We all want a better smile, right? I mean, we see celebrities flash their perfect teeth all the time on TV. It’s like they have a spotlight shining out of their mouth.
If you want that celebrity smile, then you need to learn the secret behind it: porcelain. You see, celebrities are just like us. They have imperfect teeth they want to cover up too.
Porcelain, or more specifically, porcelain veneers, allow you to do just that. They’re a shell casing placed over your tooth to improve its appearance.
But how is it placed? Is it expensive? What can I expect?
Don’t worry. We’re going to dive into these questions and more. Keep reading to find out.
A Hefty Cost
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, porcelain veneers are expensive. They can range anywhere between $925 and $2,500 per tooth.
However, they can last as long as 10-15 years. Compare that with a composite veneer, which lasts only 5-7 years, and you’ll see that porcelain gets you the most for your money.
This price is only an estimate for the material itself. You also have to factor in the cost of the procedure, the initial exam, and post procedure follow-up visits.
Since veneers are considered cosmetic, they may not be covered by traditional dental insurance. You may have to pay out of pocket or find a way to get financing.
If that doesn’t sound like your brand of coffee, don’t fret. Teeth whitening is a more cost effective solution that’s less invasive. Excellent for those on a budget or with only mild tooth discoloration.
But if price is no object, then the next thing you can expect is…
A Detailed Process
The process to place a porcelain veneer is a long one that often requires more than one visit. To get a complete look at your dental structure, your dentist may need an initial exam to take x-rays. After that comes…
First, your dentist will trim back the enamel on the front of your tooth where the veneer will sit. He’ll remove only about 0.5 to 0.7 millimeters, sometimes more depending on if you have tooth decay.
After your dentist trims the enamel, he will need to take the shade to determine the color of the veneer. The idea is to match the color of the teeth closest to the veneered tooth for a more natural look.
Once you’ve decided on the color, next comes the mold. Don’t worry. I’m not talking about the fungus. Rather, it’s a piece of putty or goo that you bite down on.
It’ll make an impression of your teeth. Your dentist will then send that impression to a fabrication laboratory that will construct your veneers. This process takes approximately two weeks.
Once your veneers are in, your dentist will contact you, and you’ll proceed to the next step.
Placement of porcelain veneers starts with an etching of the tooth by an acid gel. This process usually lasts for 15-20 seconds. Etching creates a rough enamel surface that your veneer will bond with.
The dentist will then wash off the gel and apply cement to the inside of the veneer. He will then place it over the tooth. After that, the dentist will position the tooth just right.
Once it’s in position, he’ll set the cement by shining a curing light on it. This process takes about one minute. After that, he’ll scrape off any of the excess, evaluate your bite, and you’re all finished.
Even though your teeth are ready to use, it wouldn’t hurt to proceed with caution. Get acquainted with your new laminate. Should anything feel strange, let your dentist know.
After all, you’ll return for…
A Follow-Up Visit (or Two)
With this type of procedure, most dentists will want to see you in about a week for a check up. At this appointment, the dentist will evaluate your gums to see how they’ve responded to the porcelain veneers.
He’ll also adjust the shape if need be and you can tell him of any problems you have if any. One of the more common problems with veneers is hot and cold sensitivity. Most of the time this issue goes away on its own, but your dentist can help speed up that process.
Once you and your dentists are satisfied, you can show your smile off to the world. Of course, you’ll have to maintain your new laminate. In which case you might have to make…
A Change in Habits
Let’s be clear: even with porcelain veneers, proper dental hygiene is mandatory. Your tooth can still decay under the laminate. This damage could lead to return visits to the dentist for crowns and root canals.
What you want to change are the bad habits like nail biting or tooth grinding. Porcelain is a delicate material that cracks easily. In fact, your dentist may recommend wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth in your sleep.
You will also have to keep track of the color of your teeth. The regular ones will change over time. However, your veneers won’t. This discoloration may lead to awkward looking smiles, but with regular dentist visits, you can stay on top of it.
Once you’ve learned how to manage your new laminates, you can then show off…
A Better Smile with Porcelain Veneers
That’s the whole goal, right? With a bright, white smile, you’ll be able to take on the world with confidence. Everyone will do a double take when you walk past. You’ll be the life of the party and the envy of your friends.
The only question that remains is where you can get your celebrity smile? The answer is at Doug Lewis Dentistry. We here at Doug Lewis specialize in expert dental care, including veneer placement.
If you want the best smile or you just want an exam from the best dentist in Birmingham, contact us on our website today or call us by phone at (205)933-2460.
We’ll set up an appointment and have you grinning with glee in no time.