The procedure for porcelain veneers in San Francisco
Dental veneers are extremely thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are used to cover the visible surfaces of your teeth to correct cosmetic issues. Gaps between teeth, uneven alignment, chips, cracks, worn enamel, and discoloration can be covered beautifully with porcelain veneers. In many cases, veneers may be the only treatment needed for a complete smile makeover.
Porcelain mimics tooth enamel better than any other dental material, and can result in stunning restorations. Veneers resist stains and acids better than natural teeth; they rarely discolor unless there has been surface damage. Porcelain is harder than tooth enamel, so it is wear resistant, and can last many years when given appropriate care.
Prior to porcelain veneer placement it is recommended the patient have their teeth professionally cleaned, and then whitened. Porcelain does not respond to bleaching agents, therefore the veneers would be darker than the remaining teeth if whitening were performed after veneer placement. If all teeth that are visible in the smile are being treated with porcelain veneers, whitening may not be necessary, but would help the lower teeth better match the overall smile if veneers are placed only on the upper teeth.
Porcelain veneers require a minimal amount of tooth reduction, so they are not considered a reversible treatment. However, they produce a strong, trouble free, aesthetic, and durable conservative restoration. Getting porcelain veneers usually requires three dental visits, the first for the consultation, the second for preparation, and the third for placement.
- Consultation – During the first visit, the patient’s concerns and goals are discussed and their questions are answered. The doctor performs an examination to evaluate the patient’s oral health and to determine that veneers are the appropriate treatment.
- Preparation – During this visit, the shade of the veneers is chosen, the dentist prepares the teeth, impressions are taken, and all necessary information is sent to the laboratory where the veneers will be made. Temporary resin veneers may be placed on the prepared teeth, if necessary.
- Placement – In about two weeks, when the veneers are received from the lab, the patient returns for placement. If used, the temporary resin veneers are removed and the porcelain shells are temporarily placed on the teeth to examine them for appearance and fit. If any adjustments are needed, the doctor hand sculpts them for a precision fit. The color can be altered if necessary with the shade of the cement to be used. The special cement is applied and when the veneer position is perfect, a curing light is used to harden it. The veneers are buffed to a lustrous glow, and the beautiful smile is complete.
San Francisco residents call 415-881-4343 to schedule an appointment, or use the form at the side of this page. Dr. Leo Arellano is well known for the quality and beauty of his work with porcelain veneers.