When teeth whitening or dental bonding is not enough to improve your smile’s appearance, Houston, TX cosmetic dentist Dr. Crouse recommends veneers in Houston, TX . Veneers are like false fingernails for your teeth; they hide everything: tetracycline stains, spots due to trauma or a root canal, large fractures, chips, cracks and even gaps between teeth. Multiple veneers can be placed at the same time if you want to transform your smile completely.
A lot of times patients come to me and ask me what’s the difference between a veneer and just doing a traditional composite bonding. The big difference between a veneer is that you are not going to have the kind of staining that is going to recur that you would have with the bonding. The bonding can stain over several years time, it will take time before it does stain but it will stain. Veneers will never stain. They are porcelain and they are impermeable, they are not going to absorb any type of staining. So whatever color you select with your doctor as the color that you want your veneer to be, it’s going to stay that way.
The advantage to that is that they are very low maintenance once the procedure is completed. Now, the veneer process is something that we do not do with every patient because we want to make sure that you are getting the results that you want at the end of the treatment. And so there is a process, and the initial process involves taking photographs, it involves doing what we call a model. So that you can look at your teeth and see what they are going to look like before we do anything permanent to the teeth. And then you are going to wear temporaries that look just like the veneers for a couple of weeks, during which time we can still make modifications to the temporaries in case you decide you want them to be longer, you want them to be shorter, or you want them to be a different shape. And then the veneers come in, even then at that point in time, our patients try them on, they have a chance to look at them, nothing is put on permanently until they are absolutely satisfied with what they are getting. And if there is anything wrong with what they saee, if they are in any way not satisfied, they go back to the lab. So, the process is time consuming but because we are really transforming the patient’s smile, we want to make sure that they are getting what they want, exactly what they want. It can take a little bit of time but it’s completely worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a single patient who’s gone through the veneer process who said to me, I wish I hadn’t done this. What they do say to me is, I wish I had done this sooner.
Veneers are very thin porcelain or resin shells that are attached to the front surface of a tooth. Veneers can change the size, shape, color and appearance of each tooth. If you’re getting multiple veneers, it’s like getting a brand new set of teeth! Unlike dental bonding, veneers last longer and are more durable. Veneers made of porcelain are translucent like real enamel and remain stain-resistant even if you drink coffee, tea or wine.
First, your dentist will prepare the tooth by buffing the surface and removing a bit of enamel. This is done to make room for the veneer, which is approximately less than 1 mm thick. If the tooth is not prepared, it will look bulky and unnatural when the veneer is placed.
Following tooth preparation, your dentist will take an impression or mold of the tooth and send it to the laboratory. You and Dr. Crouse will decide on the exact color of the permanent veneer. Once the veneer is ready, you will come back to the clinic to have it cemented to your tooth. Bonding takes about 1-2 hours.
Veneers require similar maintenance as natural teeth. It’s important to brush and floss daily to prevent premature discoloration. After a few weeks, you may be asked to return to the clinic for a follow-up appointment and adjustment.