Dental VeneersPorcelain veneers can not only provide a dramatic improvement in teeth that have become chipped, are incorrectly spaced, or discolored, but they’ve also been championed as dentistry’s answer to a facelift.  This kind of enhancement happens when length or bulk is added where needed, making your face appear fuller, which can smooth wrinkles and give you a more youthful look.

Thanks to developing dental technology, porcelain veneers are now more lifelike and convenient than ever before.  They are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic, an advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of and reflects light much like natural dental enamel.  New types of porcelain are stronger, and because porcelain is non-porous, very stain resistant.

These are some of the advantages veneers offer:

  • They provide a natural tooth appearance.
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
  • The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
  • Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape.
  • Veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, leaving most of the tooth structure intact, yet offering a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.
  • Lower cost than a crown.

A small amount of enamel is removed, making a space for the veneers so they can be bonded to the front surfaces of teeth (usually the front teeth) for an immediate smile transformation.  Dentists can use veneers for an impressive number of cosmetic corrections, ranging from teeth whitening to minor orthodontic adjustments, but they are mainly used to improve size, shape, color, gapping, chipping, and/or failing dental filling, and can also strengthen worn teeth.  Because of their lifelike appearance and wide array of functions, porcelain veneers rank among the most trusted and popular cosmetic dental procedure.

For a patient to qualify for porcelain veneers, they should:

  • Have good periodontal and overall oral health
  • Be committed to proper oral care and hygiene
  • Have specific cosmetic goals, which they can articulate to their dentist
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Have a sufficient amount of healthy enamel

With the proper care, porcelain veneers can last a lifetime, and do not require any special care. That being said, they can still fail early if there’s trauma or underlying tooth decay, so routine maintenance is essential — regular dental check-ups, brushing softly with a non-abrasive toothpaste, flossing daily, rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.  Remember, your teeth are not to be used as a tool (no chewing ice or fingernails, opening packages, etc.), which can cause veneers to fracture or chip.  Also remember your dental hygienist will need to know you have veneers because there are proper polishing techniques that should be used during cleaning.

Porcelain veneers are individually crafted for each patient. Although individual results may vary, the goal is for the veneers to look and feel like a person’s own teeth, only better. To avoid looking obvious — that unnatural too-straight, too-white appearance — intentional imperfections like slight rotation, subtle discoloration, and grooves can be made to imitate natural flaws.

Veneers can be made from several types of ceramic, including:

  • Pressed ceramic: quite strong, but typically thicker than other types of veneers.
  • Stacked ceramic: can be more precisely customized for each patient.
  • Lithium disilicate: a new type of dental porcelain, so strong that even severe bruxers may be candidates; can only be created with CAD/CAM technology.

Some of the most popular brands, each offering its own advantages, include:

  • daVinciTM
  • IPS Empress®
  • IPS e.max®

The fabrication process involves the following:

  • A ceramist creates a working model from impressions sent by the dentist.
  • Multiple layers of porcelain are built up inside this replica, using intense heat or pressure to increase the strength of the material.
  • The ceramist may hand-paint each layer for the most lifelike appearance, or all layers of porcelain may be the same shade.

Ultimately, the cosmetic results will depend on top-quality fabrication as well as the skill of the ceramist and dentist.

Porcelain veneers can have a very positive effect on a patient’s self-assurance and emotional state and mood, being more likely to smile when they feel good about how their teeth look, so even though veneers typically cost more than other cosmetic treatments, most patients consider them to be a very worthwhile investment:  In a single treatment, patients may have teeth whitened, size and shape improved, gaps and chips eliminated, and minor misalignment corrected.  Many patients will tell you they feel more confident than they have felt in years.

If you are interested in porcelain veneers in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.