Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic Dentistry Expertise
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers, or ‘instant orthodontics’ as they are sometimes known, are a dynamic and immediate cosmetic dentistry solution that can be used to correct multiple dental problems and smile imperfections simultaneously.
They are thin shells made of porcelain and custom-designed to fit the front surfaces of your front teeth. They improve the shape, color, alignment and size of the teeth that are most visible when you smile or laugh. At her cosmetic dentistry office on the Main Line of Philadelphia, Dr. Marshall tends to prefer Empress and Emax veneers, brands she finds to be stronger than others.
To find out how the appearance of your teeth can be improved with porcelain veneers, call (610) 649-0696 to schedule a consultation with Main Line cosmetic dentist Dr. Lindsey Marshall.
Dental Problems Porcelain Veneers Can Fix
Porcelain veneers might be right for you if your smile is need of a speedy transformation due to:
- Minor chips or cracks in the teeth
- Misalignment or gaps between teeth
- Teeth that are irregularly sized or shaped
- Discoloration of the teeth that reaches beneath the enamel
Porcelain veneers are placed over the front surface of your tooth to conceal these cosmetic problems.
In some cases, Dr. Marshall might recommend alternative procedures to correct these issues, such as teeth whitening if staining is the main problem or Invisalign to correct more prominent misalignment.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers offer patients the opportunity to enhance their smile in a way that achieves the most natural-looking results. The sculpting and polishing of each individual veneer make it nearly impossible to discern between teeth that have been treated and those that have not.
Veneers are also beneficial in that treatment is quite conservative. Unlike dental crowns, a veneer only sits on the front surface of a tooth. Therefore, much less reduction is necessary to achieve an ideal fit.
Porcelain veneers are an excellent option in numerous situations where a natural tooth does not add to the overall value of the smile. Perhaps a tooth never fully developed and looks smaller than those around it, or a tooth has turned slightly or become stained. Each of these scenarios and many more can be corrected with custom-made porcelain veneers.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
Depending on your individual circumstances and personal preferences, Dr. Marshall can help you decide if porcelain veneers are the best solution for you. If you are dissatisfied with your smile because of a common cosmetic dental problem, then you are probably a candidate for porcelain veneers. There are a number of things to consider when deciding whether you want this cosmetic enhancement. If issues with your smile go beyond being cosmetic, porcelain veneers may not be effective. For example, if your teeth are crooked to the point of causing bite problems, you may need orthodontics. Or, if tooth cracks are jeopardizing the structure of your tooth, you may require a tooth crown.
Aside from the cosmetic issues porcelain veneers can fix, you may be a good candidate if you want a:
- Long-term way to improve your cosmetic tooth problems.
- Natural-looking treatment option.
- Subtle yet durable way to improve your smile.
If you are interested in a long-term way to improve your teeth, you are probably a good candidate for porcelain veneers. This specific type of veneer has been shown to last anywhere from five to 15 years before needing replacement. Veneers can sometimes outlast tooth bonding and Lumineers. Porcelain veneers are also durable and natural looking. They resist stains and discoloration, and they have light-reflecting properties like those of natural teeth. They can also be matched precisely to the color of your natural teeth. Some patients also have tooth whitening and then have the porcelain veneers matched to the color of their whitened teeth.
What Are Dental Veneers Made From?
They are made of dental porcelain, a glass-like material with many positive features for dentistry. It comes in an array of shades so that Dr. Marshall can choose one to match your natural teeth.
We use the best quality porcelain, which has subtle variations of color like tooth enamel. Dental porcelain reacts to light much the way tooth enamel does, absorbing some and reflecting some, so that it has a white sheen very similar to that of healthy tooth enamel.
Before and After Porcelain Veneers
Advantages of Porcelain Material
Porcelain veneers are made of a durable glass-ceramic material. This material has shown to be highly resistant to breakage, fracture, and wear. It also resists stains and thus retains its color over the years. Some of the advantages of the glass-ceramic material from which porcelain veneers are made include:
- Has an opalescent and translucent appearance like your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are not opaque and fake looking.
- Stands up to temperature changes in your mouth.
Highly resistant to breaking, although it’s not completely unbreakable.
Should your veneer fracture or break, the veneer must be replaced. Although you cannot prevent porcelain veneers from breaking or discoloring forever, you can extend their longevity by practicing good dental hygiene.
Are Porcelain Veneers as Strong as Real Teeth?
Dental porcelain is an extremely strong material, which is one of the benefits of this type of veneer. A person who has porcelain veneers can expect their teeth to withstand normal biting and chewing pressure. However, it is necessary to be mindful about the fact that veneers are bonded to enamel. While the bond between the veneer and the tooth is durable for normal motions, tensile strength, meaning pressure with twisting motion, is not as integral. This is easy to manage with good habits such as:
- Avoid biting and chewing on hard objects like ice.
- Do not use teeth to open items, as this involves a slight twisting motion.
- Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
- Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth when you sleep.
Porcelain Veneer Procedure
If you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers, we will need to schedule two additional appointments.
During your first visit, Dr. Marshall will prepare your teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel from the front surfaces and slightly etching the new surface. This will create room for your veneers and a provide a good surface for strong bonding. Photographs and measurements will be taken and sent to our top-quality dental laboratory, along with other data necessary for your veneers to be fabricated accurately. Then your temporary veneers will be placed to give you a preview of your final smile.
During your second visit, Dr. Marshall will fit your new veneers temporarily to test your bite. After both you and Dr. Marshall are pleased with their look and feel, they will be permanently bonded to your teeth.
Once your new veneers are in place, they will require the same daily brushing and flossing that you give your natural teeth, especially the backs of the veneered teeth to prevent decay from undermining them from behind.
Will I Need to Straighten My Natural Teeth Before Getting Veneers?
Patients commonly wonder if they will need to undergo orthodontic treatment or Invisalign before they can get veneers. The answer is “maybe.” Every situation is unique. Our objective is to ensure a patient gets the long-lasting results they desire from their cosmetic treatment. If several teeth are turned or overlapping, or if there may be a desire to straighten teeth in the future, Dr. Marshall may recommend some type of orthodontic process as a lead-in to porcelain veneers.
How Should I Care for My Dental Veneers?
Veneers need the same daily care that you give your natural teeth. With effective daily brushing and flossing, bacteria should not be able to get between your veneers and teeth, nor be able to invade the backs of the veneered teeth. Be sure to come for your regular check-ups and professional cleanings so that Dr. Marshall can be sure all is well with your veneers and dental health.
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
Porcelain veneers resist breakage, cracks, stains and wear. Under the forces of chewing and biting, veneers can last as long as 15 years with proper care. Although there is no way to know for sure how long yours will last, porcelain veneers are one of the most durable and longest-lasting cosmetic dentistry treatments.
Although porcelain veneers resist discoloration, they can become somewhat stained over the years. Unfortunately, the porcelain material does not respond to teeth whitening, so the only way to brighten the veneers is to have them replaced with new ones.
What Qualifies a Dentist to Place Dental Veneers?
Any general dentist can offer dental veneers, but a properly qualified cosmetic dentist has post-graduate training for all cosmetic dentistry procedures since it is not given at undergraduate dental schools. Dr. Marshall undertook additional training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), a world-class school for both cosmetic dentistry and neuromuscular dentistry. She is well qualified in how to design and implement your dental veneers and how to work effectively with porcelain.
Can Porcelain Veneers Become Stained?
Generally speaking, porcelain is not porous like natural enamel. Therefore, porcelain veneers are not expected to stain over their lifetime. However, this also relates to the way in which veneers are maintained. Patients are advised to avoid teeth-whitening toothpaste. These products contain tiny abrasive particles that could scratch or wear down porcelain over time. Erosion around the margins of a veneer could lead to discoloration at the edges of teeth. If stains were to occur, we may be able to polish them away.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
The cost of porcelain veneers depends on the unique characteristics of your treatment. The only way to receive an accurate estimate of the cost of your treatment is to schedule a consultation with Lindsey Marshall, DMD. After reviewing your goals for treatment and examining your oral health, we can discuss your financing options.
The cost your porcelain veneers is influenced by a number of factors including:
- The number of veneers you receive
- The material used to craft your veneers
- The region in which you live
- Your dentist’s skill
- The lab your dentist uses
You may have seen estimates on the internet ranging anywhere from several hundred dollars to close to two thousand dollars per veneers. The cost ranges so widely because of the factors listed above.
Weighing the Cost and Value
Porcelain veneers are one of the most expensive types of veneer because of their quality. The ceramic material used in porcelain veneers results in:
- Stain resistance
- Natural appearance
Porcelain veneers can last anywhere from five to 15 years before wear or breakage requires replacement. One study showed porcelain veneers can last as many as 20 years before needing to be replaced. Although porcelain veneers may be more expensive than other options, such as Lumineers or tooth bonding, the advantages listed above result in the high value of the procedure. Although they may require a higher up-front cost, they tend to last longer and look better than some of their alternatives.
Financing Your Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers and other cosmetic dentistry treatments are not affordable for everyone, but we think everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of. To help you plan for the affordability of porcelain veneers, we offer the following financing options:
- Lending Club
Both of these financing companies offer cosmetic dentistry loans to qualified candidates. You can speak to our office about how to apply for these loans.