Everyone has seen the commercials advertising a younger, beautiful, natural-looking smile with no shots and no drilling in only two dental visits. The treatment is called veneers. Not only is Dr. Brian Shaffer extensively experience in the art of veneer construction, he uses several types and techniques veneers at Alon Dental Care. Unlike some dentists in San Antonio, Dr. Shaffer philosophy with veneers is to remove the least amount of tooth structure needed to accomplish the patient’s goals for their smile.
What Are Dental Veneers?
So let’s talk about what a veneer is. Actually, there are two types of veneers, thin pieces of porcelain bonded to the tooth by resin cements, and layers of composite resin bonded to the tooth by bonding resins. Each is used in dentistry today to achieve the smile you want and deserve. Each of these may or may not involve a preparation of the tooth, depending on what we need to accomplish for your smile. Many factors can contribute to the decision to prepare or not prepare a tooth for a veneer. If Dr. Shaffer does have to prepare a tooth, he would only have to remove about ½ a millimeter of enamel, about the thickness of your fingernail. That is because we want to keep the veneer in line with the adjacent teeth so that you do not feel a bump when you run your tongue over the veneer. But if Dr. Shaffer is placing veneers over several teeth to change the color or hide stains in the tooth, make them whiter, or change the shape to perfectly line them up, then he would only need to slightly prepare the tooth, if at all. In most instances, Dr. Shaffer doesn’t have to give an anesthetic injection. In other words, generally Dr.Shaffer does “no shots” veneers.
LUMINEERS™ are not the only form of no-prep veneers. In fact, bonded composite resin, and ultrathin porcelain veneers can require little to no preparation. Porcelain veneers are generally more expensive than LUMINEERS™, but they usually don’t stain over time or wear away as quickly as composites may. Porcelain can also be more life-like than composite resins because it can be made more translucent. The analogy we like to use is they are like the fake fingernails that women glue to their nails to enhance the shape and beauty of the original nail. But unlike fake fingernails, these are very strong and rarely break unless abused by the patient. The things that can and often will break veneers are being hit in the mouth, biting on hard things like the ends of pencils or bobby pins, or grinding and clenching your teeth.
In some instances we do have to prep or prepare the tooth before making the veneer. This is generally when we face the most difficult of restorative procedures, that being to change the shape or color of one front tooth. It is very individualized and for that reason it is custom. A minimal preparation is made and again a small thin piece of porcelain is made by our lab and bonded into place. You can hardly tell any difference! Look at the results from one of our patients done recently. His right front tooth (your left) was discolored from trauma and he didn’t like to smile because of it. Now all his teeth are the same color and he smiles all of the time because he likes his smile.
Sometimes the patient does not want to invest in the cost of porcelain, so as mentioned above, Dr.Shaffer can use composite resin to almost look as good as porcelain.
But as Dr. Shaffer mentioned above these composite veneers wear more, become dull with age and can stain faster than porcelain. If the patient can afford and wants porcelain veneers, Dr. Shaffer can create the long lasting look and smile you want, just the way you want it.
Learn More about Veneers
Receiving veneers is a simple procedure that can be completed in our San Antonio office. To see if Dr.Shaffer can give you the smile you want, contact our practice to schedule a free consultation.