Porcelain Veneers in Longwood, FL
Beautiful Porcelain Veneers at Sweetwater Smiles in Longwood
Porcelain veneers have been around for a long time. If you’ve seen many Shirley Temple movies, you may have noticed that during all those movies…which span the entirety of her late childhood and early adolescence…you never saw her with missing or partially erupted front teeth…as you would expect to see with children. Her teeth always looked straight and perfect…with nothing rotated, crooked, partially erupted into place, or missing. This was achieved with a combination of porcelain veneers for the partially erupted or crooked teeth…and dental prosthetics for the missing teeth. These veneers could not be permanently attached to her teeth because bonding had not been invented yet. But, they could cement them into place long enough to film each scene she was in.
In the late 70’s/early 80’s various bonding agents became available that allowed porcelain veneers to go from being just a temporary “Hollywood fix” to a more long-lasting option to consider for improving one’s smile. Dr. Quevedo has been doing porcelain veneers since the early 80’s. In those days, the typical case involved very little (if any) tooth reduction. The veneers were made to bond directly on top of the patient’s teeth which (of course), made the front teeth feel “thicker” to the patient than they originally were. Although they looked nice, they did not look beautiful by today’s standards. In addition to the “bulky…thick” way they looked and felt…it was almost impossible to get a good, smooth margin around the edges. You ended up with the edge of porcelain creating a ledge along the gumline, which is not good for the gums. It is very difficult to take a diamond bur and smooth this edge of porcelain flush with the tooth without also scratching, abrading, or ditching the neck of the tooth. Because of these reasons…no-prep veneers fell out of favor and you didn’t see very many high end cosmetic dentists placing them anymore. The only situation that no-prep veneers make much sense is in the case of abnormally small front teeth, such as “peg laterals”.
Let’s fast forward to today…The finest cosmetic dentists almost always minimally reduce the front surface of the teeth receiving porcelain veneers. Minimal prep veneers involve removing from 0.3 mm to 0.75 mm of the enamel across the front surface of each tooth, which is almost negligible. This is how thin today’s more beautiful porcelain veneers are. This keeps the teeth from looking and feeling “bulky” or thick…and allows us to achieve very smooth finish lines along the margins (in other words…no ledge around the edge). With minimal prep veneers being the current state of the art, it is somewhat amazing to see a reemergence of no-prep veneers today. The company that markets them so heavily has renamed them from what they were called back in 1984…but even with the new name and the multi-million dollar advertising budget…they’re still the same basic thing we put behind us back in the 80’s.
With ALL of our porcelain veneer cases we begin with two things. First of all, the patient selects their perfect smile design using our computerized “Smile Style Guide”. You’d be amazed at the variance from smile to smile…and beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. So…rather than have you tell me you’d like a “pretty smile” (which really isn’t very specific, is it?)…you get to pick the smile that YOU think is beautiful! Since the best surprise is NO surprise, we feel it’s better to have the patient involved throughout this process rather than making them wait until it’s time to deliver the case before they’ve seen what they are going to look like. Next…we communicate the smile style you’ve chosen to our lab and they create a diagnostic wax up of your new smile on models. This allows you to “preview” your new smile. We do not continue the case until you’re happy with your smile design. Once we have your approval, we make a mold of the diagnostic wax up using a silicon putty material. We use this mold of your wax-up to make the temporary veneers (we call them “provisionals”) you’ll wear while the real things are being made at the lab. This gives you one more opportunity to get a glimpse of your new smile…since the temp’s are going to be shaped just like your porcelain veneers.
Let’s look at a case we did for Catherine to demonstrate how all of this works. On the left is the Smile Style Guide we use to allow the patient to choose the smile design they prefer. On the right is the diagnostic wax-up and stent we used to let Catherine preview her new smile. We used the stent to make her provisional (temporary) veneers during the two weeks it takes for the ceramist to complete their artistry. This gives the patient several days to “test drive” their new “look” before getting the “real thing.” It’s great to see your new smile on a model, but even BETTER when you can take a look at your new smile in the bathroom mirror! If, by chance, you think the veneers are too short, too long, too anything…it’s a simple matter to correct before you get the “real thing”.
Please take a look at pre and post-op porcelain veneer images in our Smile Gallery.
The bottom line when doing Smile Makeovers is this…The BEST surprise, is NO surprise!