Dental veneers are the most customizable treatment of all those that fit within the world of the specialty of Dental Aesthetics.
Veneers help us to modify the appearance of teeth that are not to our liking due to their size, shape or color.
They allow to carry out a total change, without causing any pain in record time
For this reason, it is a treatment with high demand and very fast if we compare it with others of longer duration, such as orthodontics.
Within all aesthetic veneers, we identify two fundamental types: porcelain or ceramic and composite.
Although composite dental veneers are very frequently placed in dental clinics, in this article we want to focus on porcelain or ceramic veneers.
Therefore, we are going to give you all the details about what these types of dental veneers are, how they are manufactured and if they are better than composite veneers.
What are porcelain veneers and what are they for?
Ceramic or porcelain veneers are thin sheets made with the aforementioned material that are placed on the external face of the tooth and are intended to improve its appearance.
In this way, they perform dental rejuvenation and serve to modify aspects such as the shape, size, position or color of a person’s teeth.
In a very effective solution to correct teeth that are slightly crooked, but also other problems such as fractures or pieces that have worn or darkened over time.
Similarly, porcelain veneers are able to close small interdental spaces -diastemas-.
On which teeth are these veneers placed?
Due to their aesthetic function, they are only placed on teeth that are visible to the eyes of others.
Due to their customizable nature, they can be attached to a single tooth or several -both the upper and lower ones- according to the requirements of each person.
However, when we talk about porcelain dental veneers, it is not usual to place them on a single tooth.
This is due to the complexity of matching the exact tone of the adjacent pieces, especially if we are talking about the central incisors or blades.
In fact, the most frequent is that the expert in Dental Aesthetics places the veneers on four teeth: the central and lateral incisors of the upper arch.
Or, in other words, even the canine or tusk, precisely because these pieces are the most visible.
Types of porcelain veneers
There are three main classes of aesthetic ceramic veneers, distinguished by their characteristics and uses.
They are currently the best dental veneers on the market and, consequently, the ones we place the most among Ferrus & Bratos patients.
Their advantages over the rest are based on the fact that they are thinner and, at the same time, more resistant than the others.
Thanks to their very small thickness -similar to that of a contact lens-, they can be placed on many occasions without the need to carve the tooth and they achieve a very natural appearance.
For its part, resistance is obtained due to the material with which the veneers are made: injected porcelain.
The fabrication of the veneers is carried out in the dental laboratory manually rather than industrially, which gives it greater durability.
There are two main brands that market ultra-thin porcelain veneers: e.max and Lumineers.
It is these two that we use in our dental clinic, since they are suitable for practically any use.
Sado that have a lot of “renown”, there are patients who demand one of the two brands in particular.
Second, we find the zirconia veneers.
Unlike ultrafine, this type is only used in specific cases: when the person has a metal bolt that cannot be removed.
This pin is a piece that helps to fix a weakened tooth and without which it could fall out.
The manufacture of these veneers is achieved by mixing porcelain with zirconia, so their drawback is that they are too thick and opaque.
However, in the assumption that we have cited, it is the most advantageous option for the patient, because thanks to them the metal stud does not show through or affect aesthetics.
But due to the loss of naturalness, it is preferable not to place zirconia veneers if we are not facing this case.
Feldspathic veneers were in great demand several years ago and were the most widely used by dentists.
However, with advances in technique and increasingly realistic finishes, ultrafines have ended up displacing them because they are more resistant and aesthetic.
Is it necessary to carve the tooth to place the veneer?
We have previously advanced that tooth grinding is not always necessary, especially in the case of ultra-thin porcelain veneers.
It must be taken into account that whether or not to carve the tooth also depends on its position, but even if its volume had to be reduced, only a slight aesthetic contouring is sufficient.
This procedure consists of slightly filing the piece in cases where it is necessary to significantly modify aspects such as color or position.
From what we have just explained, if you want to know if a tooth should be carved in your specific case, it is essential to have the assessment of a specialized dentist.
I want to get veneers, but… does the process hurt?
No, porcelain veneers are painless, but there are certain steps during the placement process that can be uncomfortable.
For example, if tooth grinding is required, the person may feel some discomfort and mild pain.
But you should not worry, because the professional can resort to dental anesthesia at any time that the patient requests it.
Thanks to it, we achieve numbness and desensitization of the area to be treated so that the person does not have any discomfort.
This is how porcelain veneers are made
Unlike composite veneers, which in many cases are manufactured in the dental clinic itself, ceramics are made in the dental laboratory.
Each brand of porcelain veneers – e.max and Lumineers – follows its own manufacturing technique in the laboratory, but both have a few main steps.
An aesthetic analysis is essential to carry out the smile design, taking into account the features and measurements of the face.
Thanks to the images, the professional can study the facial and dental parameters of each person.
In addition, it allows you to evaluate the final result and appreciate the difference between the “before and” after “having placed the porcelain veneers.
Taking conventional molds, through a bucket with alginate, we can make the models on which the veneers are subsequently manufactured.
Each veneer is modeled in wax for testing on the patient.
Temporary veneers are tried on to give the person an idea of what their permanent teeth will look like and, if necessary, make adjustments.
In addition, these provisionals help you to adapt to change and know if you like it.
Once the patient has given the approval to the veneers after trying them, new impressions are taken.
Since they are final, they are made with silicone, which is a much more precise material and produces much less distortion than alginate.
Shipment of the models
The last impressions taken are sent to the laboratory so that the final veneers can be manufactured and can be placed on the patient.
Placing porcelain veneers
Once the laboratory has sent us the final veneers, we proceed with their placement following these steps:
During this visit, the specialist in Dental Aesthetics removes the provisional veneers and tests the definitive ones on the patient to assess their fit.
Aspects such as sufficient space between tooth and tooth to carry out good hygiene are examined; if the color, size, shape or position is appropriate; if the occlusion is correct …
In short, the specialist assesses technical and aesthetic aspects of the veneer treatment, in addition to ensuring that the patient is satisfied with the result of their smile.
While the veneers are being tested, they are glued with a provisional material, but once they have been tested and are suitable, the veneers are placed definitively.
For this, the preparation of the tooth and the veneer must be carried out with which the necessary adhesion will be achieved so that each veneer can be cemented one by one on the enamel.
Cleaning the mouth
When the bonding procedure has been completed, the appointment ends after cleaning all the residues or cement that may have remained in the mouth during the placement of veneers.
What are the best dental veneers? Porcelain vs composite
The use of one material or another is determined by the needs and requirements of each patient.
Even so, we are going to highlight the advantages of aesthetic porcelain veneers:
Result: they do not lose color or shine over time, so they remain white without the ingestion of highly colored foods or tobacco affecting them.
- Duration: If we take proper care of them, these veneers can last up to 15 years.
- Strength: porcelain is a much harder material, so it is less common to break.
- Adhesion: ceramic offers a better bond between the veneer and the tooth enamel.
- On the other hand, porcelain veneers also have a number of disadvantages:
- Repair difficulty: if a veneer breaks, a new one must be ordered from the laboratory.
- Price: composite veneers are always cheaper than porcelain veneers.
That said, it should be noted that each case is different and requires individual study before determining the most appropriate treatment.
Unless the expert says otherwise, porcelain veneers are the most recommended.
It is possible that the dentist advises against its use in two very specific circumstances: when it is a simple case or if the patient is less than 18 years old and has not completed his growth.
Although they are more expensive, porcelain veneers offer greater benefits in terms of aesthetic results and durability.
In any case, if you have questions about the treatment of dental veneers, we encourage you to ask us so that you can solve them.
You can do this by going to a first visit at our clinic or, if you prefer, by sending an inquiry through this same page.