Veneers in Simi Valley, CA
No one has perfect teeth. We all have some imperfections, such as a chip or small crack, deep staining, or even a gap between a couple teeth. Changing these cosmetic problems with crowns or orthodontics can be quite involved. But Dr. Bankhardt places porcelain veneers to cover the flaws and show the world a perfect, brilliant smile.
What are porcelain veneers?
You can think of porcelain veneers as serving a similar function to veneers used on furniture, where a thin layer of higher quality wood covers lower quality wood used in the majority of the piece’s construction. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells placed onto the front surfaces of your natural teeth to alter the tooth position, shape, size, and color. Veneers provide an aesthetic solution to various tooth imperfections that would take time to correct with procedures such as placing crowns on teeth or moving them with orthodontics.
What problems can be addressed with porcelain veneers?
When considering veneers, a distinction needs to be made between a cosmetic issue and a more serious problem. Porcelain veneers are only a cosmetic solution, merely covering underlying aesthetic flaws with your teeth. Veneers don’t correct those problems; they simply cover them. But before Dr. Bankhardt can place veneers onto the front surfaces of your teeth, any underlying serious problems, such as decay, deep cracks, and the like, need to be rectified. Also, if a patient has gum disease, this needs to be reversed prior to placing veneers.
Otherwise, veneers are the ultimate cover-up for these problems:
- Revitalizing the surface of a tooth
- Concealing chips
- Covering badly stained, discolored teeth
- Closing gaps between teeth
- Masking alignment problems
- Covering cracks or wear
- Providing an alternative to orthodontic work
Candidates for porcelain veneers
If you have cosmetic issues with your teeth, porcelain veneers are a great solution to completely remake the appearance of your smile. But, as mentioned above, they are only cosmetic fixes. For a patient to be a good candidate to have porcelain veneers placed, their teeth need to be in good overall health.
Also, candidates need to be aware that this is a lifetime commitment. To make room to apply veneers onto the front surfaces of the teeth, a small amount of the tooth enamel needs to be shaved down. This enamel is gone for good, so those teeth will need to be covered with veneers for the rest of your life. Once the set of veneers we place reaches its lifespan, you’ll need to have another set placed.
Porcelain veneer Procedure
The process of getting porcelain veneers with Dr. Bankhardt takes two appointments. During the first appointment your teeth are prepared for the veneers. To begin, we thoroughly clean your teeth. If the tooth enamel is stained we may recommend whitening first to get the teeth back to their original color. Next, Dr. Bankhardt uses a shade guide to determine the veneer color that is the best match to your natural tooth color. If he is covering all of your visible teeth, you may opt to have your veneer color be whiter than your natural tone.
Next, the teeth are prepared for the veneers. This involves shaving a tiny fraction (from 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm) of tooth enamel off the front of the teeth receiving veneers. This makes room for the veneers on the fronts of the teeth. Once we’ve shaved the enamel off we take impressions of your teeth and send them off to the dental lab for the fabrication of your veneers. This process takes about 2-3 weeks; in the interim we usually apply temporary veneers to your teeth.
When your custom-made porcelain veneers are delivered to our Simi Valley office, you return for a second appointment. Dr. Bankhardt first checks your veneers for color match and fit. If necessary, he shaves tiny bits off the veneers to make the perfect fit. Once both you and Dr. Bankhardt are satisfied, the veneers are permanently cemented onto your teeth and you’re finished.
Why is porcelain used for veneers?
Dr. Bankhardt only uses porcelain veneers in his Simi Valley practice. This is because dental porcelain closely resembles the appearance of natural tooth enamel. Dental porcelain is also very strong, hard, durable, and highly resistant to staining.
Does it hurt to get veneers?
The process of shaving off the enamel is the only part of the entire procedure that can be mildly sensitive, but most people don’t need anesthesia. Still, if you choose, a local anesthetic is available. The cementing process is absolutely painless. After placement, you will have some increased sensitivity to hot and cold due to the removal of the small portion of your enamel. This passes within a few days after your veneers are placed.
caring For Your porcelain veneers
Teeth with veneers don’t require any special care. Normal brushing and flossing are all that’s required. You shouldn’t use toothpaste that is overly abrasive, as it can scratch the veneers.
Beyond care, it’s wise to use some common sense with what you eat. Chewing bones or biting into candy apples can cause a veneer to dislodge. We can place the veneer back on your tooth, but a little caution with food choices isn’t a bad idea.
How long do veneers last?
Your porcelain veneers can last from seven to 20 years. The lifespan can be dictated by changes with the underlying teeth or surrounding gum tissue. Usually if a veneer happens to detach it can usually be re-bonded to the tooth.
You need to remember that having porcelain veneers is a lifetime arrangement, due to the need to remove the slight amount of enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. Because of this, once your veneers have reached their lifespan, you’ll need to have new veneers applied.