What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain material that are shaped and colored to look like natural teeth. The sheets are placed over the front of the teeth to provide a brand new appearance of your teeth. Veneers can hide stains, gaps, discoloration, chips, cracks, and misshapen teeth all at once.

Pretty lady revealing her transformative smile with porcelain veneers

What Porcelain Veneers Can Do for You

Porcelain veneers, also known as instant orthodontics, are among the most flexible tools available to cosmetic dentists. Made from an advanced form of porcelain, veneers create a powerful bond with tooth enamel, providing a strong, long lasting, beautiful surface for your teeth. Porcelain allows some light to pass through, giving it reflective properties similar to that of natural tooth enamel. Because of these unique characteristics, they are one of the strongest and most natural looking treatments for a variety of cosmetic dental issues such as:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Chipped or pitted teeth
  • Discoloration that cannot be treated with traditional teeth whitening procedures
  • Small gaps between the teeth
  • Small or poorly shaped teeth
  • Minor misalignment

If any one of these issues is preventing you from having the smile you’ve always wanted, a smile makeover with porcelain veneers might be the answer. We can apply any number of porcelain veneers, treating just one tooth or treating your entire smile.

Porcelain Veneers: The First Appointment

You will need to schedule an hour or two for your initial appointment, and you may want to take photos or magazine clippings to show your dentist the kind of smile you prefer. After a thorough examination to assess your oral health and existing dentition, your dentist will discuss with you the kind of smile you envision. Come prepared to discuss the color and shape of your ideal smile at this appointment.

The dentist will take notes on the shade of your teeth, your facial features, and measurements of your face. He’ll consider your skin tone and facial symmetry when designing your veneers. If you have questions about your veneers or the procedure, your dentist should be happy to give comprehensive answers. You may want to ask to see his portfolio or inquire about digital imaging, which is software that manipulates a photo to predict what you will look like after your smile makeover.

Tooth Preparation

Often during the first appointment, your dentist will gently buff your teeth to remove 1 to 2 mm of enamel in preparation for your new veneers. Tooth reduction will allow the veneers to lie flat, in line with surrounding teeth. We may also require the reshaping of teeth to create the look you want. This isn’t generally considered painful, but we provide local anesthesia anyway, which is even more comfortable than typical anesthesia thanks to our Anutra buffered anesthesia.

How Porcelain Veneers are Applied

Local anesthetic may be administered to ensure your complete comfort during veneer placement. Your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and check the fit of your permanent veneers. You can look at the shape, color, and fit before we attach them. If adjustments need to be made, you should tell your dentist at this time. Once your veneers are in place, we can’t alter them.

If all is well, your dentist will permanently bond the new veneers to the front surface of your teeth. First, he will apply a mild acidic solution to clean the surface of your teeth, then he will bond the veneers in place. A small light will cure the bonding material. The dentist will make sure that the veneers allow adequate flossing space.

Having porcelain veneers placed on your teeth is a simple, non-invasive procedure, typically completed in two visits. In the first visit, Dr. Firouzian removes a very thin layer of tooth enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. Because porcelain veneers are so thin, the amount of reshaping that must be performed on the tooth is minor. Many patients do not even require anesthetic, but for those that want it, we offer the new, more comfortable Anutra buffered anesthesia. For even thinner veneers, there’s also the option of Lumineers.

After the teeth are reshaped, Dr. Firouzian takes molds of your teeth. Your permanent porcelain veneers are created in an offsite lab from these molds. Dr. Firouzian then affixes temporary veneers to your teeth to protect them while the permanent porcelain veneers are being manufactured. When the permanent veneers are ready, typically within a few days, Dr. Firouzian affixes them with a permanent dental adhesive that allows the porcelain veneers to bond to your teeth. Your permanent veneers are custom-made and carefully color matched so they will be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are not only capable of treating many common cosmetic complaints you may have about your smile, they are better than many competing treatment options. Here’s why:

  • Very natural-looking
  • Stain-resistant
  • Durable
  • Can be completed in a month
  • No need for retainers
  • Can address multiple problems at once

They are more natural-looking, more stain resistant, and last longer than dental bonding. When used to close gaps or straighten teeth, they are better than orthodontics because they can be completed in about a month, while orthodontics can take a year or more. And you don’t need to wear a retainer after getting your smile straightened.

Best of all, porcelain veneers can be used to treat many complaints you may have about your smile all at once. So if your smile is discolored, slightly crooked, and has gaps or chipped teeth, porcelain veneers can repair all these complaints at once.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Many people think because they’re called “porcelain” veneers, dental veneers are fragile. The truth is that “porcelain” just refers to any white ceramic. Modern dental veneers are made of advanced ceramics that are very strong. Lithium disilicate, one of the preferred materials for modern dental veneers, has a tensile strength of about 58,000 pounds per square inch. So although dental veneers are thin, they are very strong, and when bonded to your teeth they are even stronger.

With these advanced materials, the durability of dental veneers is outstanding. About 19 out of 20 veneers last ten years or more, and five out of six last twenty years, based on clinical studies. Think of all the beautiful smiles you can share in that time!

Porcelain Veneers Alternative: Lumineers

Are you unhappy with your smile and want a completely reversible way to permanently whiten your smile, reshape your teeth, and achieve a Hollywood smile? Lumineers are an alternative to traditional porcelain veneers that can give similar results but don’t require modification of your natural teeth.

The only way to learn whether Lumineers or porcelain veneers in Columbus are best for improving the appearance of your smile, is to talk to a cosmetic dentist. Please call (614) 848-5001 or email Firouzian Dentistry today for an appointment.

Make the Most of Your Smile with Minimal Reduction

Sometimes, a smile needs a little boost. Lumineers can correct many aesthetic dental problems, including:

  • Stains or Discoloration
  • Chips and Cracks
  • Misalignment or Crookedness
  • Sharp, Fang-like Appearance
  • Spaces Between Teeth

Lumineers are similar to traditional porcelain veneers. However, patients must undergo significant tooth reduction prior to the placement of veneers. Tooth reduction makes a bonded veneer appear natural, lying flat, in line with existing teeth. However, when natural dentition is removed, it cannot be replaced.

Most veneers are thick, so they require a patient to have significant tooth reduction, and they are not reversible. Because the leucite-reinforced, pressed ceramic used for Lumineers is stronger than that of traditional veneers, it can be made thinner without compromising durability. A thinner veneer means little or no tooth reduction is required. This means that Lumineers can be a painless solution for your smile makeover.

With Lumineers, if you ever decide that you want your natural smile back, your dentist can simply remove them. Thin porcelain also allows light to enter and reflect off of natural underlying tooth structure, so they project your existing tooth shading and appear completely natural.

Are You a Good Candidate for Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers in Columbus, OH?

Although they are a good solution for many people, they’re not for everyone. For example, some discoloration may be so severe that Lumineers cannot adequately whiten your teeth. Porcelain veneers might be a better option. In other cases, your teeth may be chipped and cracked as a result of bite problems or TMJ that might need to be fixed before placing them. And sometimes your teeth might benefit from dental crowns, especially if they have cracks that have weakened them.

The best way to learn which is the right solution for your smile is to talk to a cosmetic dentist in Columbus about Lumineers and porcelain veneers. Please contact Firouzian Dentistry today for an appointment.