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Beyond the Cosmetic Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

 Dr. Konstantin Rubinov is an NYC Dental Surgeon specializing in longevity and anti-ageing with a focus on regenerative and cosmetic medicine. We had a chance to chat with him about his thought process behind obtaining Porcelain veneers and the benefit this restoration procedure has.

According to Dr. Rubinov, Porcelain veneers can help restore a smile from slight chips, cracks, discoloration and add years of longevity to your teeth.  “With the application of ceramic veneers, we are able to permanently change the shape, size, color and position of teeth,” says Rubinov. If you have ever felt self-conscious about your smile, it may be time to set up a consultation with a trained cosmetic dentist. Aside from the cosmetic benefits of covering chips, discoloration, cracks and fixing mis-alignment, however, they also help to keep your teeth healthy. “Simply put, ceramic veneers are up to 10x stronger in compression forces than even enamel and  usually allow for better tooth alignment thus leading to a better ‘bite’ or occlusion,” says Dr. Rubinov. By creating a better distribution of biting forces, ceramic veneers lower the chances of tooth wear due to bruxism (habitual tooth grinding and clenching) as well minimize gum inflammation by aligning the treated teeth and facilitating home care and oral hygiene. “With the use of the latest ceramic materials, veneers require very little enamel removal and actually protect your tooth enamel from further wear and damage.” Once enamel wears away, it’s gone for good. Fortunately, veneers only require a thin layer to be removed. Since the veneer process is noninvasive, you may not even need anesthesia for some very conservative cases.

While porcelain veneers are only bonded to the fronts of your teeth, dental crowns and dental bridges have to fit over the entire tooth or multiple teeth. This means that your dentist would have to remove more enamel for a crown than for a veneer.

Additionally, Dr. Rubinov says practicing good oral hygiene is most important after a veneer procedure and can help your veneers last for many years. Unlike enamel, which is very porous and resembles Swiss cheese under a microscope, porcelain is a non-porous material. This allows dental veneers to act like a shield from food and beverage stains as well as from further tooth wear due to nighttime grinding of clenching. While it is recommended to brush twice a day and floss once daily in order to maintain good oral health, veneers are actually stain-resistant. According to Dr. Rubinov, “since porcelain veneers are non-porous, they are more resistant to dental hygiene problems such as deep stains, discoloration, calculus buildup and in some cases, even cavities.”

Getting dental veneers usually requires three trips to the dentist – one visit for a consultation and records and two to make and apply said veneers. The following is a brief description of the steps needed for veneers based on our conversation with Dr. Rubinov:

● Step 1: Diagnosis and planning your treatment: In this step you would explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this process, your dentist will view your teeth to make sure dental veneers are the right fit for your specific teeth and then if it all looks good then they will discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may also take X-rays, photos and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

● Step 2: Preparing: This step requires reshaping of the tooth surface to prepare a tooth for a veneer. Before preparing the enamel, your dentist will also discuss the option of using a local anesthetic. Often times this visit is performed under a light sedation to make the experience feel quick and comfortable. Next, your dentist will take a scan or impression of your prepared teeth. This impression along with 10-15 professional photographs is sent out to a dental laboratory for artisanal hand fabrication by a master ceramist and you will leave with provisional composite veneers to take for a test drive for the 2-4 weeks that it takes the laboratory to fabricate them.  During this time, your dentist will likely make small adjustments to the bite as well as any cosmetic and functional changes that maybe decided.

● Step 3: Bonding. The dentist will remove the provisional veneers and bond, or chemically adhere the permanent ceramic veneers. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums and ‘bite’ are responding to the presence of your new veneers and smile. According to Dr. Rubinov, “ceramic veneers are the ultimate health and beauty accessory. It is the only plastic surgery procedure which enhances health, function and esthetics all at once.”

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