Veneers in Palo Alto

What are Veneers?

Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are designed to cover the front surface of your teeth. They can be used to treat severely stained teeth, chipped or broken teeth, misaligned or misshapen teeth, or gapped teeth. Their versatility makes them an extremely popular cosmetic dental treatment option.

Dental Veneer Illustration

Did you know…

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You don’t need veneers for every tooth. Depending on your needs, you can get just one or an entire set.

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How it works: The veneer placement process

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During your consultation, you’ll discuss the issues you have with your smile and how you’d like to change it. Dr. Qian can talk to you about veneers as well as other cosmetic treatment options. Together, you’ll decide if veneers are the right option for you.

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Treatment Plan

Once you’ve decided to move forward with veneers, Dr. Qian will create a treatment plan that aligns with your smile goals and preferences. This plan will outline which teeth will be treated, how many veneers you’ll need, and if any other cosmetic or restorative treatments will be required.

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Preparation of Teeth

At your next appointment, your teeth will be prepared to accommodate your veneers. Dr. Qian will clean and numb your mouth, and then remove a very thin layer (0.5mm or less) of enamel from each tooth that is getting a veneer. This is done to ensure a good hold for the veneer, and to avoid adding thickness to the treated teeth.

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Impression & Temporary Veneers

After your teeth are trimmed, you’ll have dental impressions and pictures taken of your teeth. These will be sent to a dental lab where your permanent veneers will be created. You will be sent home with a set of temporary resin veneers, which will protect your newly-prepared teeth until your permanent veneers are ready.

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Permanent Veneer Fitting & Adjustment

Once your permanent veneers arrive at our office, you’ll see Dr. Qian for your fitting. At this appointment, she will check the fit of your veneers to ensure that they look and feel natural. Minor adjustments can be made before placement, if necessary.

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Permanent Veneer Placement

Once Dr. Qian has checked the fit of your veneers and everything looks good, they’ll be attached to your teeth permanently using powerful dental cement, and you’ll be sent home with a beautiful, brand new smile.

What cosmetic issues can veneers treat?

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Tooth Staining or Discoloration

In some cases, tooth staining or discoloration may not be treatable with other cosmetic dentistry methods, like teeth whitening. Severe stains or internal tooth stains, such as tetracycline stains, may persist even after teeth whitening. Veneers can completely cover up the stained tooth and restore its natural, bright appearance.

Worn Teeth

If your teeth are worn from issues like teeth grinding (bruxism), veneers may be an appropriate treatment to restore their shape and appearance. However, it’s important to also address the root cause of worn teeth. If you suffer from grinding, for example, you may need to get a night guard to protect your teeth after you get veneers.

Chipped, Broken or Irregularly Shaped Teeth

Veneers may be used to treat minor chipping or breakage in the teeth, as long as the damage is limited to the outer layers of enamel and dentin. More serious tooth injuries may require the use of a dental crown and root canal therapy. 

Veneers are also commonly used to treat and restore irregular or misshapen teeth, providing you with a straighter and more even smile.

Misalignment or Gapping

Minor tooth misalignment and gapping can be resolved with veneers. Your teeth can be trimmed and then covered with veneers to correct these issues, and provide you with a more pleasing smile.

However, veneers can only be used to treat minor issues with misalignment and tooth gapping. For more serious teeth alignment issues, orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign or braces may be required before cosmetic treatment with veneers.

Did you know…

With proper care, your veneers can last between 15 and 20 years.

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Have questions about veneers? Find answers here.

Can veneers be removed?

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No. Traditional veneers are bonded into place permanently, and are not meant to be removed. The procedure is not reversible, since it requires a thin layer of enamel to be permanently drilled away from your teeth. After your treatment, you will need to take proper care of your veneers, and have them replaced if any of them break or become dislodged.

How long do veneers last?

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This mostly depends on how well you take care of your veneers, but most patients can keep a set of veneers for 15 to 20 years. Over time, your veneers may wear down, and you may need to have individual veneers repaired or replaced.

The best way to prolong the lifespan of your veneers is to brush and floss properly, and to see your dentist in Palo Alto every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam. You should also avoid doing things that could break or dislodge your veneers, such as chewing non-food objects, chewing hard foods with your front teeth, or using your teeth as tools

What are veneers made of?

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Veneers are typically made of ceramic porcelain materials that look and feel just like natural tooth enamel. Porcelain can be matched to the color of your teeth and is very similar to enamel in hardness and translucence, making it an ideal option. Resin veneers are also available, but they are typically only used as temporary veneers because resin does not look as natural, and is not nearly as durable compared to porcelain ceramic veneers.

What’s the difference between veneers and Lumineers?

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Veneers and Lumineers are basically the same, with one big difference. Lumineers are much thinner than traditional veneers, because they’re made out of a special, proprietary ceramic material. They are usually only about 0.2mm thick, compared to the 0.5mm thickness of traditional veneers. Because of this, Lumineers can often be placed without trimming your existing enamel. This is why they’re often called “no-prep” or “minimal-prep” veneers.

How much do veneers typically cost?

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The cost of veneers will vary depending on how many teeth you're covering up, your oral health, the location of each tooth, and a variety of other factors. The best way to get an accurate cost estimate is to contact Dr. Qian for a cosmetic consultation. Dr. Qian can examine your mouth, assess your oral health, and give you a quote for the cost of treatment with veneers.

How Do I Care for My Veneers?

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Veneers are made of durable, stain-resistant materials. However, they can become discolored and damaged over time if they regularly withstand wear and tear and staining substances. You should practice good oral hygiene in the same way you would for your natural teeth. 

You should use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing is recommended at least once a day. Teeth grinding can be very detrimental to veneers and can cause chips or cracks. 

While you are not the best candidate for veneers if you suffer from bruxism, you may be able to get veneers if you agree to wear a mouthguard when you sleep each night. You should also avoid using your teeth as tools, chewing on fingernails, ice, or other objects. 

Hard foods can also cause damage to veneers, so you should avoid excessively hard, sticky, and crunchy foods like popcorn, caramel, hard candy, and popcorn. Try to chew with the back of your teeth rather than your front teeth.

Can Veneers Stain?

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Even though porcelain is a stain-resistant material, it can become discolored over time. You should avoid smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products, which can discolor your veneers. Staining foods and drinks should also be kept to a minimum. 

These would include things like tea, coffee, red wine, dark-colored sauces, soda, and berries. Drinking through a straw can help reduce staining. It’s in your best interest to reduce staining and discoloration in your veneers because they do not respond to teeth whitening. 

Dental cleanings can remove surface stains and plaque buildup that may cause some discoloration to your veneers. However, if your veneers become severely discolored, you will need to have them replaced.

Do Veneers Damage Teeth?

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No, as long as you see a qualified and experienced dentist to perform the veneer procedure, they will not cause any damage to your teeth. The preparation process involves removing .5 mm of your natural tooth enamel to prevent the veneers from sticking out. 

However, this is not a problem because the veneers bond to your enamel, which reinforces their strength and durability. Veneers actually protect your teeth by providing an extra layer of protection and strength. 

While you will need to have them replaced after 10-15 years, this doesn’t cause damage to your teeth. But, it’s important to understand that once you have your enamel shaved down, you will need to keep your teeth covered with veneers for the rest of your life. 

This is a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed. You will still need to practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental visits to ensure you don’t cause any harm to your teeth or veneers.

Did you know…

Veneers are a permanent dental treatment that requires the removal of enamel.

Ready for your next dental appointment?

Call (650) 327-3172 today!