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Arnold, MD Porcelain Veneers

Are you embarrassed at all about the appearance of your teeth? If so, porcelain veneers could be just what you’re looking for. They can change the shape, color, and alignment of your teeth in a couple of appointments.

A porcelain veneer is a wafer-thinCross section diagram of a dental veneer on a front tooth, showing a thin veneer overlaying the front of the tooth. layer of porcelain that faithfully mimics the appearance of tooth enamel. Usually your tooth will be lightly shaved, allowing the veneer to lie smoothly flat on your tooth. When bonded to your teeth, veneers create a beautiful, natural-looking new surface. Dental porcelain, like natural tooth enamel, is translucent and very hard. An added bonus is that it doesn’t stain as tooth enamel does.

a porcelain veneer margin as seen under a microscope, showing the layers as mentioned in the key in the text
Key: P=porcelain veneer, C=bonding resin, E=enamel, D=dentin (photomicrograph courtesy of

The amount of tooth structure removed is small, usually about 0.3 – 0.5 mm, about the thickness of a fingernail. Then the veneer is placed so that it fits flush with the tooth surface, as seen under a microscope in the photo. This creates a smooth, imperceptible margin between the porcelain and the enamel. If there is the tiniest gap or irregularity, it will attract microscopic food particles and bacteria, which leads to decay.

See our smile gallery for several beautiful examples of Dr. Esposito’s veneer work.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are commonly used to improve the following characteristics of teeth:

  • Alignment & Spacing — Veneers can be used to make slight corrections in alignment or to close small gaps between teeth while improving tooth color and shape.
  • Color — Teeth can easily become stained by foods and drinks, smoking, and even normal aging. Modern ceramic bonding artistry enables us to craft amazingly beautiful and lifelike veneers in many shades and transparencies, from the most natural look to the brightest Hollywood white, matching your original shade or improving your smile with a new look!
  • Size & Shape — Your teeth can gradually become worn down from grinding habits, or may not have the shape or size you wanted to begin with. For example, one of your incisors might be smaller or more angled than the other. Today’s modern porcelain veneers can be shaped and sized in whichever way is most flattering to your face.

Limitations of Porcelain Veneers

There are some situations in which veneers are not the best solution. If you have significantly misaligned teeth or a large gap, orthodontics might be a more appropriate solution than veneers. If you have lost considerable tooth structure due to decay, trauma, or a severe grinding habit, it might be more appropriate to restore your teeth with strong ceramic crowns that cover the entire tooth.

Your Personalized Smile Design

The first step in creating a new smile with porcelain veneers is your smile design. Begin by telling Dr. Esposito exactly what you don’t like about your smile. You could also bring in pictures of smiles you do like, as a starting point for discussion. She will take your ideas and work with her master ceramist to first create a digital smile design, which is then used to create a wax model of a proposed new smile.

Once you’re happy with the wax-up, we’ll create a set of provisional veneers for you. Your teeth are then prepared by removing a small amount of enamel to accommodate the thickness of the veneers. An optical impression is then made of the prepared teeth, using a scanner, and that is sent to our master ceramist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Meanwhile, you will wear the provisional smile makeover. This is your chance to make sure that you love the smile design, the color and alignment of the teeth. Dr. Esposito will make any changes you want, to make sure they are perfect. When you’re confident that they are exactly what you want, she will take photographs and scans and send them to the ceramist so that the look can be duplicated in porcelain.

When the veneers come back from the ceramist, Dr. Esposito will temporarily mount them on your teeth with try-in paste. Most likely, you will love the results! But just in case they don’t meet your expectations or you’ve changed your mind about the color or style, she will make any adjustments needed and return them to the lab, if necessary, until you are 100% satisfied with your new smile. Then Dr. Esposito will bond them to your teeth. That’s her beautiful smile guarantee—they won’t be bonded to your teeth unless you love them!

Caring for Your Veneers

Just like the teeth nature gave you, teeth restored with veneers need careful brushing and flossing every day. This will ensure good gum tissue health and help prevent any decay around the veneers. Be careful with maintenance in a dental office that isn’t fully trained in cosmetic dentistry procedures. Some hygienists use power jet polishing equipment that will destroy the surface glaze of your veneers and make them susceptible to stain.

Keep in mind that as hard as porcelain veneers are, they are not designed to withstand sharp impact forces from using your teeth as tools – to open bottle caps or packages, for example. Always wear protective mouthguards during impact sports. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, you might be advised to get a custom-made nightguard to protect your veneers. And it would be a good idea to avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes or excessive alcohol consumption which will deteriorate the veneer bonding material. Taking good care of your new veneers through a dedicated oral hygiene routine, regular exams, and frequent professional cleanings by a properly trained professional will prolong the life of your investment and give you the best smile possible.

Are you interested in improving your smile? Just give us a call, or use our online appointment request form and we will call you.