Stunning Solutions for Your Smile with Porcelain Veneers

Broadly smiling woman with wavy brown hairDr. Nathaniel Podilsky provides porcelain veneers at his Edmonton, Alberta office. By definition, a veneer is a restorative material placed over the surface of a tooth.  They are generally done to protect a damaged tooth surface (fractures) or to improve the aesthetics of a tooth. 

The two most commonly used restorative materials to fabricate a veneer is plastic (composite) and dental porcelain.  A composite veneer is done in one appointment where the composite is directly placed on the tooth.  The porcelain veneer is fabricated by a dental technician usually in a dental lab.  As a result the porcelain veneer usually takes more than one visit.  To learn more about how you can benefit from porcelain veneers, contact our Edmonton, Alberta practice.

Porcelain Veneers Patient Edmonton, Alberta

Using a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments, including porcelain veneers and gum reshaping, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky is able to positively transform the appearance of patient smiles. These procedures restore health and beauty to the teeth, preventing the need for more invasive procedures. Contact our practice today to learn more.

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Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can mask a fractured single tooth, discolored tooth, multiple misaligned teeth,  teeth that are not uniform in size or shape, and patients whose orthodontic treatment has relapsed. Veneers are durable, the look natural, resist staining and generally make your smile look great.

The Porcelain Veneers Procedure

The first appointment is the initial examination.  This complete oral examination includes a visual examination of the gums, teeth, bite (occlusion) and smile line.  The medical health of the patient is reviewed.  Blood Pressure and Cancer checks are performed.  Radiographs (x-rays) are taken of all the teeth and of the teeth that are going to be veneered.  A full set of digital photographs are taken (the twelve photos recommended by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry).  These photos allow improved communication between Dr. Podilsky, the patient and the lab.  Moulds of the patient’s teeth are then taken and poured up in dental stone.

The second appointment or consultation appointment involves a smile analysis, choosing the smile with the patient from the Las Vegas Institute of Cosmetic Dentistry smile catalogue.  A discussion of the patient’s expectations of the final outcome is documented.  The photos, instructions to the lab and the models are then sent to the lab for a “wax up” of the smile that was chosen by Dr. Podilsky in consultation with the Patient.  Often this appointment can be completed on the first visit if the patient is travelling from a far distance.   

The patient is then seen after ten days for the preparation appointment. The lab requires this time to make the wax up of the new improved patient’s smile.  The enamel on the front side of the tooth, the side where the porcelain veneer will be bonded, must be trimmed back or adjusted.  Usually the amount of tooth prepared is in the order of .5 to .7millimeters.  This amount is usually the thickness of the new porcelain veneer and can be compared to the thickness of a chicken egg’s shell.  This is a small amount compared to most dental procedures.  This preparation appointment usually requires some local anesthetic or freezing.  Once the teeth to be veneered are prepared a copy of your teeth or an impression is taken.  A “stick bite” is also taken to allow the lab to properly orient your smile line to your facial profile.   Dr. Podilsky always makes temporaries to cover the prepared teeth.  This is an important step and is done for two reasons.  Firstly, the temporaries will protect the vital teeth from sensitivity.  Secondly, and most importantly, the temporaries allow Dr. Podilsky, the patient, friends and family of the patient and the staff to evaluate the smile.  This gives the patient the opportunity to “test drive” their porcelain veneer-adorned smile outside our Edmonton, Alberta practice.

Dr. Podilsky then sees the patient in 24 to 48 hours to evaluate the smile when the patient is not frozen.  This communication and consultation process allows the patient to express their desires and wants.  The bite is verified and adjusted.  Photos and impressions are taken so that the lab can duplicate the desired smile.  Color is discussed and chosen by both the patient and Dr. Podilsky.  All information is communicated to the lab about the size, shape, smile design chosen, length and color of the final porcelain veneers. 

The patient usually returns in a week to ten days for the final insertion appointment.  At this appointment the temporary veneers are removed after local anesthetic is applied.  The teeth are thoroughly cleaned with an antibacterial rinse.  The porcelain veneers are tried to fit, shape, length and color.  The veneers are then placed on the teeth with “try-in paste” to allow the patient to approve their new smile.  The porcelain veneers are then cleaned and re-etched.   After the placement of a rubber dam, the teeth are etched for 10 to 15 seconds.  The teeth are washed, a desensitizing solution is placed and opti-bond solo plus is then added to the teeth.  This is light cured.  Each veneer is then tacked into place with a dual cure resin.  After all the veneers are in place, excess bond is removed with floss, the veneers undergo a full cure.  The rubber dam is removed, excess cement is further removed and the bite or occlusion is then checked.

Dr. Podilsky then sees the patient for a post insertion appointment in 24 to 48 hours to double check the bite and to take impressions for a complimentary night guard.  This night guard protects the veneers from the severe forces of clenchers and grinders (bruxism).

Procedure Results

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Porcelain Veneer Candidates

Patients with good dental health are good candidates for porcelain veneers.  Individuals that are not ideal candidates are those that have extensive decay, advanced to moderate gum disease, very severe misalignment of teeth or individuals with major cracks in their existing teeth due to excessive parafuntional habits such as grinding.

Patients who are able to adjust to change are also good candidates.  Patients should be aware that there is an adjustment period to a new smile, which may include an adjustment to eating and speaking.

An ideal porcelain veneer candidate is aware of all the risks and benefits of porcelain veneers and is also aware of risks and benefits of all other options.  These other options can include braces, invisalign, dental bonding and teeth whitening.  To learn more about whether you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers, contact our practice in Edmonton, Alberta today.

Caring for Porcelain Veneers

Like natural teeth, porcelain veneers require regular maintenance.  Daily flossing and brushing is critical.  Avoid tooth pastes that are abrasive or that contain substances like baking soda.  These tooth pastes will remove the shine from your new porcelain veneers.  Proper dental hygiene will protect the natural teeth beneath the veneers from gum disease and tooth decay.  Cavities can still occur on your natural teeth (not on your veneers).  This is why regular dental check-ups is a requirement. 

There are certain habits that should be avoided.  People that have porcelain veneers should not bite their fingernails, grind their teeth or chew on hard items like bones or ice.  Your veneers will not chip or wear down if you avoid these habits.

Avoid certain substances that can stain your natural surrounding teeth.  These substances include but are not limited to tea, smoking, red wine, coffee and various medications.  If your surrounding teeth discolor then there will be a noticeable difference between your natural teeth and your porcelain veneers. 

Returning to aesthetic Dentacare is important for your regular maintenance.  Vibratory instruments such as cavitrons should be avoided at the dentist.  Coarse polishing prophy pastes can remove the porcelain shine.  Also avoid certain fluorides that are acidic that can deteriorate the shine on the porcelain.  Wear your night guard to protect your investment, and wear your sports guard if you are active in sports or live an active lifestyle.

Risks of Porcelain Veneers

All dental treatments have their risks.  There is no doubt that porcelain veneers have numerous benefits that makes them the usual treatment of choice in aesthetic dentistry.   This is an irreversible process and porcelain veneers may need to be replaced. Porcelain veneers can chip or come off.  This is rare and often just requires the veneer to be rebounded to the tooth in question.

Porcelain veneers may cause tooth sensitivity.  This is rare if bonding is completed properly.  Some patients experience minor sensitivity to temperatures for a couple of days to a week after the placement of veneers.To minimize your risk, find a dentist with numerous years of experience in placing porcelain veneers. 

Dr. Podilsky has been passionate about cosmetic dentistry since the late 80’s.  He has 32 years experience in dentistry and has been consistently doing veneers and full smile designs over fourteen years.  Dr.  Podilsky’s experience has been nothing but positive with porcelain veneers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Porcelain Veneers

What is a Porcelain Veneer?

  • By definition a veneer is a restorative material placed over the surface of a tooth. They are generally done to protect a damaged tooth surface (fractures) or to improve the aesthetics of a tooth. The two most commonly used restorative materials used to fabricate a veneer is plastic ( composite) and dental porcelain. A composite veneer is done in one appointment where the composite is directly placed on the tooth. The porcelain veneer is fabricated by a dental technician usually in a dental lab. As a result the porcelain veneer usually takes more than one visit.
  • Both types of veneers are then bonded to the tooth surface using resin cement. Porcelain veneers are said to be more durable and less likely to stain than composite veneers.

A more recent type of porcelain veneers is "Lumineers". These veneers require less tooth preparation but patient selection is very important otherwise they can look unnatural.

What is the history of porcelain veneers?

Charles Pincus, a California dentist invented the veneer.  They were used in the acting business (Hollywood) and were cemented by denture adhesive.  At the time they did not last very long.  In 1982 Simonsen and Calamia, in their research, revealed that porcelain could be etched with hydrofluoric acid and this increased the bond strengths between the composite resins and the porcelain.

Today the cements have improved and the bonding agents have improved.  Typically porcelain veneers will last 10 to 30 years.  Dr. Podilsky has extensive experience placing veneers, having placed his first porcelain veneer back in 1984. 

How long do Porcelain veneers last?

Nobody really knows.  Dr. Podilsky placed his first veneer in 1984 when few dentists placed veneers.  They will most likely need to be replaced in the future.  Statistics indicates a survival rate of 10 to 30 years.

What are the complications of porcelain veneers?

Some complications can include chipping and the veneers coming off, however, these are rare and not a common occurrence.

How long does the process take?

The general process takes 4 to 6 weeks depending on your time, the lab’s time and Dr. Podilsky’s time.  This can be reduced if special arrangements are made with Dr. Podilsky or if a special occasion such as a wedding is looming. 

Do I need to go without teeth and therefore have to take time off of work?

Dr. Podilsky always makes temporaries that often look better than the patient’s original smile.  Patients do not have to take time off of work while they wait for the final veneers to be fabricated.  Patients often return to work the same day after their appointments. 

How many teeth should I do?

This depends on how much you want to compromise your smile.  The more teeth you do in your smile line the less you have to compromise in size, shape, length, color, design or position.  Upper teeth are the only teeth that are seen on the maximum smile 90% of the time.  As a result, 90% of the cases are done on upper teeth.

What is your experience with Porcelain veneers?

Dr. Podilsky has been passionate about cosmetic dentistry since the late 80’s.  He has 32 years experience in dentistry and has been consistently doing veneers and full smile designs over fourteen years.  Dr.  Podilsky’s experience has been nothing but positive with porcelain veneers.

What are the differences between Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns?

Porcelain Veneers are more conservative with little tooth removal.  Porcelain crowns or any crown requires more tooth removal.  Crowns are indicated when there is very little tooth structure left, endodontically treated teeth or when all the teeth need to be crown to alter the bite or occlusion.

What is the cost of Porcelain Veneers

Costs vary depending on the type of materials used and the lab that fabricates the final product. There are different types of veneers on the market, including Lumineers and da Vinci Veneers. The best porcelain from an esthetic point of view is Empress by Ivoclar. IPS Empress pressed ceramic system has satisfied over 25 million restoration patients all over the world. Empress Veneers take aesthetic and durability into consideration. 

Costs vary on the number of teeth treated. Obviously, the more teeth treated the greater the costs. A full set of Porcelain Veneers may cost from $10,000 to $15,000. Costs vary on the experience of the dentist and the dentist's time. Dr. Podilsky has 32 years of experience practicing in Alberta.

If you have more questions regarding porcelain veneers, contact our Edmonton, Alberta practice today to schedule an appointment.

Veneers/Invisalign®

Veneers/Invisalign® can transform a crooked and uneven smile to a straight, even and white smile in three to four visits without the use of braces.  Traditionally braces or orthodontics was the only way to straighten crooked teeth.  Now we have the option of “Instant Orthodontics” with the artistic application of porcelain veneers.  Porcelain veneers restore teeth to their natural beauty that is enduring, white, bright and straight. 

Braces can take 2 to 3 years to straighten your teeth.  Braces do not brighten, whiten or alter the shapes of your teeth so often even after the teeth are straightened individuals need porcelain veneers anyways to whiten and alter the shapes of their teeth. 

Veneers/Invisalign® really does give you a whiter, brighter smile which is usually not achieved with either Orthodontics, brushing or bleaching. 

If you are considering porcelain veneers in Edmonton, call Dr. Podilsky for a free consultation.

Costs for Veneers/Invisalign® are close to the cost for Orthodontics but less time is required.

A good candidate for Veneers/Invisalign® would be a person that has uneven, crooked teeth, a person with gaps, an embarrassing smile and a person that dislikes the appearance of their smile.  Most commonly they are individuals that have already had orthodontic treatment as a teenager by do not like the shape or appearance of their teeth. 

To learn more about how you can benefit from porcelain veneers, contact our Edmonton, Alberta practice today.