How long should porcelain veneers last?

2018.03.14
Photo of dental forceps holding a single porcelain veneers, from the office of accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Szarek of Lowell, MA.

Porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth

I got 6 porcelain veneers in June 2012 when I lived in Chicago. At first, I was pretty happy with them except they didn’t look as white as I wanted. I got my teeth whitened BEFORE I got veneers and the veneers are not quite as white as my teeth. Anyway, everything was going well until the veneers started chipping in last summer. There is a little chip on my right incisor and a small one on my right front tooth. I called the dentist’s office where I got the veneers (I now live in MA) and she told me that it’s probably time to replace the veneers. I was furious. At $1200 per veneer and not even 6 years later, she tells me I probably need to replace them. I asked her how long veneers should last and she told me that the brand I chose (I didn’t choose the brand. I know nothing about how to choose a brand of porcelain veneers.) is known for chipping. First I am wondering how after 6 years she even remembers what brand I have and why she is lying about it being my choice. So I am guessing that there is another issue that she is not going to talk about. Shouldn’t porcelain veneers last longer than 6 years? Ceyda

Ceyda,

Yes, porcelain veneers should last longer—much longer—than six years. If quality veneers are properly bonded to your teeth, and if you take proper care of them, they can last 15 to 20 years. You are nowhere near the lifecycle of quality veneers, so quality must be the issue.

  • Brand – It is possible that the dentist who placed your veneers chose an inferior brand. That occurs sometimes to keep costs down and make getting veneers more enticing for patients. But as you have experienced, if they don’t last, what good is it?
  • Bonding – Another possibility is that your veneers were not correctly bonded to your teeth. It takes a lot of skill and the expertise of a highly trained cosmetic dentist to bond veneers to last. If they are poorly bonded or weak, they can chip.

Unfortunately, you probably do need new veneers. This time find an experienced cosmetic dentist in your area. If you can find one who is accredited, or who has extensive training in aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry, it will help you get amazing results. Select a few top cosmetic dentists first, have consultations with them, and compare your options before you select a provider for your new veneers.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Six Things You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers before You Get Them

2018.01.30
Photo of dental forceps holding a single porcelain veneers, from the office of accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Szarek of Lowell, MA.

Porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth

Porcelain veneers can provide a stunning smile makeover, but there are six things you should know about them before making the investment.

1. Great Results Require a Cosmetic Dentist

Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic improvement to your teeth. So the dentist you choose for your smile makeover should be a cosmetic dentist—an artist. Whether you want a super-white celebrity smile or a simple, natural-looking smile that complements your face, you need a cosmetic dentist. Why? Consider the facts:

  • Porcelain doesn’t automatically produce natural-looking results. If you want a smile makeover that looks natural, you need a dentist and ceramist who know how to manipulate porcelain so it has the color, characteristics, and translucency of natural teeth.
  • Bonding techniques are critical to the life of your porcelain veneers. Veneers that are improperly bonded to your natural teeth can slip, loosen, or fall off.
  • The shape and form of your veneers determine whether they complement your lips and other facial features. Only a cosmetic dentist can refine the details.

2. They Are Permanent

Your natural teeth are prepared before you receive porcelain veneers. This involves lightly shaving them to prevent the veneers from looking bulky over your teeth. After your teeth are prepared, it isn’t possible to reverse the process. You will always need veneers or some other form of cosmetic dentistry over your teeth.

3. Don’t Ask for a Specific Brand

  • Dentists become comfortable with various brands of veneers for a variety reasons.
  • The dentist’s skill level, the results produced, and other factors determine which brands a dentist uses.
  • Avoid asking your dentist for a specific brand. You might choose a brand the dentist isn’t comfortable with, and if you insist on it, the results might not look good.
  • Ask your dentist which brands he or she uses and why. The response can build your confidence in the dentist, instead of in a certain brand. If you select a cosmetic dentist, you can trust you’ll get great results.

4. Try Them On

You won’t have to ask a true cosmetic dentist to let you try on a trial set of your customized veneers. It will be part of the process. But you should know that in order to really see how the finished product—your porcelain veneers—will look and feel, you have to try on temporaries. If your dentist doesn’t offer you the opportunity to try on trial veneers, beware. And be certain to try on the final product before it’s permanently bonded to your teeth.

5. Ask About a Guarantee

A skilled cosmetic dentist can guarantee that you’ll love your new smile with porcelain veneers. Several factors make it possible to guarantee your satisfaction:

  • The dentist’s training, skill, and eye for beauty
  • Your dentist should ask for your feedback and preferences throughout the process of designing and creating the veneers
  • Skilled dentists use a master ceramist to craft the final product

Ask your dentist what he or she does to ensure your smile makeover will be exactly what you want.

6. Don’t Let Cost Alone Make the Decision for You

Porcelain veneers are an investment. So don’t let cost alone determine which dentist you choose. A highly skilled cosmetic dentist who uses quality materials and who is picky about the results will have higher fees than other dentists.

We recommend that you schedule consultations with at least two cosmetic dentists. If you can find an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area, you’ll likely get amazing results. Ask to see before-and-after photos of smile makeovers with porcelain veneers for actual patients of the dentist. You can get the celebrity smile—or the simple, but stunning smile makeover—you’ve always wanted.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Can a cosmetic dentist to anything about my walrus teeth?

2017.11.09

After doing a lot of research online I think a cosmetic dentist might be the only one to help me. You know how a walrus looks with teeth that look way too long? That’s how I look now. My teeth really used to be beautiful but now all my gums have receded. No exaggeration – every tooth looks way too long now. Is this something a cosmetic dentist can correct? How many options do I have? Thanks Ashley

Ashley – A cosmetic dentist can help with the appearance of your teeth, but first, he or she will identify the cause of your gum recession.

A Cosmetic Dentist Will Look for Causes of Gum Recession

  • Periodontal (gum) disease – This is the most common cause of receding gums. Gingivitis and periodontist can cause gum tissue to recede and break down. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing daily are essential to preventing gum disease. If you have periodontal disease, it will be treated before any cosmetic treatment is done on your teeth.
  • Vigorous tooth brushing – If you brush your teeth too aggressively, it can weaken your gums and cause them to recede.
  • Plaque accumulation – Plaque can cause gums to become inflamed and recede.
  • Genetic predisposition – Some people naturally have thin gums, which recede with time.

As gums continue to recede, tooth roots will be exposed, and you may experience sensitivity in your teeth. A cosmetic dentist can perform gum grating tissue to fill in your gumline and protect your tooth roots. Grafted gum tissue will be contoured to give you a natural-looking gumline.

Contact at least two accredited cosmetic dentists for an examination and to find out your treatment options.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

I hate my porcelain veneers and want to go back to my natural teeth

2017.04.17

I hate my porcelain veneers. I want them removed and I want to go back to my natural teeth. I’ve been seeing this dentist for about 7 years. He is quite confident in his skills. If you ask him, he can do any and everything that has to do with dentistry. He does implants, cosmetic dentistry. You name it. He received extra training to learn how to do porcelain veneers. He showed me some pictures of patients he did veneers on. Although he says he has done hundreds of veneers, I probably saw about 20 to 30 sets of photos for different patients. The pics looked good to me but my veneers don’t look good. And something about them is not right. When I floss my teeth, the floss gets hung up on on the side of 3 of my 8 veneers. There is another issue that is difficult to explain to my dentist but the veneers seem to create a lisp in my speech. The lisp is inconsistent so of course when I complained about it to my dentist, he had me read a few paragraphs and never once could we hear the lisp. So far nothing has been done. Just a series of appointments and exams where my dentist can’t find anything wrong. I’m exhausted. Can I just ask him to take off the veneers so I can go back to my natural teeth? What do patients usually do when their veneers are a hassle? Thanks. Janet

Janet – When your porcelain veneers are causing more stress than enjoyment, and your dentist doesn’t know what to do about it, the best thing to do is to get a second opinion.

Usually, your natural teeth are prepared before porcelain veneers are placed. If that’s true in your case, a small amount of your outer tooth structure was removed to ensure the veneers fit well and don’t look bulky. Some of the reasons you can’t go back to your natural teeth are listed below.

  • Removing the outer layer leaves unprotected teeth vulnerable to decay.
  • Your tooth structure is altered, so your natural teeth won’t look normal.
  • Your teeth will be very sensitive to heat and cold.

Although your dentist has received training in cosmetic dentistry, it wasn’t enough to give him insight on how to properly place veneers. Both your speech and the structure of the veneers are affected, so it’s time to get a second opinion.

You could ask your dentist to remove and replace the veneers, but you might get the same results. Schedule a consultation with at least two cosmetic dentists to help you select a provider to restore your teeth. If you can find an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area, his or her expertise will help you get the best results.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

 

How do I find a cosmetic dentist for 3N no-prep veneers?

2015.09.17

I have been doing a lot of research on no prep veneers other than Lumineers. I wanted to have information on more than just one brand. I found out from an acquaintance on social media about 3N which I had never heard of. Now I know why because it doesn’t look like they are U.S. based. I found the 3N veneers website but I don’t see anything about how to find a 3N U.S. cosmetic dentist. I really like the way they look, much more so than Lumineers. How do I find a cosmetic dentist who uses 3N? Thanks. – Shona

Shona – Although 3N veneers are not familiar to us, through an Internet search, we found that 3N Veneers Limited is based in the United Kingdom. Other websites that reference the brand indicate that this brand of veneers is used in the Middle East.

Although we don’t have information on U.S. cosmetic dentists who use 3N, we can assure you that the results you get from porcelain veneers depend significantly on your choice of cosmetic dentist and his or her choice of laboratory to makes the veneers.

The laboratory that makes Lumineers is often criticized for the pasty, bulky look of the veneers. But the same results can occur with any other brand—unless you have a skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist who also uses an artistic master ceramist.

Dental patients get great results from porcelain veneers, not by choosing their own brand of porcelain veneers, but instead, by choosing an artistic dentist who knows what brands are best for your case. And who understands how to the manipulate color, translucency, and shape of the veneers to produce lifelike results.

Find a cosmetic dentist who is an artist. How? Start by locating an accredited cosmetic dentist. If there isn’t one in your area, find one who is a member of a cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry organization, and who is participates in on-going training. Check the dentist’s credentials. Schedule a consultation and ask to see before-and-after pictures of smile makeovers the dentist has completed. Let the dentist know your concerns about porcelain veneers and the smile you want to achieve. Watch and listen closely to how the dentist addresses your questions. Then you can decide if this is the dentist for you, or if you want to have a consultation with a second or third cosmetic dentist before making a decision on your provider.

It’s the artist in the dentist—not solely the brand he or she uses—that will produce beautiful results you want.

This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.