Dental Veneers Q & A

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Questions a dentist would ask about Cosmetic Veneers.

How do I know what my final result will look like?

This is an important question because it allows you know what type of preparation your doctor is going to do for your case. A patient who is planning multiple laminates should have a set of diagnostic models made of their mouth. Using this, and information from the patient about what they desire their teeth to look like, the dentist will have a wax-up of the proposed treatment fabricated. This is a mock-up in wax on the models of the patient’s mouth. The doctor can show you this so that you can see what he is proposing. In some cases the doctor can easily transfer this to your mouth in its current state with a simple plastic shell that is filled with a quick setting tooth colored material. After the patient has had a chance to review the proposed result, the material is easily removed.

What if I don’t like the look of my laminates after they are done?

Laminates can be seen in the mouth by the patient before they are permanently bonded to the teeth. If a correction is required, it may need to be done by the laboratory technician. Dr. Cohen works closely with his on-site dental technician to insure that minute corrections are done immediately so that patients don’t have to have multiple visits. Additionally, very small corrections of color and shape that are done in the laboratory can give the laminates that extra something special that make them look like vital, natural teeth.

My doctor is suggesting that I do many laminates on my front teeth. Do I really need to do so many?

The decision on how many teeth should be included for your smile make-over is very personal and should be done in an honest manner while consulting with your dentist. Patients who have only one or two teeth that are esthetically unpleasing should not necessarily be forced into having all of their front teeth laminated. Often it is presented that only by doing all the front teeth can a natural look be achieved. While it is certainly much easier to create a unified look, it is possible to match one or two laminates to the existing natural teeth. This decision should be made based on the patient’s oral health needs, personal aesthetics desires, and professional guidance from the dentist.

Will my veneers last a long time?

Porcelain laminate veneers have the potential to last a very long time. That said, patients should understand and doctors should diagnose why they need laminates in the first place. Is the reason for the laminates tooth discoloration from childhood tetracycline treatments? Or, is the reason that the patient grinds on their front teeth and has worn the edges flat. Maybe the front teeth are broken from using the teeth as tools! Whatever the reasons for the veneers, the etiology for the displeasing tooth should be diagnosed. Based on this, your doctor will be able to tell you more accurately how long your veneers may last. A person who grinds heavily on their front teeth and has broken them easily could expect that their laminates may break in time too. Yes, there may be strategies to deal with this, but this must be planned from the beginning. And, patients should understand that doctors cannot always diagnose all of these things from the beginning.

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