What is a Porcelain Veneer?
Porcelain veneer or if more than one, porcelain veneers, are thin ceramics that are bonded onto the surface of your teeth to improve the shape, harmony and colour of teeth. Porcelain veneers are also sometimes called ceramic veneers, or front teeth veneers. With good care, porcelain or ceramic veneers can last from a range of between 10-30 years and can be replaced with minimal damage to your natural teeth.
Given its minimally invasive nature, a porcelain veneer may be the solution for you if you are thinking of having a more balanced, brighter, or simply a different smile. Furthermore, even though they may look very delicate, they are extremely resistant when bonded to enamel which is the outer layer of your teeth.
A Smile Makeover procedure is a broad term used to describe a set of dental procedures to significantly improve one’s smile. It is a highly customised treatment plan unique to each individual which restores not only beauty, but also health and function of the teeth. That way, we are able to build smiles that are long lasting and beautiful throughout the years.
A beautiful smile is made of not just straight or white teeth. our philosophy is that a beautiful smile is one that is in harmony with the rest of the face shape and lips. Apart from beauty, it should be functional so that you feel at ease when eating and when speaking.
To achieve this, we measure the proportions of your face and correlate it with your teeth. For natural aesthetics, all our dental work is made in house piece by piece by skilled technicians. As we want our work to last as long as possible, we use quality materials that have undergone rigorous testing and research to prove their strength and durability.
Our dentists keep themselves up to date with international techniques that are effective and comfortable for you.
We use a specialised Carl Zeiss microscope with magnification of up to 15 times for precision work
Facially-Driven Digital Smile Design
Observing nature; design based on the golden proportions to produce a smile that perfectly suits your face shape and personality.
Fully Digital Workflow
3D Scanning of your teeth = No Dental Moulds. Dental moulds are a part of traditional dentistry and are uncomfortable. We use digital scans instead which are fast, comfortable and more accurate.
Our in-house lab and dedicated ceramist allows us to match your time schedule, even if you are travelling from overseas.
All steps are under full control. Unlike traditional dental laboratories, which are made off-site, we make all our ceramic veneers in house to ensure full quality control.
Instead of the stock standard sterotypical look, we will impart natural designs, from nature’s unlimited library of beauty.
Through the use of high-quality, genuine materials including high grade ceramics and methodology.
Each porcelain veneer is designed individually, hand stained, polished and finished and inspected to ensure quality before giving it to our patients.
Prototyping for satisfaction
You will receive a final prototype on the teeth before we bond the actual ceramic veneers. This ensures that you are absolutely happy with your new look before moving forward.
Our Ceramics – Beauty. From Nature
Hand selected by us, we utilise pure ceramics, fabricated from natural high-purity feldspar found in Norway and Sweden. These ceramics have a natural fluorescence and inner glow, and beautiful value, just like the one we find in young teeth.
Our Ceramics – Strength. With Science
One of the most frequently asked questions about ceramic veneers are its strength and durability. No doubt, this is a legitimate question as these front teeth veneers can be as thin as 0.1mm (although they usually range between 0.3 to 0.5mm). Furthermore, ceramic is a brittle material. How is it possible that ceramic veneers can last up to 30 years without any problems?
To understand this, we first must understand the building blocks of natural teeth.
1. Enamel – the outer layer of your teeth. It is the toughest tissue in the human body but also very brittle and similar to ceramics.
2. Dentine – the inner part of your teeth which is more flexible and acts like a shock absorber.
When we bond front teeth veneers onto your enamel, we are able to take on the mechanical property of your enamel and dentine. Therefore, when combined together, the resulting tooth has the toughness to cut and chew while having the flexibility to absorb shocks and biting forces.
A simple example to understand this phenomenon would be the glass panel analogue. If we drop a 5kg bowling ball onto a glass panel that is unsupported, it would most likely shatter and break. However, if we glued this glass panel onto the floor and use the same bowling ball, it will not likely break. This is because, similar to the porcelain veneers, the glass panel takes on the strength and flexibility of what they have been glued on.
SMILE MAKEOVER X PORCELAIN VENEERS X DENTAL DESIGNS CLINIC
How Do We Create a Brand New Smile?
Creation of each unique smile requires a complex coordination between the dentist and our in house laboratory
with the dentist
1. The Smile Consultation
Your smile is something that defines you. Therefore, it is vital that we create a smile that belongs to you and that you are proud of.
Regardless of the number of dental porcelains veneers done, it is important to first spend a significant amount of time to discuss your concerns and expectations. Similar to an architect, we are only able to design your smile when we fully understand your needs and specifications.
After an extensive discussion, we will then perform a comprehensive smile examination. This includes taking x-rays and photographs of your teeth as well as digital 3D scans. This creates a full “picture” of your dental condition, which will be used as a framework for your front teeth veneer or smile makeover.
Using the information that we have gathered, we will create a virtual framework of what will be your future smile. The size, volume and shape of your teeth should in accordance with your facial profile, and most of all, it should be unique and represents you.
in the dental laboratory
LAB: Digital Smile Design
Digital Smile design is a tool we use on a daily basis to determine the planned architecture of your smile makeover. The review of photos and videos compiled for your case will provide our smile designers with a better understanding of the intertwining relationship between your teeth, gums, lips and smile. Think of it like an orchestra playing a musical set piece, every aspect and components need to work in harmony so that we can create something beautiful.
with the dentist
2. Dentist: Smile Trial
Here at Dental Designs, we believe the smile is the key to human expression. We believe that any smile starts with an inner emotion, a state of joy, that is expressed on our faces as a smile.
We understand that the initial steps to this journey of regaining your smile can be a daunting one. Daunting because it is a journey to the unknown. “Is it worth the effort?” or “Will I look worse than I started?” are valid questions that we always hear.
Therefore, we created “Trial Smile” – so that you can directly see how the final outcome can be, before we start any treatment. This non-invasive procedure requires no drilling and damage to your teeth. Most of all, there are no obligations to having this procedure done.
with the dentist
3. Preparation of Teeth
Once we have decided on the final shape of your front teeth veneers, it is time to start! To allow the ceramic veneers to blend in well with your tooth, we may polish off approximately 0.5mm of the surface of the tooth. This surface will subsequently be covered with the front teeth veneers. All our veneers are done with our philosophy of minimum intervention – that means, we will only prepare or remove only what is necessary on the tooth in order to achieve a good result, so as to preserve the most of your tooth structure.
After the preparation has been done, we use a 3D scanner (CEREC) to create a 3D model of your teeth, instead of the usual dental molds which are messy and gag-inducing. 3D models are more accurate and allow us to start work on creating the porcelain veneers immediately. This allows us to significantly shorten your appointment times and waiting time between visits.
No Prep Veneers: In certain circumstances, we might not need to perform any tooth surface removal to do the ceramic veneer. In such cases, we are able to produce “prepless” or “no prep” veneers which allow the porcelain work to be bonded directly onto your teeth. This is a technically difficult procedure that is non-invasive and requires no anaesthesia. In terms of success rate, they are no different from regular dental front teeth veneers, and therefore share similar aesthetic properties and longevity.
However, not all dental veneers can be “prepless”. They are only indicated only in specific cases where the finalised smile design requires us to add volume to your existing teeth (small teeth, teeth with spaces and in some post-orthodontic treatments ). In many cases, dental veneers can be used in conjunction with no prep veneers, depending on the design of the future smile.
with the dentist
4. Smile Prototype
To ensure that your new smile suits you, it is vital that we test-run your smile and have your approval first before moving on to the permanent dental veneers.
Hence, after the preparation phase, we will be making a temporary set of front teeth veneers that will allow you to try on your new smile. We will then see you back in a week’s time to receive your feedback. If you are satisfied with your new smile or require minor adjustments to it, we can move forwards to bonding the permanent ceramic veneers! However, if your smile prototype requires major changes, we might make another set of temporary front teeth veneers for you to try on.
in the dental laboratory
LAB: Final Detailing of Design, 3D Printing and CAD/CAM Milling
Upon your approval, we will now embark on creating your permanent ceramic veneers! Using our CEREC technology and your smile prototype as a reference, we will finalise the design of your smile. Using a strict protocol, we ensure that the bite and contact areas between your teeth are fine-tuned so that you have no problems with chewing and food getting stuck between your teeth.
To ensure strength and resistance, we mill our dental veneers from a single block of feldspar using milling strategy that reduces cracks and micro-fractures. In addition, we will be 3D printing your actual teeth so that we can check the fit of your dental veneers under microscope. The gap between the porcelain and your natural teeth should be less than 80um which is not visible to the naked eye.
in the dental laboratory
LAB: Hand Finishing of the Crown -Layering, Staining and Polishing
To bring life to our dental veneers, our dedicated dental lab technician adds her artistic touches to them, introducing characterisations, textures and colours while respecting Mother Nature and her nuances. The dentist and technician need to know the delicate anatomy of teeth at the back of their hands to produce something that looks natural and beautiful.
Once we are satisfied, we then place the porcelain work into the porcelain furnace that goes up to 850°C for a pre-determined amount of time. This embeds the colours onto the ceramic and glazes the ceramic veneers, while further strengthening it.
with the dentist
5. Bonding of Porcelain Veneers
You are almost there! Your permanent front teeth veneers are now ready for bonding! We will give them a try in first and make sure you are satisfied before bonding them in place. This is the last approval that we need before we commence our bonding protocol.
During our bonding procedure, we will try our maximise our bond strengths between your porcelain veneer and your natural teeth. This ensures that your dental veneers last for the longest amount of time. Care is taken to minimise contamination from moisture and plaque. Our bonding materials are regularly checked and need to display long term success indicating good adhesion and colour stability before we use them in our clinic.
Once the bonding process has been complete, welcome to your new smile! To celebrate your new smile, we take a set of professional studio photos to showcase the new you, so dress up! Your dentist will be giving you some instructions on caring for your porcelain veneers. See you at the review appointment!
6. Review Check
with the dentist
We’ll see you in about a week after completion of the treatment to check on how you are doing. To be precise, we will check your bite, the stability of the porcelain veneer and ensure that you are comfortable with your new smile.
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Ceramic Veneer/Bridge/Ceramic Filling/Crown Warranty
Well established for more than 30 years, with >250 scientific studies confirming the clinical safety of tried and tested CEREC tooth restorations. Worldwide, more than 30 million tooth restorations have been produced with CEREC.
1. Why do I need a porcelain veneer?
The primary purpose of a porcelain veneer is to cover or protect a damaged tooth. So, if you have had a root canal or a very big cavity, your dentist may suggest a dental porcelain veneer to protect the remaining tooth structure. You may also need a porcelain veneer as a part of a dental bridge or with dental implants.
2. What is involved in a dental porcelain veneer procedure?
Dental porcelain veneer procedures will vary depending on your individual case, however we will provide a general overview of what to expect. Before commencing any preparation work for your porcelain veneer, the dentist will perform an initial examination of your tooth and overall mouth, which may include taking x-rays. If there is extensive decay found in the tooth, or a risk of infection is diagnosed, you may require other treatment first. Alternatively, if there is not enough natural tooth structure left to securely hold the porcelain veneer in place, you may need a core, or a post-and-core to be placed first to create a foundation to support the overlying porcelain veneer. Your dentist can discuss with you if you need any additional procedures.
3. What types of dental treatment are available for front teeth?
We see some patients that have crowns that cover the front teeth. These may have been done due to a tooth fracture or previous root canal treatment. There are different types of crowns, which will affect the appearance.
Metal Containing Crowns
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns need the most amount of tooth to be trimmed away as they have 2 layers: a metal interior and a porcelain layer over the surface to have a more tooth like colour. However, a perfect match to natural teeth usually cannot be achieved as these crowns appear more opaque to cover the dark metal inside. As it is a thin layered porcelain, it is weak and the surface porcelain tends to chip or wear off over time, exposing the internal metal portion. The metal underlying the porcelain veneer’s porcelain can also show through as an unsightly dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a used for front or back teeth and are typically cheaper. The gums surrounding the metal portion may also become more inflamed and bleed easily due to slight metal allergies.
Metal Free Crowns
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns are made from high strength ceramic, typically in a single homogenous layer. As they can be bonded permanently to the tooth, less tooth structure need to be trimmed to place the ceramic crowns. Ceramic crowns provide the best natural colour match than any other porcelain veneer type and are hypoallergenic. They are technically difficult for the dentist to do and hence have a higher cost. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth and back teeth.
- Zirconia dental crowns are made out of zirconium oxide, which is a very strong white silicate material used in many medical prostheses such as for the hip or ear. They are extremely high strength and are come in 2 types – solid zirconia and high translucent zirconia. Solid zirconia has a more opaque white appearance and is good for back teeth which undergoes high stresses. High translucent zirconia can be used where a more natural tooth aesthetic is desired.
If you have existing crowns on the front teeth, we will assess them and also find out if you are happy with their appearance, or if you desire a more harmonious or natural appearance, you may choose to replace them when you are doing the front teeth veneers.
4. How long do dental veneers last?
Dental veneers can last up to 20 or more years. The life span of a porcelain veneer depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the porcelain veneer is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits which put excessive forces on your teeth, such as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open objects such as beer caps, or packaging).
5. Does a tooth with a ceramic veneer require special care?
While a veneer tooth does not require any special care, remember that the underlying tooth is still your natural tooth and is still subject to decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day and make sure there is no food stuck between the teeth.
6. What Problems Could Develop With a Dental Veneer?
- Discomfort or sensitivity. you may experience some heat and cold sensitivity on your newly veneered tooth immediately after the procedure as the anaesthesia begins to wear off if the tooth that has a dental veneer still has a nerve in it. Your dentist may recommend that you brush teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. This sensitivity is usually temporary and will go away in a few day. Persistent soreness or sensitivity that occurs when you bite down could mean that the porcelain veneer is slightly too thick and is hitting the opposing tooth in some positions, and this needs to be highlighted to your dentist who can fix it.
- Chipped porcelain veneer. If the tooth has some trauma such as a sharp knock, or if it undergoes constant excessive forces, it can chip. If the chip is small, a composite resin can be used to repair the chip with the porcelain veneer remaining in your mouth. This is usually just a temporary fix. If the chipping is extensive, the porcelain veneer may need to be replaced.
- Loose porcelain veneer. Sometimes the cement washes out from under the porcelain veneer. Not only does this allow the por|celain veneer to become loose, it allows bacteria to leak in and cause decay to the tooth internally. If a porcelain veneer feels loose, contact your dentist’s office.
- Veneer falling off. Sometimes veneers fall off. Reasons include decaying of the underlying tooth and loosening of the cementing material used to place the porcelain veneer. If your porcelain veneer comes off, contact your dentist’s office immediately. He or she will give you specific instructions on how to care for the tooth and porcelain veneer for the day or so until you can be seen for an evaluation. Your dentist may be able to re-cement the porcelain veneer in place; if not, a new porcelain veneer will need to be made.
7. Is There a Difference Between the Veneer and a Real Tooth?
The dental porcelain veneer will never stain or change color unlike natural teeth.
8. What are the Alternatives to Porcelain Veneers?
The purpose of the porcelain veneer is to change the appearance of the tooth by covering it, and it has to be made of strong enough materials to serve its purpose. Some people may think about using a normal filling material to directly place a large filling over the surface of the tooth. This may work in the short term, but as the normal filling material is not rigid enough to hold the tooth together, cracks will continue to progress and the filling will break. The tooth will still need to be prepared or drilled again to fit a dental porcelain veneer, causing more issues.
Porcelain veneers is often done in combination of braces and teeth whitening for the front teeth to achieve a comprehensive treatment by changing the shape of the teeth as well as ensuring your bite is optimal so that you can maintain a beautiful and healthy set of teeth.
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