One question we get asked very often is, "What exactly are porcelain veneers?" A veneer is very much like a contact lens. It is an extremely thin sheet of porcelain that bonds to the front of your tooth. They are used to change the shape, color, size, and symmetry of the teeth and smile. The porcelain is very, very thin, on the order of 0.3 mm, about the thickness of a business card.
Porcelain is the material of choice because it most naturally replicates human enamel. Please browse our Before & After page to see our patient’s dramatic transformations.
Translucent, Natural Looking Veneers at Atlanta Dental Spa
Atlanta Dental Spa uses three types of porcelain systems; Empress, Emax, and Feldspathic Porcelain. We also offer variations of No-Prep veneers like Ultraveneers and Durathins. The actual term used is biocompatible lithium disilicate glass ceramic – quite a mouthful! These are recognized as the most superior systems available in cosmetic dentistry, and these are the materials our skilled dentists have used in all of their award-winning cases.
Here are examples of different Emax ingot options. Opal 1 and 2 are on the left, No Prep Veneer ingots are on the right. Dr. Boulden actually has the Opal ingot in his own mouth! Look at the veneers on a black background, don’t they look incredible?
In the right hands, each system is capable of giving you equally beautiful results, and we can help decide which is best suited for you.
The porcelain systems we have today are technologically much different than they were in the past. You may have seen veneers that remind you of Chiclets.
That look actually comes from old school dentistry, where very opaque and monochromatic porcelain was used, OR it was a porcelain crown fused to metal (PFM crown). With that system there is actually metal underneath and the lab will use chalk-white opaquer to try and cover up the metal, then bake on the porcelain. At Atlanta Dental Spa we see no need to use metal in dentistry, especially when it comes to esthetic procedures!
So we’ve learned the advanced technology we have today provides veneers that are:
- More translucent, like your natural teeth
- Super thin
- The best option for creating a beautiful, natural smile!
If you have teeth, chances are you’re a candidate for porcelain veneers. They’re ideal for people who want to improve their smile, particularly if you have crooked, worn, chipped, or broken teeth. We can close spaces or gaps and even repair accidents and incidences of trauma.
Many people spend years disliking their smile. They’re embarrassed at smiling for pictures and cover their mouths when laughing. Some people are labeled as unfriendly because they don’t smile much, when it’s really because they are self-conscious about their teeth. This can even be a career impediment for people who are so self-conscious that it’s difficult to interview for a job, even if they’re highly educated and qualified. We’ve worked with grandparents who don’t want to smile at their grandchildren because they’re scared of bad impressions with the people they love so much. Getting veneers can be life-changing for many individuals. It is our privilege at Atlanta Dental Spa to be involved with thousands of these dramatic life-changing smile makeovers!
Veneers are a conservative treatment and can improve the color, shape, symmetry, and overall appearance of your smile. They’re not just for elective purposes, either. While they are the “gold standard” forgiving you a gorgeous smile, they’re also used to replace old mercury fillings, fix cracked and broken teeth, and to replace enamel that has been worn down over time. Just as many patients come to Atlanta Dental Spa for fixing unhealthy teeth as for cosmetic reasons. Our doctors have so much skill and experience with porcelain veneers that our patients get their teeth fixed AND get a major smile improvement!
The benefits of having a perfect smile are limitless. Atlanta Dental Spa patients who have had veneers done in the past proclaim, "Wow, I wish I’d had done this sooner in my life," or, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe the difference!" The benefits are huge.
Think about how many times a day you smile and speak to people all day long. What are they seeing first? Your smile. The vision that you give to people in your day-to-day could be quite different.
The Porcelain Veneer Process
Step 1 The Interview & Consultation
The first step in the porcelain veneer process is for you to come in for a consultation and discuss your options. This is your chance to interview us! We’ll take digital images of your teeth and smile, and we’ll talk about your objectives, whether it’s closing spaces, straightening, whitening, etc. Your pictures are displayed in a private environment on a high-def LCD display.
Our dentists are experienced listeners, they will spend time with you looking at your photographs and listening to what you have to say about your smile. This is where artistry comes into play. We’ll show you pictures of amazing smiles to see what appeals to you and we’ll offer guidance for which smile might best match the shape and contours of your face. You’ll see hundreds of examples of our own cosmetic dentistry work.
Our entire team is dedicated to understanding what you are looking for, rather than dictating to you what they want you to have. We offer custom treatment plans for just two porcelain veneers, to plans for full-mouth recovery/restoration of 28 teeth. You’ll receive a personalized treatment plan for best achieving your goals and we’ll walk you through the details. By the time this appointment is finished our doctors will have created a formula that will give you EXACTLY the smile you want, and more than you could even imagine!
Step 2 Your Blueprint
Once we’ve established the cosmetic plan for your smile we make impressions (models) of your mouth and teeth. These are sent along with detailed “how to” instructions to a Master Ceramist. We choose the best ceramists in the country, based on your specific plan. We communicate with them every step of the way to give you the results you want. The ceramist will mount your models on a chewing simulator machine and place wax on the teeth to mimic what your veneers will look like. This “wax-up” blueprint ensures the restorations will function properly in your mouth. Atlanta Dental Spa is concerned not only about your smile looking fabulous, but we also want the results to be functionally long-lasting!
The wax-up serves two purposes: 1) It allows you and the doctor to preview the end result BEFORE we ever start working in your mouth, and 2) provides a template from which we will design your temporary veneers. The wax-up gives us a great starting point for forming your temporaries in the most conservative way possible. Your temporaries will look beautiful, and they allow you to “test drive” your new smile.
Step 3 The Preparation Appointment & Your Temporaries!
Following the wax-up we’re ready to proceed with the actual dental procedure. We’ll do any necessary contouring of the tooth, ensuring that we’re being as conservative as possible in our tooth reduction (link: http://atlantadentalspa.com/minimally-invasive-dentistry.html). We’ll numb and prepare your teeth to make models on which the actual veneers are made. The contouring will vary based on our wax-up blueprint.
We often do combination cases, where some teeth receive contouring and others are left untouched. For example, if we have a case with ten veneers there might be some teeth for which we do traditional veneer prepration and others we may be able to handle with a “no-prep” process. At Atlanta Dental Spa we don’t grind teeth down to numbs – OUCH! This approach is WAY TOO AGGRESSIVE. Being conservative with tooth reduction requires more skill from the dentists so we’re proud to be among the elite class who are dedicated to providng the BEST results for you.
After we have contoured your teeth we will fit you with the dental temporaries that have been created from your wax-up. The wax-up is your road map, and the temporaries are your test drive. You’re almost at the finish line! This test-drive gives you the opportunity to make any modifications needed, whether functional or cosmetic. We can make adjustments if they’re too long, too short, too round, etc. You’ll get to identify those changes as we move toward fabricating your permanent veneers with our master ceramist.
You’ll wear the temporaries for about three weeks, giving you ample time for alterations. Check out our informative videos below for more details about the process with temporaries.
4 Delivery: The “Seat” Appointment
The final step is the bonding and placement of your beautiful porcelain veneers. Congratulations, this is the big day! You will have been wearing your temporaries for a few weeks, test driving everything about them. At this seat appointment we remove the temporaries, try in the finished porcelain to make sure it is perfect and to make sure you LOVE the results. We then permanently bond in the porcelain restorations. We’ll equilibrate your bite, meaning we align all forces so you have perfectly natural movement. If needed, we’ll make impressions for a protective guard for night time wear. The process is now complete!
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
Another common question is, "How long do veneers last?" With proper home care and a bite guard they should last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Like most things we have in life, the better we take care of them, the longer they will last. This doesn't mean that you're limited in the foods you eat, like corn on the cob or biting into an apple. Veneers should be an enhancement to your day-to-day, not a limitation.
How Does Caring for Veneers Differ from My Normal Routine?
Porcelain veneers should look and feel as natural as your teeth. This means you can brush, floss, and eat all of the foods you love. Atlanta Dental Spa veneers will not stain nearly as quickly as your natural teeth did, and we have specialized polishing agents that your experienced aesthetic hygienists will use when you have your teeth cleaned. This will ensure that your porcelain veneers will remain as shiny and new as they were on the day they were bonded in place. Check out our recommendations for the best toothpastes (link: http://atlantadentalspa.com/best-toothpaste.html).
Are Veneers Painful?
Honestly? The answer is no, yes, or maybe. It seems like a convoluted answer, but the amount of pain varies considerably, based on the amount of reduction to the tooth. Old school dentists who cause a lot of destruction in the veneer process will cause quite a bit of pain.
At Atlanta Dental Spa, we pride ourselves on being as conservative as possible, most of the time staying within the enamel (outer surface) of the tooth. Believe it or not, the enamel, doesn’t have any triggers of sensitivity so our patients don’t complaint about sensitivity with their veneers or teeth. Being conservative benefits you on a whole lot of levels; your teeth don’t become sensitive, you're preserving all your natural enamel, etc.
Can I Whiten My Veneers?
Are Veneers Expensive? Will Insurance Cover the Cost of Veneers?
We understand cost is a big concern when it comes to veneers. Typically, veneers are not covered by insurance. Unfortunately, insurance is usually in place to only fix things that are broken or damaged. In many cases since veneers are cosmetic they aren’t covered. There is an exception when insurance can actually kick into play is when the tooth (or teeth) previously had a crown or large filling that is now faulty. We can replace it with the modern advantage of a porcelain veneer and it can be a component of redoing your whole smile.
The cost of a high-quality veneer at Atlanta Dental Spa is about $1500 per tooth. Sometimes this causes sticker shock, but you have to weigh out the inherent costs and benefits with choosing a provider who is dedicated to healthy, safe, beneficial, and cosmetically beautiful procedures. With cosmetic dentistry you absolutely get what you pay for. It’s not unheard of to see people hocking $800 veneers, and it’s unfortunate how many times we’ve had to remove those cheap veneers because they’re uncomfortable, not cosmetically pleasing, or just downright unhealthy.
Atlanta Dental Spa is committed to providing you with the absolute best in cosmetic dentistry. Give us a call, come in for a consultation, or set up a virtual consultation, and we’ll be happy to talk to you about the opportunities for your smile!