The Beauty of Modern Dentistry – Part 3

In the final segment of our three-part series on the process of cosmetic dentistry, we are breaking down the day of ceramic veneer delivery and what the important follow-up considerations are.

The day of veneer delivery is the most exciting day of the entire process. All the planning, the work, and the waiting finally pays off. During this appointment we will try in the veneers to ensure the fit is perfect and the esthetics are spot on. It’s very important that you LOVE your veneers. If there are any changes that need to be made to the veneers, such as changes to shade or shape, we want the ceramist to make those adjustments before they on bonded to the teeth. Bonding protocols are very technique sensitive and not every dentist understands how to handle the variety of different ceramics that may be used in each cosmetic case. We work closely with our ceramists and the ceramic manufacturers to ensure this process is flawless.

Once the ceramics are bonded to the teeth, we will equilibrate the bite. This is one another important, and often overlooked, steps in ensuring long term success of the veneers. A bad bite will absolutely destroy all the work that was put in to these cases. It is often recommended that a patient wears a night guard to protect the ceramics from clenching or grinding that may occur while sleeping but having a bite that is dialed in will have a greater impact on the long-term success not only of the veneers, but also the teeth and jaw joint.

We of course still want to see patients every 4 to 6 months for hygiene visits after completion of these cases. Inflammation of the gums due to plaque accumulation can still cause issues to the tooth structure under the veneers. Thus, regular professional cleanings are just as important, if not more important, now than before. Think about it like getting oil changes in a new car. We often will schedule a follow-up visit 2-4 weeks after completion as well, just to make sure everything feels smooth, the bite feels perfect, and to take our final records. This is my favorite visit! I love hearing the stories of how a smile enhancement has impacted the life of patients in ways that they never expected. It’s not just a smile that we delivered. It’s confidence. It’s vitality. It’s function. So many patients say things like, “I have a good bite for the first time in my life!”

It’s a process. But it’s always worth it. I feel very fortunate to be able to be a part of it with our patients and I love the relationships that build during it all. Thanks so much for reading and please let us know if you’d like to know more.

Mitch Hopkins, DDS