Teeth enhancement using porcelain veneers is among the most popular ways to grow your confidence and overall well-being, as it significantly improves your teeth's aesthetics. They are popular because they create a look as close to your natural teeth as possible. Upon deciding on porcelain veneer treatment, you need to partner with a skilled dentist with experience in the field to help you determine the most suitable course of action. They provide all professional services linked to the treatment and aftercare tips to help you maintain the new veneer sets after installation.

At Washington Dental, you receive quality services from a team of skilled and highly experienced dentists. We aim to give each patient the care and medical attention they need, including your needs and preferences throughout the dental treatment. You can also share your concerns to ensure we consider your requirements in advance. With our help, you can expect to receive your porcelain veneer set as soon as they are ready, helping you achieve a brighter and more improved smile. Our services are available for patients seeking porcelain veneer treatment in Lomita, California.

Understanding Veneer Dental Services

Veneers are tooth replacements made from various materials, including porcelain, to replace a broken or disfigured tooth. Upon suffering, You can receive veneer treatment to replace the affected tooth after causing a significant physical change like cracks, chips, or complete tooth loss. Your treatment does not necessarily involve complete tooth removal, like in other treatment options like dental implants or crowns. Instead, your dentist shaves down the affected tooth to create enough space to plant the veneer and bind it to the remaining part of your natural tooth.

Veneer treatment is mainly available for cosmetic purposes, as patients intend to improve or upgrade their natural look. However, some cases may require veneer placement to remedy dental injuries resulting in harmful tooth chips. For example, if a tooth chips at an angle, causing continuous damage to the inner cheeks, having veneers as a replacement and remedy is advisable.

Depending on their needs, patients seeking veneer treatment are also subject to modified treatment options. For example, your case may only require veneers fitted on a few teeth to enhance your dental arrangement.

On the other hand, you may need veneers to replace your entire dental formula, especially if you suffer from severe tooth misalignment, discoloration, or uneven shapes. If so, your dentist must conduct extensive pretreatment checks to ensure your veneer placement is smooth and effective.

The Nature of Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are available in various manufacturing materials, mainly porcelain and composite. Each material presents advantages and disadvantages depending on your preferences, so you must understand the nature of porcelain veneers compared to composite veneers.

Porcelain veneers are popular because of the durable porcelain material used to create them. Upon installation, you can expect them to last for ten to fifteen years without breakage or other damage, provided you maintain them as guided.

Based on the durable and long-lasting nature of porcelain veneers, your dentist may recommend ensuring you receive value for your money. Further, porcelain veneers have a more natural look compared to composite, making them a better choice if you have specific aesthetic needs.

Composite veneers are an alternative to porcelain, and they function similarly, with the main difference being the material used in manufacturing them. Some advantages of choosing composite veneers include their lower cost than porcelain veneers and their malleability. A malleable element can easily undergo reshaping, making it easier to work with and modify when necessary.

Despite the benefits, composite veneers last a shorter time than porcelain, ranging from four to eight years before replacement. You are also more likely to break or change the veneer shape upon subjecting your teeth to high force, especially when chewing hard foods.

Overall, porcelain veneers present better options based on their durability and aesthetic value, making them the most popular. Your dentist can provide additional information on whether the veneers will be beneficial and how to navigate treatment.

Parties Eligible for Porcelain Veneer Procedures

While you may be considering having porcelain veneers fitted to enhance your aesthetics, you may need clarification on whether you are eligible for the procedure. Based on this, you should conduct sufficient research and contact a trusted dentist who will provide the necessary details regarding porcelain veneer services.

Typically, veneers serve a restorative purpose for patients, allowing them to correct dental misalignments caused by accidents or severe infections. You are, therefore, eligible for porcelain veneer treatment if you have the following:

Severe Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is a condition that affects your natural tooth color, creating a stained effect that may be difficult to remove. While your dentist may undertake teeth whitening procedures, they often involve powerful bleaching agents with hazardous effects from continuous exposure.

Fitting porcelain veneers is thus a suitable alternative to remedying stained teeth compared to teeth whitening, especially if you have an intrinsic stain. Intrinsic stains occur due to tooth infections, adverse reactions to medication, and continued exposure to staining agents like contaminated water. The stains affect your internal enamel, making it difficult to remedy with a regular teeth bleaching agent.

By placing porcelain veneers over the stained tooth, your dentist gives you a more accessible alternative to enhancing your smile that does not require repeated exposure to bleaching agents. Further, the veneers match your natural tooth shade, giving you a natural look as desired.

Uneven Tooth Shapes

Depending on your injury exposure, you may also have uneven tooth shapes for various reasons. Patients who grind their teeth at night also have a high likelihood of having crooked teeth because the friction eats away the enamel on the most affected tooth. Due to this, you may notice a change in dental structure that requires you to seek corrective treatment using porcelain veneers.

The goal of having veneers fitted is to create an even look over the affected teeth by placing individual porcelain veneers. Your treatment may require your dentist to create single custom veneers depending on how uneven the teeth are, meaning that the placement does not have to cover your entire dental structure.

Your dentist aims to restore your natural tooth shapes by replicating them using porcelain veneers, which involves recreating your dental structure using digital features like 3D imaging. You can also request tooth reshaping when receiving porcelain veneer treatment. If so, consider making financial arrangements for a complete dental replacement, as it costs more than specific tooth replacements.

Having Too Large or Small Teeth

Your teeth's size affects your smile significantly based on how well they fit your jawbone structure. Having teeth larger than your structure can give you an overbite appearance that may make you look older. Similarly, having teeth smaller than your jawbone often creates the illusion of having a small face, which you may need to adjust.

Since preparation for veneer placement requires your dentist to file or buff your teeth, patients with large teeth can benefit from the treatment by reducing their size. Afterward, the dentist will place the veneers on your teeth in the desired shape and size, giving you the desired appearance.

Patients with smaller teeth than their jaws also benefit from veneer treatment because they can choose the size they prefer. With your dentist’s guidance, you will select a size that does not overwhelm your jawbone despite increasing the size range of your natural teeth.

Too Many Tooth Spaces

Spaced teeth may result from genetic conditions, making your permanent teeth regrow with large spaces in between. Alternatively, you may develop the state due to gum disease, which causes the teeth to move out of place and create spaces as the gums weaken.

Teeth gaps may also result from past substandard dental services, like misaligned orthodontic treatment. For example, if your braces create spaces between your teeth that were not previously present, the orthodontist may have miscalculated the distance between teeth, creating unnecessary spacing.

Regardless of the cause, porcelain veneers can remedy uneven tooth spacing, giving you a more even look. The veneer plates will fit into your existing dental structure with a modified design to cover the spacing. Your dentist measures the required porcelain veneer proportions before treatment to ensure the ratios do not exceed your jawbone size or create an uncomfortable fit in the mouth.

Chipped Teeth

You may notice a chipped tooth after a severe accident that causes an impact on the enamel or after using your teeth to open tight objects like bottle tops. Chipped teeth are dangerous because they continue to injure your inner lips and gums when left untreated. Further, the injuries they create can expose you to infections and severe gum disease, making it necessary to seek a remedy.

The porcelain veneer procedure involves filing down the chipped tooth before fitting the veneer plates, so you can worry less about the sharpness causing further injury. Upon having the veneers done, you are less likely to have them chip because they are durable and sturdy, giving you a lasting solution to the problem.

Crooked Teeth Placement

Veneers are an alternative to crowns and dental implants and for some orthodontic procedures like remedying crooked teeth. Patients typically seek braces or Invisalign treatment to correct crooked teeth' appearance by creating gentle force over time. While the option is beneficial, it may take longer than necessary and introduce multiple restrictions in your dietary choices to avoid damaging the orthodontic devices.

Porcelain veneers as a remedy for crooked teeth are more efficient and less restrictive, making them a suitable option if you intend to notice improvements sooner. Based on the pretreatment procedure performed by the dentist to reshape your natural teeth, the porcelain veneers will fit onto your jawbone with a more aligned appearance to enhance your overall aesthetics.

General Aesthetic Enhancement

Porcelain veneer treatment is also available if you are looking for general aesthetic enhancements and do not have a specific dental condition pushing you to seek treatment. Your dentist accepts your request for cosmetic enhancement using veneers, provided your oral health is fine and you understand the importance of taking care of the veneers after fitting them.

After scheduling your first appointment, highlight the features you hope to enhance using porcelain veneers to give your dentist a solid starting point for treatment. They will then provide professional advice on your condition to establish whether porcelain veneers are the ideal treatment option.

Preparation Procedures Before Fitting Porcelain Veneers

The steps leading up to fitting your porcelain veneers involve preparing your teeth for the procedure and obtaining relevant information to facilitate a smooth dental process. You will, therefore, participate in a series of processes to prepare for the final porcelain veneer fitting, and your dentist will guide you on what to do.

Since patients present various conditions, dental structures, and preferences, there is no specific order of preparatory procedures to undertake. Nevertheless, some processes are standard, regardless of the situation you aim to remedy using porcelain veneers. Some introductory courses you can expect to undergo include:

Physical Examination

A physical dental examination is essential before your dentist undertakes a procedure, as it is the first point of contact and observation. Therefore, The dentist takes the physical examination seriously and notes all conditions in your dental arrangement or appearance.

You can expect your dentist to use particular tools when checking your dental cavity, like small scapers, mirrors, and a suction tube to remove excess saliva. The dentist may also request that you assume a biting position to help them examine your jaw alignment, as it helps identify overbites and underbites.

On top of determining your dental structure, your dentist addresses possible dental conditions during the physical examination, depending on their findings. For example, they may identify cavities that need fillings or gum disease that requires pre-treatment. All results are critical in determining whether to proceed with the porcelain veneer treatment or address the identified issues first.

Undertaking Pre-Installation Treatment

If your dentist identifies severe issues during the physical examination process, they will recommend receiving pre-installation treatment. Doing so helps you avoid dental complications after the porcelain veneers are already in place, as it would be inconvenient to remove them for subsequent treatment.

Upon accepting the treatment precluding your porcelain veneer installation, you receive a revised schedule to backtrack the installation date as you may require additional recovery time. For example, if you had a tooth removed to prevent severe tooth decay, you would need a few recovery days to allow the swelling and pain to reduce. Schedules will, therefore, vary depending on your specific pre-treatment procedure.

While the pre-installation treatment step is necessary for porcelain veneers, you do not have to face it if the dentist does not identify a serious issue. Despite this, you may receive instructions on caring for your teeth in preparation for porcelain veneer installation, including brushing and flossing regularly and receiving professional cleaning services.

Providing Your Medical History

Your medical history consists of your previous medical experiences, allergen information, and continued treatment, if any. Providing details regarding your medical history allows the dentist to better appreciate the nature of your condition and provide workable solutions accordingly.

For example, if you have chipped teeth because of a calcium deficiency, your dentist will recommend a calcium-rich diet to supplement your porcelain veneers, as they must remain anchored to the tooth base.

Similarly, disclosing your experience with acid reflux can guide the dentist in determining whether high acidity levels in the mouth will affect the porcelain material on the veneers. If so, they can adjust the material to make it more durable when in contact with the acid.

Additional information to provide as part of your medical history includes your allergen information, which guides the dental team on the medical equipment and chemicals to use during the veneer installation process. For example, if you are allergic to a dental cleaning agent, you must disclose the details in advance to avoid dealing with adverse reactions.

The general rule in providing your medical history details is to provide as much information as possible, regardless of whether you think it is relevant to your current treatment. Your dentist will then determine the elements to rely on; you can count on them to keep the information confidential.

Taking Tooth Impressions

Teeth impressions are a replica of your dental structure created by pressing a dental mold against your upper and lower dental structures. Your dentist creates the mold by mixing a composite agent to spread against your teeth. Once the mold takes the teeth’s shape and dries, it leaves behind the required replica of your teeth.

Taking impressions is fast, so you will likely complete it during your first appointment. After obtaining the impressions, your dentist relies on the dental replica to measure your teeth's dimensions and design custom-fit porcelain veneers. They will also note the areas requiring reconstruction using veneers to refine your teeth's appearance.

Taking X-rays and 3-D Images

X-ray and 3-D images supplement impressions by providing different angles and dimensions of your oral structure. X-ray images are essential for porcelain veneer installation because they reveal your internal dental structure. This way, your dentist can identify impacted wisdom teeth and better plan your treatment. They may remove the impacted molars to prevent them from growing misaligned and affecting the installed veneers.

3-D images are also helpful because they provide a more accurate and digitized view of your teeth, making it easier to design and fit porcelain veneers for you. Your dentist uses the 3-D images to prepare porcelain shapes that are as natural-looking as possible, making it easier to achieve a brighter smile.

The Porcelain Veneers Installation Procedure

Upon concluding the pre-treatment steps, you are ready for porcelain veneer installation. The procedure occurs in two phases to allow your dentist enough time to design the veneers as required. During the first phase, the dentist buffs your teeth, brushing against the enamel to remove the excess hard cover around the tooth. Buffing helps create a soft tooth surface for subsequent procedures and is often light and painless.

Once your tooth surface is clear after buffing, the dentist files down the tooth to shape it into the desired dimension. Tooth shaping is critical because it allows the veneers to fit into your dental structure properly, so your dentist must undertake the process carefully.

Since tooth filing involves significantly wearing the enamel, you may experience slight pain or tooth sensitivity as the dentist files deeper into the enamel. Nevertheless, you will receive local anesthesia to help manage the discomfort before the dentist begins the process, so you do not have to worry about the pain.

The porcelain veneer design process requires your involvement in choosing the tooth shade you prefer for your appearance. Your dentist will, therefore, engage you after cleaning and filing your teeth to note the details regarding your selected porcelain veneer color. This marks the last step in the first treatment phase, and you will wait for a few days as the dental team designs your porcelain veneers. 

During the second installation phase, the process begins with thorough cleansing using a special cleaning agent to promote proper tooth bonding with the veneers. Afterward, the dentist places the veneers on your teeth and applies a bonding agent to act as the adhesive. To seal the bond, they use a special UV light to secure the veneers in place, marking the end of the installation process.

Aftercare Tips to Protect Your Porcelain Veneers

After installation, your dentist issues some aftercare directives to help you maintain them and prevent accidents or discoloration. Some aftercare tips to consider include:

  • Avoid hard foods for the first few days after installation.
  • Attend follow-up dental appointments.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Maintain a consistent teeth cleaning routine.

Contact a Lomita Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Porcelain veneers are an excellent option to enhance your smile, as they provide a natural-looking structure over misaligned, crooked, or discolored teeth. The cosmetic procedure involves adequate preparations to ensure the veneers fit your dental design properly, as they will replace your natural teeth. Based on this, you need to work with a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist who understands the procedures to undertake throughout treatment. I will schedule some time for us to connect.

At Washington Dental, you will work with a team of skilled dentists equipped to provide excellent services in installing porcelain veneers. Our team has worked with hundreds of patients in Lomita, California, helping them achieve brighter smiles through veneer installation. You can access our services and learn more about porcelain veneers by contacting us at 310-326-5183.