After introducing veneers as a great way to achieve a movie-star smile, Haute Beauty decided to delve deeper into the procedure with NYC Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Victoria Veytsman.
What are the advantages of porcelain veneers compared to those made of resin composites?
Porcelain is such a unique material and can really mimic the natural characteristics of a smile. With porcelain we can change the size, shape, and width of the smile. We can make it broader and accentuate certain facial features more (and even de-emphasize other features). We can work with facial proportions and really change a face! Porcelain is hand crafted by a ceramist with attention to detail down to the translucency of the edges to make them look natural. Veneers can also be made out of resin composites (same material used for fillings). While the result can often be great, the material is not as color stable or durable. It is more porous so it picks up stains more quickly. Additionally it generally doesn’t offer as much translucency or color options as porcelain. That said, for patients that needed more time decide on a specific treatment plant composite has been a nice transitional treatment to test aesthetics and function of the smile.
What is the difference between veneers and crowns?
Veneers and crowns are both made of porcelain. Crowns extend 360 degrees around the tooth where veneers cover the front surface and typically wrap over slightly to the back of the tooth. A combination of both can be used in one smile design for the same patients based on how the patient functions and the aesthetic look we are going for.
Veneers are permanently placed on the teeth – do they wear out with time? What type of routine maintenance is needed?
Yes, veneers are definitely a permanent procedure. Taking good care of them they can last up to 20 years or so. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are key! Avoid habits like nail and ice chewing. Remember while porcelain is super strong once bonded to your teeth, you still need to use common sense.
What is the immediate after-care once veneers are placed?
Good hygiene, be aware of any habits that may cause fractures and also wear a night guard if you are a grinder at night!
Except for aesthetic purposes, what other uses do veneers have?
Veneers can truly rehabilitate a smile! Of course we can transform a smile into a gorgeous 2.0 version of that patient’s smile for aesthetics and beauty alone. However, we see so many patients that have lost or compromised tooth structure do to issues like parafunction (grinding and clenching), eating disorders or effects of medication. Additionally, if the condition of one’s smile affects them psychologically, that is a very big deal. The transformation can be life-changing, confidence-boosting and restore a damaged or weak smile back to function. Veneers and smile transformations are beyond aesthetics alone.
Veneers application often requires trimming the enamel – is this painful? What are the benefits/setbacks of doing this?
Every smile design case is different. Sometimes we can do very conservative preparation of the teeth and do what we call “minimal prep veneers.” This doesn’t require much removal of enamel, just some recontouring. The best candidates for this are people with already fairly straight teeth or a lot spacing. This gives us the room we need for the porcelain. If it isn’t already there we have to create it so that the veneers don’t look too bulky and have an ideal arch form. When we do actually have to prepare the teeth for veneers, it is not painful. This is done under local anesthesia and post-op sensitivity is usually minimal. Downtime is minimal as well. Most of our patients return to work the next day or even the same day!
Do you use Digital Smile Design technology for veneer procedures? How does it enhance the treatment?
There is a lot of planning involved in every case. From the patients first visit we begin discussing possible changes and many time will do a mock up in the chair of what the patients smile could look like. This is a great way to see what a smile would look like with closed spaces, long teeth and when it’s broadened. From there we take this information and send it to our lab and ceramists. Here, another mock up is made whether directly from wax onto a model or digitally. We choose the modality on a case by case basis. Either way, all the diagnostics and mock ups are reviewed by myself and presented to the patient as a blueprint of the smile before we even start. We even transfer the lab made mock ups into the mouth so the patient sees what their smile will look like. This is such a great way to see where we are going before we even start. It also reduces about 99 percent of the anxiety some patients feel about how their smile will look. There’s definitely an art and science to the whole process.
That’s really a great question. Every practice has its own unique identity that suits different patients. Our practice is young and image- conscious – which always makes it interesting! Hands down, the number one thing that sets our practice apart is the patient experience and relationship we have the opportunity to build with our patients. Yes, we work with amazing labs and have had a lot more than the average amount of training in cosmetic dentistry – that’s definitely a huge part of it. But I truly believe the experience, the “human” factor, and the way the patient feels when they leave our office is what has generated the word of mouth referrals and the hundreds of five star review that we get.
Why did you choose cosmetic dentistry?
I love what I do every day. It is so amazing to integrate art and science in a way that changes peoples lives daily. I always knew I wanted to be in the medical profession. I was always a bit of a nerd and even as a kid would read the Tuesday Science section of the NYT weekly. That said, I also went to art school growing up for a long time. So I’m an artist at heart. The merging of these two things is what brought me to cosmetic dentistry. After dental school I saw mentors that actually really enjoyed what they were doing and made a huge impact on their patients lives—I wanted to do that. Also this field allows me the privilege of meeting and treating the most amazing people. I’m always grateful for that aspect.