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Porcelain Veneers

Many patients who visit our office are surprised by how simple, minimally invasive solutions can make such a powerful difference in their smile! Porcelain veneers are one such treatment that embodies the very best of cosmetic dentistry — lasting strength and beauty attained during a convenient, timely, and conservative treatment process. Porcelain veneers can treat common dental flaws like chips, gaps, misalignments, and deep staining without the need for braces or oral surgery. Dr. Landon Libby, our skilled cosmetic dentist, would be happy to speak with you about your concerns and explain how porcelain veneers can be placed to restore an immaculate smile. 

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What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin translucent shells placed over the enamel to restore the proportions of a youthful and healthy tooth. They are custom-crafted to fit comfortably over the front of your tooth, and shaded to match the color of your surrounding teeth. One of the many advantages of veneers is that they require very little prior tooth preparation to successfully place, allowing patients to retain more of their natural tissue. When they are placed by an experienced dentist, porcelain veneers can look and feel like a natural part of your smile! These restorations can be a reliable and sophisticated way to correct an array of cosmetic concerns during a relatively quick and simple treatment process. Conveniently, two office visits are typically all it takes to design, fabricate, and place your custom porcelain veneers. 

What Concerns Can Porcelain Veneers Improve?

Even the smallest cosmetic imperfections in teeth can detract from the appearance of an entire smile. Luckily, porcelain veneers are versatile enough to conceal many different dental flaws that can cause patients to feel self-conscious about their smile. Veneers can be placed to mask:

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Deep staining or internal tooth discoloration
  • Chips in the enamel
  • Misalignments
  • Teeth that look short, worn, or aged

On top of helping to strengthen the form and function of a tooth, the porcelain material used to craft your veneers bears a natural resemblance to your actual teeth! This can allow the veneers to blend in perfectly with your smile, and no one should be able to detect obvious signs of treatment. 

Is a Porcelain Veneer Right for Me?

Porcelain veneers can be ideal for individuals looking for a simple, convenient treatment to hide cosmetic flaws in their teeth, such as chips, stains, gaps, misalignments, or a worn/aged look. Most patients are considered good candidates for porcelain veneers, although treatment is most successful for those who:

  • Have no signs of gum disease
  • Do not experience pain, difficulty biting, or other functional symptoms
  • Are bothered by minor cosmetic dental imperfections
  • Do not mind minor tooth preparation before their treatment
  • Want to achieve long-term results

Thanks to the minimally invasive nature of treatment, a wide range of patients find they can benefit from porcelain veneers. Dr. Libby will examine your concerns during a consultation and carefully listen to your goals to help you develop the best dental plan.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain veneers and crowns are both highly effective dental restorations that can provide benefits to the appearance and function of your teeth. However, the two treatments are not interchangeable. Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are placed to treat different concerns and talking about your goals with a cosmetic dentist can give you an idea of the best option to achieve your desired results.

In general, veneers are used to hide visible dental imperfections in an otherwise healthy tooth. Porcelain veneers are only utilized when treating purely cosmetic concerns, such as shortness, discoloration, small gaps, and asymmetry in your smile. In contrast, dental crowns are designed to provide more protection for the structure of your tooth — they’re usually placed on top of a weak tooth to strengthen the enamel and/or protect it from further damage. Porcelain crowns similarly blend in with the rest of your smile, but their main purpose is to reinforce a compromised tooth. Determining the best treatment option for your needs is simply a matter of identifying the type(s) of concerns you wish to improve.

How is Treatment with Porcelain Veneers Performed?

To begin, Dr. Libby will ask you about your goals and examine your concerns during a consultation. If it is determined that porcelain veneers are the best solution for your needs, Dr. Libby can utilize Digital Smile Design — an advanced dental imaging software designed to create a virtual representation of the potential results. In this way, you can preview your new smile before any dental work begins! 

During treatment, a small amount of enamel will be removed from the treated tooth to allow a comfortable fit for the veneer. This typically involves minimal discomfort; however, our office also offers sedation dentistry options for patients who are apprehensive about the procedure or who experience dental anxiety. Next, Dr. Libby will create a mold of your teeth and mouth and send this impression to an advanced dental lab so your veneer can be crafted. While the veneer is fabricated, a temporary veneer will be placed until the permanent version is ready. At your next appointment, Dr. Libby will bond your custom-designed veneer to the treated tooth and polish it to a shine. At the end of the process, you should have a renewed tooth that looks and feels like a natural part of your mouth! 

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

The results of treatment with porcelain veneers are long-lasting, often providing beautiful results for at least 10 – 15 years depending on a patient’s dental hygiene. Generally speaking, most patients do not require a replacement in the future as long as the veneer isn’t damaged by cavities, bacteria buildup, or an oral injury. In order to get the most out of your porcelain veneer, we encourage patients to maintain a strong oral hygiene regimen of brushing, flossing, rinsing, and attending their semi-annual dental appointments. Our team also recommends wearing a mouth guard or night guard if you’re prone to clenching or grinding your teeth, as this unnecessary pressure can cause wear and tear and potentially weaken your veneer.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

There is no singular cost for porcelain veneers, as treatment is priced according to each person’s individual needs and factors unique to your situation, such as:

  • The number of veneers desired
  • The location of the treated tooth or teeth
  • The severity of your concerns
  • Your individual treatment plan

For price estimates, please contact our office. Our treatment coordinators would be happy to assist you. We understand that quality dental care shouldn’t be sacrificed due to financial reasons, and accept third-party financing from CareCredit®. CareCredit® can make the costs of treatment more affordable by offering low- to no-interest payment plans to qualified patients. Please call our office if you would like to learn more about the cost of porcelain veneers or about dental financing in general. 

Are There Alternatives to Porcelain Veneers?

You may find that a porcelain veneer is not the best restoration to achieve your unique goals. Dr. Libby offers many other cosmetic treatments to repair chips and restore the full proportions of a healthy tooth, including cosmetic bonding. Cosmetic bonding is a non-invasive option to repair chips and cracks, as treatment is able to address mild damage without removing any natural tissue. If your concern is fixing misalignments in the teeth, Invisalign® orthodontics can be successful at closing gaps and restoring a straight, even smile. Call our office today to learn more about alternatives to porcelain veneers and determine the best treatment for you.

At Libby Dental, we can help you attain a dazzling smile without invasiveness or a lengthy treatment process! Please don’t hesitate to contact our Mission Valley office to schedule a consultation, or to speak with a member of our team. 

Dr. Libby and his entire staff are amazing. He walked me through the process of getting my veneers and made me feel so comfortable and excited about my new teeth. He made sure everything was perfect and I was happy before taking the final steps. I absolutely love my new smile and have never felt so confident! He did an amazing job and I can’t recommend him enough!

Amanda Marcos

November 11, 2021

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