Porcelain veneers are one of our most popular La Mesa cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you are you considering porcelain veneers to enhance your smile’s appearance, it’s natural to have questions about what to expect and whether veneers are the right choice for you. Below, our Dr. Ben Mandel answers five of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about porcelain veneers:

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of a patient’s teeth while strengthening the tooth. Veneers are designed to blend seamlessly with a tooth’s existing enamel, shape and size. Porcelain veneers are wafer thin coverings used to fix teeth that are chipped, broken, misaligned, uneven, irregularly shaped or otherwise worn down.

How long do veneers last?

In general, our La Mesa dentist expects porcelain veneers to last between 7 and 20 years. While veneers themselves are non-living, since they are attached to a living tooth, oral conditions that affect the tooth can affect the veneers. For example, the surround gym tissues may shrink or expose a tooth’s root surface. It is extremely rare for a veneer to chip or come off; should that occur, veneers can generally be re-bonded to the teeth.

What is the process like for getting veneers?

To prepare your tooth for a veneer, our La Mesa dentist will remove approximately half a millimeter of the enamel; this is roughly equal to the wafer-thin veneer thickness that will be added to the tooth surface. A local anesthetic is administered during this process. Next, our dentist will make an impression of the tooth; this impression is used to create the veneer. The dental veneer will then be permanently bonded to your tooth’s surface. Once the veneer is properly positioned on the tooth, our dentist uses a special light beam to activate chemicals in the cement and permanently seal the veneer to your tooth. During the final step, our dentist in La Mesa will remove any excess cement and ensure the veneer is seamlessly blending in with your existing teeth.

Do I need to worry about my porcelain veneers staining?

Unlike normal teeth, porcelain veneers cannot be stained by tea, coffee or wine. However, in order to protect the integrity of your veneers – and your overall oral health – our La Mesa cosmetic dentistry team strongly recommends that you follow good oral health habits. This includes minimizing exposure to substance that stain teeth, regularly brushing and flossing teeth, and receiving an annual cleaning to remove tartar build up from the gum line. Good oral hygiene is essential to protecting your veneers and overall oral health for years to come.

Will my teeth feel differently after I get veneers?

Your teeth may feel smoother and glass-like. While some patients report mild cold sensitivity immediately after getting their veneers, this increased sensitivity generally lasts only for a few days. Should you experience any discomfort after receiving your veneers, contact Ben Mandel DDS in La Mesa for a follow-up appointment.