Porcelain veneers as applied by our expert dentists gives patients a radiant smile with no surgery and no downtime.
Do you wish you had a Hollywood-ready smile? With veneers, it’s possible! In fact, veneers were invented in the 1920s as a way to enhance actors and actresses smiles on screen. Today, porcelain veneers are more accessible than ever – putting a picture-perfect smile well within reach.
Chipped, cracked, discolored, or spaced teeth do not require major dental surgery. Contact Old Town Smiles in Alexandria, Virginia to find out how you can achieve a beautiful smile in just a couple of weeks.
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are custom formed porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of damaged teeth. They are used to improve a variety of dental concerns including chipped, crooked, misshaped, spaced, or discolored teeth. Since they are bonded to the front of a tooth, they are also used to improve position, shape, and tooth color. Additionally, veneers can restore fullness around the mouth and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It’s amazing how many years a radiant smile can take off the face!
A porcelain veneer is created by layers of ultra-thin medical-grade porcelain that interacts with the light just like natural and translucent enamel. To accommodate the porcelain veneer, a portion of the natural tooth structure must be reshaped, leaving the inside half of the tooth untouched. This maintains the healthy, functional base of the tooth, but restores the flawed cosmetic outer surface.
In order to see if porcelain veneers can address your dental needs, feel free to contact our Alexandria office today and a member of our staff will gladly assist you.
Porcelain versus Composite
There are different types of veneers, but the two main types are porcelain and composite.
Composite veneers are applied to the tooth by the dentist with a tooth-colored composite; there is no need for lab creation. Porcelain veneers are made in a lab to the specific customization guidelines provided by the dentist. While composite veneers do not require much, if any, of the tooth to be reshaped or removed and prepped, they are much more susceptible to normal tooth wear and tear as well as stains. Porcelain will require the dentist to remove a part of the problem tooth to adhere the veneer, but this makes it sturdier and the porcelain is longer lasting. Porcelain veneers are especially ideal for those with tooth discoloration because the discolored part will be removed in the process. However, if a patient chooses porcelain veneers they will have to come in for two appointments: the first is to prep the tooth and the second is the adhere the customized veneer. Composite only requires one visit.
While both types of veneers are effective, Dr. Kim Kitchen and Dr. Seema Ahmed both prefer porcelain veneers for our Virginia patients because they have found porcelain addresses their concerns best.
Additionally, they recommend porcelain veneers adhered to a prepared, reshaped tooth rather than simply placing the veneer over the tooth because they are more secure and last longer. In this way, our doctors believe that patients enjoy more long-term benefits with porcelain veneers. With this said, sometimes the dentists will use composite on custom veneer to help shape it better once it is adhered to the tooth. The best option for the patient can be determined during a consultation.
Before and After Photos
Many people are candidates for porcelain veneers. Children and young adults can even get veneers so long as they have their adult teeth. It may be recommended though that they get composite veneers instead.
If you have misshaped, discolored, chipped, or worn teeth, porcelain veneers may be the best way to improve your appearance.
They are a perfect alternative to braces, since crooked teeth, gaps, and bite adjustments can be completed in as little as two weeks. Depending on the condition of your teeth and smile goals, our doctors will recommend the most functional and beautiful type of porcelain restoration.
Porcelain veneers are not good options to improve teeth that are decayed or unhealthy. The veneer must have a sturdy, healthy base to adhere to in order to function properly. Candidates for veneers should also not have gum disease or a misaligned bite. Finally, patients who habitually grind their teeth or clench their jaw may not be good candidates. However, a mouthguard may be recommended which may make it possible to get veneers. Our expert dentists are more than happy to help treat these issues and aid the patient in determining the best method for them to achieve a more radiant smile.
Why Get Veneers?
- Great option for adults who have space or gaps between their teeth but do not want braces or Invisalign.
- Good solution for discolored teeth that will not brighten with standard teeth whitening measures. Also resistant to future discoloration like coffee stains.
- Ideal for people with chipped or cracked teeth that aren’t severe enough to require a dental crown or implant.
- Beneficial both cosmetically and functionally.
- Each veneer is customized to the individual tooth and is incredibly natural looking – almost nobody will be able to tell it’s not a real tooth.
- Provides stunning results when performed by an experienced dentist and staff.
- Long lasting results.
- Promotes good dental hygiene.
A consultation is an important step during your smile transformation.
At this time, one of our highly skilled dentists will spend one-on-one time with you to discuss your personal desired result.
It may be helpful if the patient brings in a photograph of a smile they admire and are interested attaining something similar. The dentist will perform an examination with this information in mind. However, they should keep in mind that there is no single definition of a “perfect” smile and no two smiles are exactly alike. If the patient is not a good candidate for veneers, then the dentist will go over the patient’s other options in detail.
After your consultation, we will have a master ceramist create a mock wax up of your desired results so you can see what your smile will look like with porcelain veneers. If you like how they look and the dentist believes porcelain veneers are the ideal solution, a later appointment date will be scheduled to apply the veneers. If you have had past surgeries or dental work please be prepared to bring your medical history to the consultation. That will factor into the dentist’s procedure decision.
Before a veneer can be placed on a tooth, the tooth must be prepared. This involves the reshaping or removal of the front part of the tooth. This is performed with a special rotating device called a bur. Once the tooth has been prepared, an impression will be made and you will be fitted for a temporary dental veneer to protect your tooth while the final restoration is being created. While wearing the temporary veneer, we will have you continue your routine dental care at home. However, not everyone will require temporary veneers. In some cases, enough enamel is left on the tooth that it is not necessary to cover for the time period before you receive your custom veneer.
Two weeks later, you will come for your final visit where the temporary veneer, if placed, will be removed and replaced with the permanent porcelain veneer. A local anesthetic can be administered to keep the patient comfortable. Then, the custom veneers will be bonded to the front of the tooth. The tooth will then be polished to make sure it is smooth and natural looking – blending in with your entire smile. Your teeth will be transformed into the beautiful smile of your desire.
Dr. Ahmed and Dr. Kitchen are expert dentists with many years of experience. Their knowledge of the mouth, teeth, veneers, and oral care as a whole is vast and they continually provide patients with a smile they are proud to bare.
There is no downtime needed after the placement of veneers, but please be aware that you may experience some initial sensitivity. This is especially true when drinking hot or cold liquids the first few days after the procedure, but the sensitivity will go away.
You will have a follow up appointment with your dentist about a week after the procedure so they can check the veneer(s).
This visit is to make sure that everything looks, fits, and feels the way it should without elongated irritation.
Taking Care of Your Veneers
It is very easy taking care of your porcelain veneers, but extremely important.
People can generally treat them like they would their normal teeth. This means normal brushing and flossing, avoiding hard foods, and not biting your nails, grinding your teeth, or using your teeth to rip open open bags or packaging. These should be normal practices for anyone. Patients can drink coffee and red wine, but it is always advised to brush your teeth after consumption.
The cost of the procedure will depend on your individual case and the extent of your procedure. Some insurance plans may cover part of the cost. Contact us today in Alexandria, VA to find out if porcelain veneers are right for you!