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Porcelain veneers

Actors Zac Efron and Catherine Zeta-Jones
before and after porcelain veneers.

These have been available for 30 years or more, and I’ve been doing veneers for that amount of time. While the procedure is well established in dental practice, there’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter approach. I treat every patient on the basis of what is going to be best for him or her.

  • Reduction of the tooth: When a patient decides to have a porcelain veneer created, reduction of the tooth is usually necessary. The preparation may involve reduction of the enamel so the veneer occupies the space formerly occupied by the enamel.
  • Badly stained teeth: If the patient took tetracyline as a child and developed deep discoloration, the teeth will require more preparation
  • Cosmetic contouring: Sometimes, it’s necessary to reduce the tooth structure, so that the finished veneer will line up with the other teeth.
  • Color and shape of veneers: One subject that comes up when patients are considering having veneers made is the color. We can produce any desired color. Moreover, veneers can be shaped to close gaps, change the shape of, lengthen, or shorten teeth. They also can straighten the appearance of crooked or recessed teeth.
  • Cost: Veneers are relatively expensive. A lot more time is involved in creating a veneer than in bonding a tooth. With veneers, I must take preliminary impressions of both upper and lower teeth, and must see how they fit together. Veneers also require laboratory work, as well as affixing the veneer to the tooth. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, veneers can cost from about $500 to up to $1500. The high cost of veneers is what prompts many patients to consider bonding, instead.
  • Durability: Unlike bonding composite material, porcelain doesn’t stain. It repels coffee and red wine color pigments. Overall, the life of veneers depends on the care they receive. Veneers can last as long as 20 to 30 years.
Images of Zac Efron and Catherine Zeta-Jones courtesy of: