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Porcelain Dental Veneers

To enhance, restore, and transform your smile, Dr. Cathy Santone and Dr. Megan Dietz can perform treatment with porcelain dental veneers. These versatile tooth coverings can help improve the appearance of teeth with chips, cracks, stains, and other aesthetic imperfections. Porcelain veneers are created individually by a cosmetically-trained laboratory technician to be long-lasting and resistant to staining, which makes them an excellent cosmetic dentistry option.

If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your porcelain veneer and smile makeover options, please contact us today.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin, enamel-like coverings that bond to the fronts of your teeth to correct defects and improve the appearance of the tooth structure. They are designed to enhance the appearance of your teeth and smile by correcting worn, chipped, and discolored enamel. Veneers can be made of either composite resin, which is sculpted onto the tooth surface, or thin porcelain sheets, which are custom-crafted to fit precisely over the front and sides of a tooth.

Why Choose Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very versatile. They can be used to create a complete smile makeover, enhance developmentally misshapen teeth, and restore a single fractured or discolored anterior tooth. These cosmetic solutions give Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz the ability to create beautiful, natural-looking smiles that can boost confidence and change lives.

Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz have attended hundreds of hours of cosmetic dentistry training throughout the nation and have undergone hands-on workshop education to help their patients achieve their cosmetic dental goals. Dr. Santone has also been a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) for over 20 years, and is a San Diego cosmetic dentist accredited with the AACD. Both Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz pride themselves on creating a natural-looking smile for each patient during the porcelain veneer procedure, retaining as much of the natural tooth structure as possible to ensure optimal oral health.

What are the Benefits of Porcelain Dental Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are a conservative cosmetic dental restorative treatment option. They require less tooth removal and preparation compared to dental crowns or caps. They can cover and protect worn and eroded teeth by replacing missing enamel. Porcelain veneers can be an excellent alternative to cosmetic bonding when more extensive repairs are needed. The following is a list of common applications and patient concerns Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz typically use veneers to correct:

Porcelain Veneers vs. Dental Crowns

Porcelain veneers and dental crowns are both highly effective techniques to improve the appearance and function of the teeth. Dr. Santone or Dr. Dietz will determine which restoration is best depending on the condition of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are designed to correct minor cosmetic issues with a patient’s smile, such as concealing chips, cracks, and discoloration in the tooth enamel. The natural-looking porcelain shells can also address gaps, as well as lengthen short, worn, or misaligned teeth. Although these veneers can beautifully conceal cosmetic flaws in the tooth structure, they are not intended to treat decay or repair damaged teeth.

Typically, patients who have severely worn teeth—or who clench or grind their teeth during the day and night—may require a crown to cover and protect the remaining tooth structure. Concerns that require more restorative care are generally better suited for partial or full coverage with porcelain crowns, which cover the front, sides, and back surfaces of the teeth to strengthen weak enamel, improve biting function, and protect the teeth from additional damage. Our dentists offer high-quality metal-free porcelain dental crowns at Encinitas Cosmetic Dentistry. These restorations provide aesthetic benefits to a damaged tooth, and they are designed for each individual patient and their unique dental needs.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are hand sculpted with tooth-colored filling material and applied directly onto the tooth by our dentists. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers treatment is completed in one dental visit. They are beautiful, natural-looking restorations that can correct minor tooth problems. Composite veneers also require the least amount of tooth preparation (grinding away) necessary out of all the available dental restoration options.

These veneers are often the treatment option of choice for young patients who have small or peg laterals. Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz work with their patients’ orthodontist to position the teeth for ideal placement of composite veneers. Composite veneers are not as strong as a laboratory fabricated porcelain veneer; however, if the composite chips, the veneers can be repaired directly in a patient’s mouth. They are less expensive compared to porcelain veneers, as they do not require a laboratory technician or second appointment to place. The following is a list of common applications and patient concerns that we typically use composite veneers to correct:

How is the Porcelain Veneer Procedure Performed?

First, a personalized smile design is prepared from a set of comprehensive cosmetic records, including photographs, digital radiographs, and digital diagnostic models. We work together with our patients, as well as a dental laboratory and dental specialists as needed, to create a customized smile. Our dental team can help you determine the best treatment to resolve your concerns after evaluating your cosmetic desires along with the health of your mouth, gums, and individual teeth.

From your personalized dental records, Dr. Santone or Dr. Dietz designs the new restorations and our dental lab creates a wax-up of your new smile. This wax-up is used to create provisional restorations during your preparation appointment. Provisional restorations allow patients to preview the length, shape, and color of their new teeth and smile. This preliminary showing also helps our dentists and patients confirm the aesthetics and function of their enhanced smile. The laboratory then uses this information to create the final veneers from the provisional restorations.

Goals of provisional restorations:

You will return to try on the final outcome of your porcelain veneers and confirm the precise fit, contour, and shade. After your approval, the teeth are cleaned and isolated to properly bond the veneers to the teeth. Finally, your bite is checked and photographs of your final smile are taken.

As porcelain dental veneers are designed to correct a number of cosmetic dentistry issues, our dentists recognize that each veneer is as unique as the patient they are performing the procedure for. They are custom-fit and color-matched to the surrounding teeth to provide a seamless smile. Once the veneers have been tried on and approved for shape, length, and color, Dr. Santone or Dr. Dietz will bond them to the tooth with a strong adhesive cement, which can create a natural smile that should last for years.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Due to its strong porcelain composition, veneers can last for years—and even decades—with good oral hygiene and common sense precautions. These thin porcelain veneers are designed to be a long-term dental solution that looks and feels like your natural teeth. Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz recommend regular dental check-ups and dental cleanings, as well as wearing a protective occlusal guard at night. Porcelain veneers should be able to enhance your smile well into the future.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

The cost of porcelain veneers depends on a number of factors, including how many veneers are being placed and the health and position of the gum tissue. While the overall price is ultimately unique to each patient, the cost of porcelain veneers can range from $1,350 to $2,000 per tooth. Once your needs are assessed, a member of our team will be able to provide you with a personalized quote specific to your treatment. At Encinitas Cosmetic Dentistry, we accept patient financing through CareCredit®, a highly reputable healthcare lending company that can help qualified patients make their expenses more manageable. Offering a range of low- to no-interest payment plans to choose from, approved patients can select the arrangement that best suits their budgetary concerns and immediately proceed with treatment. If you have any other questions about the cost of porcelain veneers, please call our practice for more information.

How Do I Care For My Porcelain Veneers?

With the ability to resist staining, porcelain veneers typically do not require any additional maintenance beyond daily brushing and flossing to remain in good condition. If you tend to grind or clench your teeth during sleep, wearing a night guard will help prevent excessive pressure and potential fracture of the veneers, and further extend their longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Veneers

Can You Whiten Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers, whether they are made from porcelain or composite resin, cannot be whitened like natural teeth because their surface is non-porous. The good news is that the top-quality materials used to craft veneers at Encinitas Cosmetic Dentistry are highly stain resistant, and they are capable of retaining their shade and luster for many years. That said, it is still advisable to practice good oral hygiene and avoid habits like smoking to help keep your veneers from becoming discolored over time.

Do Porcelain Dental Veneers Hurt?

The application of dental veneers is generally considered a painless process. Patients may experience some mild sensitivity after the initial tooth preparation stage, but this should resolve quickly. Similarly, there may be a brief adjustment period after the veneers are placed, but any discomfort should resolve as patients grow accustomed to the feel of their new veneers.

Are Porcelain Dental Veneers Permanent?

Since the application of porcelain veneers does require the removal of a thin layer of enamel, the procedure is considered permanent. That said, the veneers themselves typically need to be replaced approximately every 10 years due to natural wear and tear.

How Many Dental Veneers Do I Need?

The number of porcelain veneers needed to achieve a patient’s smile goals varies based on the individual. For those looking to address a single stained or damaged tooth, one veneer may suffice. For those seeking a comprehensive smile transformation, between six and twelve veneers will likely be recommended. Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz take into account factors such as how many teeth show when a patient smiles in order to determine the appropriate number of veneers for a full smile makeover.

How Strong Are Dental Veneers?

Veneers crafted from high-quality dental porcelain are considered quite strong and closely mimic the strength of a natural tooth when biting and chewing. Composite veneers are weaker than traditional porcelain veneers, but they are still able to withstand typical dental wear and tear. To protect the longevity of both your natural teeth and dental veneers, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, avoid biting down on hard surfaces or using your teeth as tools, and wear a mouthguard when playing sports or engaging in other high-contact activities. A custom nightguard is typically recommended to protect the restorations from a patient’s night time habits such as grinding and clenching.

For more information on porcelain dental veneers in Encinitas, CA, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Santone and Dr. Dietz, contact us today.