Frequently Asked Questions About Porcelain Veneers

Dr. Wilderman, how do you get such beautiful natural looking results every time?

In a word, communication.  At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we start our Cosmetic Dentistry consultation with a series of high-resolution digital photographs.  Sitting in front of our 46-inch HD display, you will be asked to demonstrate to us what your concerns are.  Once I understand what changes you would like to make, I can show you options that will improve your smile.  Once we have agreed upon a treatment direction, we need to be able to exactly communicate those changes to the laboratory.  Skipping this key step is where the overwhelming majority of dental offices fail.

How much do veneers cost?

The cost of porcelain veneers in Philadelphia can vary.  You can expect to pay between $1000-2000 per tooth.

That’s a pretty wide range! Why is there so much difference in fees?

A lot of factors go into the cost of a smile makeover. The most important of which is the skill, education, and experience of the person performing the treatment. Excellent Cosmetic Dentistry is an art form.  It takes a tremendous commitment of time and money to continuing education to truly understand the principles of smile design and the engineering principles of porcelain.  Without this crucial understanding, the final esthetic results can be poor and can often lead to veneers that fail prematurely. 

How do you ensure that I will like my new smile?

At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we want to have a clear vision of what the end result is supposed to look like BEFORE we begin. Without that clear vision, final results are left entirely to chance.   Most laboratories receive a prescription from the dental office that reads “Please make porcelain veneers for the following teeth…”.  The technician on the receiving end of that prescription scratches his head and says to himself, “what are they supposed to look like”?  How long are they supposed to be? Where do they sit on the lip? How thick or thin do you want them? How much translucency do you want? Unfortunately most doctors don’t really have any idea either.  They haven’t been adequately trained in principles of smile design. Most patients don’t know themselves what they want until we start working together on the design of their new smile.

In our office that situation NEVER occurs.  Before we pick up the drill, we make sure that you get a preview of the final result in your mouth.  We achieve this with custom made templates that we create during the process.  We won’t touch your teeth until we all agree EXACTLY what the end result will look like.  You will leave the office that visit with beautiful new teeth that are the template for your permanent ones.  We want you to be 100% satisfied with the look and feel of your temporary veneers.  We take impressions of those teeth for the lab, so that they can replicate them in porcelain.  Probably only 1-2% of all dentists who claim to do Cosmetic Dentistry use a method similar to this. Without this critical step, your end result is left to a technician’s discretion.  Do you really want that?

Why is it so important to put so much effort into my temporary veneers when they are only on for a few weeks?

The Dentist must be able to clearly communicate the patient’s desires to his ceramic artist.  Without this key step, no one knows what the final result will look like until it is too late and the veneers are already placed in the patient’s mouth.  Let the buyer beware!

How long do veneers last?

The only answer that anyone can honestly give is that nothing man-made will last as long as what you were born with.  Every patient has different risk factors that determine how long their veneers will last.  In general, you should expect them to last an average of 15 years.

Various risk factors include: Noxious habits like smoking, coffee, tea, and red wine are more likely to cause staining of teeth.  Someone who clenches or grinds their teeth will have an increased risk of breakage if the factors that cause them to clench or grind are not addressed before treatment begins. Someone who has a gummy smile will have an increased risk of esthetic failure should his or her gums recede over time.  

Our Patient Results

Patient before dental veneers
Label (1) This patient was reluctant to smile and this was caused by tooth decay and discoloration. 
Patient after dental veneers
Label (2) Porcelain veneers were placed to help conceal unwanted blemishes and resulted in a healthy white smile.

I don’t want my teeth to be too white and look like Chiclets.  How do I know what color to pick?

We decide the shade during the time we make the temporaries.  We can try a few different shades and determine the one that is best for you. 
I can definitively say that it is generally NOT the shade that makes teeth look like Chiclets.  Many other factors go into making teeth that look like you were born with them.   You can make veneers that are very white and still have them look natural as long as they match the skin tones of the patient, and utilize design principles that fit with nature.

Why shouldn’t I just get braces?

Maybe you should!  We refer many of our new patients to the Orthodontist if we feel that is the best treatment for them.  There are many times that I tell a new patient “if you were my Wife (brother, sister, etc) I wouldn’t do veneers!  We want you to get the treatment that is best for you.  If that means referring you to someone else who can help you, then we are all for that.  
There are many times where braces are used in conjunction with veneers.  There are times when neither treatment by itself will work.  There are times when someone finishes their braces and they still have ugly, chipped, and yellow, but STRAIGHT teeth!

OK.  How do I get started?

The best way to get started is to call our office today at 215-340-1199 and ask for a FREE consultation.  We want to help you find the solution that’s best for you.  
Dr. Wilderman on cover of suburban life

Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Dr. Bruce Wilderman has been providing comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services since 1986. By combining a true sense of artistry with state-of-the-art technology, he can provide stunning results. At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we are proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact our practice online or call (215) 340-1199 today.

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