Porcelain Veneers: Permanent Solutions to Create a Confident Smile

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What are Porcelain Veneers? Porcelain veneers have become one of the best ways to create a naturally appearing, beautiful, confident smile. As modern dentistry has progressed, porcelain veneer materials have become stronger, more durable and more esthetic, as they mimic the same translucency and luster as natural enamel; and can now last a lifetime with proper care. Porcelain veneers are thin, glass restorations that cover the outer surfaces of your natural enamel. They do not stain or change color and they have similar “wear properties” as enamel. The success and longevity of porcelain veneers is directly affected by the knowledge and skill of the dentist and dental lab technician providing the treatment. Unfortunately, cosmetic dentistry is not considered a specialty in dental colleges which means general dentists do not obtain enough information and training in how to properly deliver successful cosmetic treatments. General dentists, who seek out continuing education in the field of cosmetic dentistry and who work and communicate well with a dental lab who also sought out the additional cosmetic dental education, are the best resources to obtain the best results with porcelain veneers.

Where to start with Porcelain Veneers? Our office provides complimentary cosmetic consultations where patients can become educated on what issues are present and what options they have to resolve those issues. Proper diagnosis and treatment planning is key to the efficiency of providing the treatment and obtaining the best results. At Hamburg Expressions, we start with a conversation. I want to hear what really bothers the patient about their smile and what they would like to see in finished results. Once our objective is understood and the decision is made that porcelain veneers would be a proper solution, we gather our information. We take a series of digital photos of the smile and the teeth, we take impressions for models of the teeth, we complete an examination of the mouth and we take a few x-rays. With this information we can properly diagnose any causes for the degradation of the smile by evaluating the patient’s periodontal, biomechanical, functional and esthetic aspects. Once we figure out the “why” we focus on how we can correct these issues. My patients and I sit down at my laptop and look at these things together. This way patients can make decisions with a full education and understanding of their options.

What procedures are involved when providing Porcelain Veneers?  Once the decision for porcelain veneers has been made, our office begins with a diagnostic waxup. A diagnostic waxup is where a stone model of a patients teeth is prepared for the veneers and wax is applied in the same form over-top of the stone teeth as we anticipate porcelain to be applied to the enamel of the natural teeth. This waxup allows us to see what our end result should look like in form prior to providing any treatment in the mouth. It is our “roadmap” to the new smile. Preparation guides can be made from this waxup allowing us to be the most conservative when altering a patients natural tooth. Our goal is to preserve as much enamel as possible and to avoid cutting the teeth down. The waxup also allows us to provide an instant “trial smile” in temporaries. We make a stent from our diagnostic waxup and transfer it into the mouth at the time that the patient’s teeth are prepared for veneers. Our patients get to leave in acrylic temporary veneers that look very similar to the porcelain veneers. If changes are desired in form, they can be made in the temporaries and applied to the porcelain by our dental lab team. Diagnostic waxups take the guesswork out of porcelain veneer procedures. Appointment number one is the preparation and temporization appointment. The teeth and gums are prepared, impressions of the preparations are made and temporary veneers are placed. This appointment normally takes between 2 to 4 hours. Appointment number two is approximately one week later. We evaluate the temporaries, take some photos, make any desired changes and take an impression of the temporaries. This appointment takes between 15-30 minutes. Appointment number three is normally about two weeks after the prep appointment. The final porcelain veneers are tried in and evaluated. Once the patient, dentist and dental lab technician are happy with the appearance of the new porcelain veneers they are bonded into place. Usually an impression for a hard biteguard is taken at this appointment as well. This appointment normally takes between 2 to 4 hours. We encourage out patients to return in a week for a follow up appointment to seat their new biteguard and polish the new veneers. We also take photos and portraits of our patient’s beautiful new smile at this appointment.

How much do Porcelain Veneers cost? Porcelain veneers are an investment that you can enjoy for a lifetime and carry with you everywhere you go with that gorgeous smile! Porcelain veneers can cost between $600-$1500 per veneer with the average fee of $1200 per veneer.  Just like with any investment such as orthodontics or a new car, financing options are available.

Check out our before and after testimonials to see how Porcelain Veneers can greatly improve your confidence for a lifetime!