apply the material to your tooth surface and artfully sculpt it to create the proper shape and size. When the desired shape is achieved, a special light is used to harden the material. Finally, the resin is polished to a beautiful shine.
A major advantage of composite is that they do not require the removal of tooth enamel. Since there is no drilling, this treatment option is reversible and does not require anesthesia.
Since your dentist creates these right on your teeth, a dental lab is not required. Also, there aren’t any dental lab fees involved, so composite versions cost less than porcelain.
While composite is quite strong when hardened, it breaks and chips much easier than porcelain. Furthermore, resin does not resist stains as well as porcelain, so over time, they can become stained and lose their whiteness. Moreover, this material is not as durable as porcelain, and they typically need replacement every four to eight years.
No-Prep Versions are common for front teeth
No-prep veneers utilize the newest porcelain developed and combine some of the best advantages of both composite and porcelain veneers. It is the most advanced form of porcelain in the world, and it is much stronger than traditional porcelain.
Because it is so strong, the shells can be much thinner while still providing more strength. Since they are so thin, this cosmetic veneer procedure can be done with little or no tooth enamel removal. This means you should not have to wear temporaries.
The advantages are clear:
- Extreme strength and durability
- Unmatched beauty
- No (or minimal) drilling
- Won’t need a temporary
A significant disadvantage here is that very few dentists offer this option, as they are handmade by a master ceramist. Also, determining how much, if any, enamel should be removed requires a highly skilled and trained cosmetic dentist.
Another consideration is that not all patients are a good candidate for these ultra thin shells. Good candidates require only modest improvement in tooth structure, alignment, and symmetry and do not have spaces between the teeth. Also, because they are so thin, this is not the best option for patients who desire a whiter smile. However, we can remedy this with teeth whitening treatment prior to placing the veneers.
The cosmetic veneer process
The first step in treatment involves a consultation. At this appointment, your dentist will learn your goals and desires and discuss options. He will also evaluate your oral health, as patients must have excellent oral health before receiving this type of dentistry. Therefore, if you have gum disease or tooth decay, this will need to be addressed first.
If you are deemed to be a good candidate for cosmetic veneers, you will be scheduled for your first appointment. Again, for composite veneers, you will receive your new smile that day.
For porcelain versions, any needed tooth prep will be done before making impressions to send to the lab. If temporaries are required, they will be placed.
When your veneers are ready, you will return for placement.
After receiving the dentistry, you may notice increased sensitivity for a couple of weeks.
Maintain your new dentistry and keep them beautiful
After a cosmetic veneer placement, it is vital to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing. It is also important to keep up with routine dental visits at least twice a year. The good news is that straight teeth are easier to clean.
In addition, you should avoid chewing hard objects, such as ice, pens, and hard foods, as these can damage your restorations. It is also a good idea to refrain from foods and drinks that stain teeth, especially with composite.
Start Your Path to a Stunning Smile Today
At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we use only the highest quality materials available. We also utilize a world famous master ceramist.
If you are looking for a highly skilled cosmetic dentist who can truly transform your smile, call us at (847) 234-0517 today to schedule your consultation.