What are the differences between porcelain and composite veneers?
Cost of different treatments
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Let’s first define what porcelain is: “The literature on this topic defines ceramics as inorganic, non-metallic materials made by man by the heating of raw minerals at high temperatures.”
Some properties of ceramic materials such as color stability, biocompatibility and durable aesthetics made them the best choice for conservative restorations.
Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment that has gained widespread popularity in recent years. These thin custom-made shells are designed to cover the front surface of the front ten teeth, creating a natural, flawless appearance that can enhance your smile and boost your confidence. They serve as an instant dental treatment for transforming your smile.
Veneers demonstrate strength, longevity, biocompatibility, and aesthetics. In this text we will discuss the benefits, the process, and some common FAQs about porcelain veneers.
The best part? Nobody can tell the difference between these and your regular teeth!
The material of these veneers looks just like the natural enamel of your teeth. Due to their natural looks, these shells are one of the most used processes in cosmetic dentistry. In fact, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) survey of 2018, the U.S. and Brazil accounted for 28.4% of all cosmetic procedures worldwide.
Veneers play an essential role in diverse cosmetic dentistry corrections such as:
- Tooth defects
- Abnormal tooth color
- Distorted teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Microdontia (small teeth)
- Crooked teeth
Porcelain veneers offer the most immediate transformation, requiring minimum time and dentist appointments. They are made specifically for each patient to ensure the correct placement and fit.
Benefits of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers offer many benefits, including:
- Enhancing the appearance of your smile: Porcelain veneers can correct a range of cosmetic dental problems, including discolored, misshapen, or chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, and minor alignment issues.
- Long-lasting: Porcelain veneers are a durable, long-lasting solution for improving the appearance of your teeth.
- Stain-resistant: Porcelain veneers are made from a high-quality material that is resistant to stains from coffee, tea and other common food and beverage items, making them a great choice for those who want to maintain a bright, white smile.
- Customizable: Each porcelain veneer is customized to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth, resulting in a natural-looking, aesthetically pleasing smile.
- Natural look: Porcelain veneers are designed to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, so they look very natural.
- Minimal preparation: The preparation process for porcelain veneers typically involves removing only a small amount of tooth enamel, preserving more of the natural tooth structure compared to other procedures like dental crowns.
- Versatile: Porcelain veneers can be used to address a variety of cosmetic dental issues, including gaps between teeth, minor misalignments, and worn or uneven teeth.
- Improved self-confidence: Having an improved smile can increase your self-confidence and make you feel better about your appearance.
Overall, porcelain veneers can be a great option for people who want to enhance the appearance of their teeth and achieve a more beautiful, confident smile.
What are the potential risks or downsides of porcelain veneers?
While porcelain veneers offer many benefits, there are also some potential risks and downsides to consider. These include:
- Irreversibility: Once your teeth have been prepared for veneers, the process is irreversible, as the enamel that has been removed cannot be restored. We can always remove porcelain veneers, but not restore removed tissue.
- Sensitivity: Some people experience increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures after getting porcelain veneers, particularly in the first few days after the procedure.
- Chipping or cracking: While porcelain veneers are durable, they can chip or crack under certain circumstances, such as biting down on hard objects or grinding your teeth.
- Cost: Porcelain veneers can be expensive, and insurance may not cover the cost, making them inaccessible to some people. Remember porcelain veneers cost Colombia is less than 50% compared to the U.S..
- Maintenance: Porcelain veneers require maintenance and care, including brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups every 6 months.
- Infection: In rare cases, getting veneers can lead to infection, particularly if the tooth has decay or if the procedure is not done correctly.
- Discomfort: Some people may experience discomfort or soreness in the gums or teeth after getting porcelain veneers, particularly in the first few days after the procedure.
It’s important to discuss the potential risks and downsides with your dentist before deciding whether porcelain veneers are the right option for you. Every single case is different from another. Also it is very important to choose the right professional. Prosthodontists are the ideal dentists for such treatment.
Why are Porcelain Veneers So Popular Today?
During the last 30 years, dental veneers have significantly evolved. Now they are more convenient and appear natural, thanks to the innovations in dentistry. The latest veneers in practice are strong, robust, and surprisingly easy to come by.
Because of this, patients have the luxury of shopping around for the best price. For example, the cost of porcelain veneers in Colombia is much more affordable than those in America.
More on that in a second!
Another reason these are so popular is because they’re an easy and painless treatment. That means no extended hours of tooth preparation.
We highlight the following reasons: cosmetic benefits, durable, minimally invasive, natural-looking, quick procedure.
Here’s how the veneer procedure works:
Step 1. Consultation with your dentist: We’ll discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, take some pictures and show you a 2D prediction on a computer. Step 3 can be done here if required.
Step 2. This step is optional and it is to make a mock-up of the veneers in your mouth. You will be able to see how they are going to look in acrylic before the porcelain is milled, so you can make any change you want. This step will take an additional day.
Step 3. Preparation: To prepare your teeth for porcelain veneers, your dentist will remove a small amount (0.01 inches) of enamel from the front surface of each tooth. This creates space for the veneers to fit comfortable and securely without creating any over-contour or gum inflammation. We always use magnification for these step. Once this is done, your dentist will take a new 3D impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab, where your veneers will be custom-made. These are paper thin, so you won’t need to have them shaved down like this
Step 4: Temporary veneers: This step is about placing temporary veneers while your permanent veneers are being made to protect the teeth from sensibility. We only do this step if we need to do a big shaving.
Step 5: Apply your veneers: After a few days, you’ll come back into the office and get your veneers! Your dentist will place the veneers on your teeth and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and natural looking fit. Once you and your dentist are happy with the fit and appearance of your veneers, they will be permanently bonded to your teeth. It is recommended to use dental dam isolation to ensure a water free space.
This minimum invasive tooth repair treatment offers incredible beauty and high biocompatibility, all with no injury.
Step 6. Final adjustments: After the veneers are bonded in place, we will make any necessary final adjustments to ensure a comfortable and natural-looking fit.
The entire process usually takes two or three appointments, depending on the number of teeth being treated and other factors.
Who are the Ideal Porcelain Veneers Candidates?
To save you on costs for porcelain veneers, it’s ideal that your teeth and gums are in healthy condition. That means no gingivitis, tooth decay, or cavities. Otherwise, you’ll need to have these treated (via root canal or fillings) before moving forward with your veneers. Naturally, these extra procedures add to the cost of your porcelain veneers.
The ideal patient is the one who has achieved a successful orthodontic treatment, also there is a small percentage of people who don’t need braces, because they already have a good occlusion or aligned teeth.
Here are a few reasons you may need veneers:
- To treat discoloration: Sometimes, teeth whitening (a.k.a teeth bleaching) does not work. Your extensive discoloration can be due to tetracycline, aging, excessive fluoride uptake, and amelogenesis imperfecta.
- You have enamel hypo calcification: A condition where your teeth don’t have enough calcium.
- To replace lost tissue: This happens due to aging, parafunction, or fractures.
- You have gaps: We can use veneers to close the gaps between the anterior teeth and to cure congenital tooth malformation.
- To fix misaligned teeth: If you have poor shape/placement, veneers can be re-shaped for the best smile. You might prefer this over adult braces.
- To change the size and shape of your teeth. Veneers can make them bigger, smoother and more aesthetic.
A few conditions must be fulfilled to be eligible for porcelain veneers in Colombia.
Firstly, your oral and periodontal health should be in good condition. Secondly, your enamel should be healthy enough for us to be able to remove a thin layer to make room for the shells.
Veneers should be ideally bonded to enamel to ensure a long lasting adhesion.
We also ask that you come with an idea of your cosmetic goals and what exactly you want the final look to be.
After the procedure, you must follow a strict oral hygiene routine, such as brushing your teeth three times per day.
If you have any doubt to initiate your treatment please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can send us pictures and we will guide you to the process.
Can porcelain veneers fix crooked teeth?
Porcelain veneers can be used to improve the appearance of slightly crooked or misaligned teeth. However, they are not a suitable treatment option for severe cases of misalignment or bite issues. If your teeth are severely crooked, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment such as braces or clear aligners.
Porcelain veneers can help to improve the appearance of crooked teeth by creating the illusion of a straighter smile. The veneers are custom-made to match the shape and color of your natural teeth and are bonded to the front surface of the teeth to cover any imperfections.
During the consultation with your dentist, they will evaluate your teeth to determine if porcelain veneers are a suitable option to address your cosmetic concerns. If your teeth require significant correction, your dentist may recommend a different treatment option to achieve the desired results.
In summary, porcelain veneers can be an effective treatment option to improve the appearance of slightly crooked or misaligned teeth. However, the suitability of porcelain veneers as a treatment option will depend on the extent of the misalignment and other individual factors, and a consultation with a dentist is recommended to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Is it necessary to shave my teeth for porcelain veneers?
This matter will depend on the initial condition, such as position and tooth color.
For example, if you have crooked teeth, shaving the section where the teeth overlap will be necessary. If you have a discolored tooth, we should shave it to gain more thickness to opaque the undesired color
We recommend shaving 0.3 mm (0.01 inches) of your teeth for veneers (this is the usual thickness of porcelain veneers). We only do this near the top of your tooth (the part where the veneer will contact the gum), so we can avoid an over-contour that can generate gum inflammation.
We always work with magnification to have precision and achieve a minimally invasive treatment!
How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?
Porcelain veneers can last for a long time, generally around 12 to 20 years. However, the lifespan of veneers can vary depending on several factors such as: proper oral hygiene, teeth grinding, diet, trauma and the quality of materials.
If you want your porcelain veneers to last for the longest possible time, you should take care of your dental hygiene and choose a good and experienced dentist like Dr. Andrés Arias in Colombia.
These pre-and post-treatment responsibilities fall on your shoulders. The rest is determined by:
- The material used (porcelain veneers last the longer)
- The lab fabrication
- Tooth preparation and design
- The insertion method (rubber dam isolation is the gold standard)
If all the mentioned demands are fulfilled, porcelain veneers can last 12 – 20 years.
Tooth shifting chances are minimal because the preparation should not break the contacts between the teeth.
This dental process changes the patient’s appearance and ensures successful restoration. There is no postoperative sensitivity when they have a good fit and are bonded to enamel. If your dentist is well-experienced, they will not prepare the tooth beyond the enamel. As a result, the retention ability of your veneers will be maximum.
Can porcelain veneers stain or discolor over time?
Porcelain veneers are highly resistant to staining and discoloration, but they can still be affected by certain habits over time. Some common causes of staining or discoloration of porcelain veneers include:
- Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate brushing or flossing can cause the buildup of plaque and bacteria on your veneers, leading to discoloration.
- Aging: Over time, the natural aging process can cause your veneers to become dull or discolored.
It is important to be certain that corrosion is a natural process that occurs when materials are exposed to their environment over time. It is a chemical reaction that breaks down the structure of a material, leading to the deterioration of its properties and eventually its failure.
However, porcelain veneers are highly resistant to staining and discoloration compared to natural teeth. To help maintain the appearance of your veneers, it is recommended to practice good oral hygiene habits, avoid foods and drinks that can cause stains, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist may also recommend professional cleaning or polishing to remove any surface stains or discoloration on your veneers.
If your porcelain veneers become stained or discolored over time, your dentist may recommend replacing them to restore their natural appearance.
How Many Veneers Do I Need?
We recommend you get an even number of veneers done with the same material. The average number is 10 veneers per arch. In some cases we recommend 12, but that will depend on your smile.
Can I combine veneer materials?
We do not recommend making this, as porcelain and composite have different optical and physical properties making them look and behave unevenly. The result won’t be the one we are looking to achieve.
Care and maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of your porcelain veneers can help ensure they last as long as possible and maintain their appearance. Here are some tips for caring for your porcelain veneers:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. This will help prevent decay and maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools: Don’t use your teeth to open packages, bite your nails, or perform other non-eating tasks. This can put unnecessary pressure on your veneers and potentially damage them.
- Wear a mouthguard: If you grind or clench your teeth at night, wear a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your veneers from damage.
- Visit the dentist regularly: Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist can check the condition of your veneers and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
- Report any issues: If you notice any changes or issues with your veneers, such as sensitivity, discoloration, or chipping, contact your dentist right away to have them evaluated and addressed.
By following these tips and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can help ensure the longevity and appearance of your porcelain veneers.
Do I need to shape my gums?
Gum shaping is a dental procedure that involves removing excess gum tissue to improve the appearance of the teeth.
That will also depend on your condition. Pictures are going to help us diagnose if you have a gummy smile or not. Gums should be symmetrical between the right and left sides. We make this procedure with electrosurgery, which grants us a fast recovery and a painless procedure.
Does gum shaping hurt?
While there may be some discomfort during and after the process, most patients report that gum shaping is not particularly painful. During the procedure local anesthesia will be used to numb the gums and surrounding tissue, so you should not feel any pain or discomfort.
For example gingivoplasty will not generate any painful recovery. If we need to do a more invasive treatment like crown lengthening you may experience some soreness or tenderness in the treated area, but this can usually be managed with over the counter pain medication or a mild pain reliever. You may also experience some minor bleeding or swelling, but these side effects should resolve within a few days.
Overall, gum shaping is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your teeth.
Do You Give Guarantee?
Yes, we give one year guarantee. We do not cover fractures generated by accidents or traumas.
What happens if I break or a porcelain veneer comes off?
Please notice us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to give you a solution. While broken veneer may not cause any pain or discomfort, it can affect the appearance of your smile and leave the underlying tooth exposed to further damage or decay. We have to assess if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced for a new one. In some cases, minor chips or cracks can be repaired using a bonding agent or composite resin. If it falls please try to save the veneer so it can be glued back.
You can experience some sensitivity in your exposed tooth.
While porcelain veneers are strong and durable, they can still be damaged by trauma, such as a fall or blow to the face. To minimize the risk of breaking a veneer, it is important to avoid biting down on hard objects, such as fingernails.
How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost in Colombia?
Porcelain veneers cost about $350 per tooth in Colombia. So, it’s pretty affordable and might surprise foreigners!
Porcelain veneers cost around $3,000 for 10 to $6,000 for 20 in Colombia. Compared to the U.S., where the average cost of porcelain veneers is around $1,000 per tooth, you’re getting a pretty good deal.
The cost of porcelain veneers in Colombia can vary depending on the location, the dental practice, and the individual dentist. However, it is important to note that this is only an estimate and the final cost can depend on various factors such as the complexity of the case, the number of veneers required, and the specific material used.
How can I spend my time in Neiva?
There are plenty of plans you can do here. For example:
- Sailing at Betania’s dam
- Visit Tatacoa Desert
- Enjoy night clubs and restaurants in the city
- San Agustín Archaeological Park
How can I spend my time in Medellín?
Medellín is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers plenty of activities and attractions for visitors.
It is well known for its beautiful weather, friendly people, and rich cultural heritage. If you’re planning to spend a week in Medellin, there are plenty of things to see and do. Here are some ideas:
- Visit Comuna 13: This neighborhood was once one of the most dangerous areas in the city, but has since been transformed into a hub of street art, music, and culture. Take a graffiti tour or visit the outdoor escalators to see the transformation firsthand.
- Explore the Botanical Gardens: Medellin’s botanical gardens are a beautiful green oasis in the heart of the city. Take a stroll through the gardens, visit the butterfly house, or take a yoga class.
- Ride the Metrocable: This cable car system offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Take a ride up to Parque Arvi for some hiking or a picnic.
- Visit the Museum of Antioquia: This museum houses a vast collection of art, including works by Fernando Botero, one of Colombia’s most famous artists.
- Take a food tour: Medellin is known for its delicious cuisine, from traditional Colombian dishes to modern fusion cuisine. Take a food tour to sample the best the city has to offer.
- Enjoy the nightlife: Medellin is famous for its vibrant nightlife, with countless bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from. Check out Parque Lleras or El Poblado for a night out.
- Visit the nearby towns: Medellin is surrounded by charming towns and villages, each with their own unique attractions. Take a day trip to Guatape to climb the famous El Penol rock or visit Santa Fe de Antioquia for a taste of colonial architecture.
These are just a few ideas for things to do in Medellin during your week-long stay. The city is full of surprises and there is always something new to discover!
For more information please visit the following link: Medellín.travel
Will someone of the team pick me up at the airport?
Most of our patients apply for airport pick up. Please ask us when you already have your flight information.
Can I talk to Dr. Arias before I go to Colombia?
Yes you can. We offer online consultation. It cost 50 US which is going to be a payment toward the treatment.
Do you offer payment plans?
Unfortunately we do not have. We accept cash and Mastercard, Visa and American Express credit cards.
Do you accept CareCredit?
We would like to inform you that we are unable to accept CareCredit as a form of payment in Colombia at this time. While we understand that CareCredit is a popular financing option in other countries, it is not currently available in Colombia. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and encourage you to explore other payment options that may be available to you. Our team is committed to providing the highest level of service and we look forward to assisting you in any way we can
How will I pay my treatment?
Our payment plan consists of three steps to make it more convenient for you.
Step 1: A downpayment of $200 is required to secure your appointment slot. You can choose between PayPal, Chase Bank, Bancolombia or Wompi.
Step 2: Once the 3D impression is completed, 50% of the total amount will be due.
Step 3: The final 50% payment will be due upon completion of the treatment. Step 2 and step 3 can be payed in credit card or cash. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this payment plan. We want to make sure that the payment process is as smooth as possible for you.
Are you wondering if you should be getting porcelain veneers or not? The simple answer is: if there is something about your smile you don’t entirely approve of, get these veneers. They solve appearance problems like staining and uneven smiles and functional problems like bite issues.
Contact Dr. Andres Arias if your want the safest and best clinic for porcelain veneers in Colombia. He has a team of highly specialized dentists willing to offer the best porcelain veneer procedure!
We also speak English and you can call us through WhatsApp or Zoom.