Porcelain Veneers Improve Your Smile

Porcelain veneers are important to you and to your smile!

How would you like brand spanking new crowns, bridges and/or porcelain veneers where you now have old, yellow, worn, broken, fractured, chipped or discolored crowns (with the metal showing at the gum-line or grey at the gum-line)? Yes, that’s right, new and beautiful and without the above problems associated with old existing crowns without a shot or drilling! Too good to be true, right? Wrong. It’s very possible in a lot of old crown and bridge cases without a shot, without drilling, and without temporaries to worry about. There are other benefits as well, such as not having to cut off old crowns and bridgework (thusly reducing the risk of root canals) and less cost than new crowns! Well, how do we do it? We use non-reduction porcelain veneers (veneers that cover the front of the old work). They are called Lumineers (TM) and are made by Cerinate (R).

This is a non-invasive technique that goes like this:

  1. The doctor selects the case by exam, x-ray and models.
  2. In a lot of cases no shot has to be given and no prep (drilling) has to be done.
  3. A model is taken in the mouth over the old crown work and sent to the lab (very little chair time) and the patient goes home.
  4. At the second appointment the front of the crown is prepared to have the new facing bonded to it, and the new facing is bonded over the old crown work. You end up with a great looking new porcelain veneer without removing the old work. (The porcelain veneer hides it and covers it up).

The positives? No shot, no drilling, very little time in the chair, low costs and a beautiful new restoration. The negatives? Very few. Occasionally some reduction of the front or defective area of the old crown needs to be done to allow the new work to cement on and not cover decayed or defective areas and to not be too thick. Some cases that give the appearance of being too thick simply are not candidates for this procedure without reducing the front of the crown enough to keep the new crown in alignment. This too is a simple procedure. Porcelain veneers whether connected to tooth structure or old crowns can occasionally pop off. If they do they usually can be recemented. This is a beautiful way to repair old and defective crowns without removing them. Of course natural teeth can be done as well, straightening and aligning the teeth and closing gaps to create a perfect new smile.

Used to correct worn enamel, chipped teeth, discoloration, uneven teeth, and irregular spacing, porcelain veneers can make a huge difference to your smile. Not only to improve the appearance but in some cases, they also serve restorative purposes and can help prevent further harm to a damaged tooth.

They work by covering the flaws in your teeth with a laboratory fabricated porcelain facing, which provides added strength and support. With non-reduction veneers, you don’t have to worry about drilling or getting a shot in many cases. That means you don’t have to deal with a lot of preparation work and experience less discomfort.

Since there is very little chair time and preparation time and temporization time involved these can be done for a lot less than your conventional crown or veneer. They will give you truly beautiful new teeth without all the hassle of conventional crowns and bridgework.

Q. What is a porcelain veneer?

A. A porcelain veneer is a laboratory-fabricated porcelain facing (rose petal thin) that is cemented to the front of a tooth to improve its size, shape or color. Cerinate is merely the name of the porcelain (or lab) used to fabricate the veneer.

Q. What is a non-reduction veneer?

A. On a tooth with reduction veneers we shave about 1 mm of enamel off of the front of the tooth and take an impression of this reduction to send to the lab for them to make the porcelain veneer. We do this so that when that porcelain veneer is cemented the tooth would be no thicker than it originally was (the amount of reduction will match the thickness of the veneer). A non-reduction veneer requires no tooth grinding (no elimination of enamel).

Q. Why is this important?

A. With a non-reduction veneer you don’t need to numb (no shot) and there is no discomfort since there is no drilling. Only an impression of your natural teeth is needed. There’s less discomfort, less chair time and less expense. (non-reduction veneers are about 2/3 the cost of reduction veneers).

Q. What other benefits are there?

A. Besides the above you get the same cosmetic improvements with less time and less discomfort.

Q. Are there any negatives?

A. Not all cases can be done with non-reduction veneers and an individual evaluation of your teeth by your dentist would need to be done to be sure. If there is too much angulation of the teeth or if the teeth are rotated badly they might not be able to be done. The non-reduction veneers do thicken your teeth slightly once cemented but when the right cases are selected the additional thickness is minimal and usually not noticeable.

These veneers are only 0.3-0.5 mm thick (versus 0.8mm-l.5 thickness of reduction veneers), so they don’t thicken the teeth much at all. The veneers can be used to lengthen, widen, or change the appearance or angulation of teeth as well as to lighten the color (whiten). Gaps (diastema’s) can be closed as well.

Q. How have you liked the results?

A. On correctly selected cases the results are fabulous with 1/3 less cost. I liked them so much that I have had four non-reduction veneers placed on my front four upper teeth. And I Love Them! Come on by for a tooth evaluation to see if your are a candidate for non-reduction veneers.

Written by Tod A. Bigelow, D.D.S. and edited by David Holland, PhD