The Art & Science of Porcelain Dental Veneers

If you have always dreamed of having a whiter, brighter, more beautiful smile, porcelain dental veneers (AKA porcelain laminate veneers) just might be for you.  This minimally invasive treatment can result in a great smile, but like dental crowns, a successful outcome requires the skills and artistry of a trained cosmetic dentist experienced in applying porcelain veneers.  Dr. Stephen M. Miller and his staff have logged thousands of hours successfully solving patients' dental problems that demand porcelain dental veneers. 

What are porcelain dental veneers?

In simple terms, dental veneers are luminous, ultra thin, delicate yet durable pieces of porcelain. The dentist layers them on top of natural tooth structure through an adhesive system. Applying dental veneers requires exacting preparation and minute contouring to create superior aesthetics, a beautiful smile, and heightened self-esteem.

Am I a candidate for porcelain veneers?

Dr. Miller and his associates will conduct a dental exam to determine whether you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers.  Typically, Dr. Miller will choose porcelain laminate veneers to solve structural or cosmetic dental issues such as:

  • Tooth discoloration stemming from fluorosis or exposure to select antibiotics.
  • Damage from insidious tooth decay or other dental diseases
  • Tea, red wine, and even tobacco stained teeth with poor translucency.
  • Damaged enamel and the natural affects of aging.
  • Unsightly gaps (diastemas) that can threaten gum (gingiva) health in otherwise healthy patients.
  • Chipped, cracked, or crooked teeth that require only minor re-contouring.

As you can see from this list, porcelain dental veneers can be used to treat a variety of structural or aesthetic dental issues, but most patients request porcelain veneers to improve their appearance.  Our dentists can help you accurately assess whether porcelain dental veneers are a good option for you.

What are porcelain veneers made of?

There are two types of materials that comprise porcelain laminate veneers, including sintered feldspathic porcelain and pressable ceramic.  Professional cosmetic dentists prefer these materials because the combination mimics natural teeth—luminosity, translucency, longevity, durability, and sheer beauty.  Composite resins can also be used to craft veneers, but they are not considered the gold standard in the industry.

How long do porcelain veneers last?

The lifespan of a porcelain dental veneer depends on several factors.  A highly skilled cosmetic dentist, such as Dr. Miller, must correctly perform case planning; pay attention to established dental protocols; teeth preparation; selecting the correct ceramics; and choosing the best adhesive system and cementation methods for the dental veneers to last.  But the longevity of porcelain veneers also depends on the patient. Fastidious oral health habits; regular dental care and professional cleanings; healthy dietary choices; and avoiding acidic and abrasive products that could crack or damage the finish all extend their lifespan.  Studies have shown that, if maintained properly, porcelain veneers can last for 5 or 10 years—or longer.  Composite resins, on the other hand, lack the same type of “long-term survival rates,” which is exactly why Dr. Miller favors ceramics. 

How should I get started?

If you are interested in improving your smile or simply need a second opinion and believe porcelain laminate veneers might be for you, then call the Miller Center for Comprehensive Dentistry at 412-681-7171. Or request an appointment through this website.