In this month’s first blog, we discussed when the antibiotic tetracycline was first introduced in the 1950s and ended up staining the teeth of many children over the next decade before the process causing the staining was fully understood. Those teeth have stains in the tooth layer beneath the outer enamel layer. In this layer, dentin, dentists cannot whiten or bleach these stains. The only way to improve tetracycline-stained teeth is by covering them with porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are also an effective cosmetic cover-up for imperfections with teeth, such as small chips or pits. Veneers can also change the shape of a misshapen tooth.
We give our patients at Prosthodontics of New York beautiful new smiles with porcelain veneers. And we can do this in a single visit thanks to our CEREC 3D design and fabrication system.
What are porcelain veneers?
You can think of a dental veneer as you would a furniture veneer, where a thin layer of a high-grade wood such as teak is placed atop a lesser wood beneath. This makes the furniture piece look as if it is all teak when it is mainly something like particleboard.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed onto the fronts of the teeth being addressed. They bond onto teeth permanently and instantly change the appearance. Porcelain veneers can cover up tetracycline stains or discoloration from trauma (which can also make a tooth grey), chips, tooth size issues, and other cosmetic problems. The result is a perfect smile.
What is the CEREC system?
At Prosthodontics of New York, we use the CEREC 3D design and milling system for our crowns, inlays and onlays, and our veneers. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The system uses 3D imaging software to allow the dentist to input various measurements of the teeth into the system, and then he or she can design the prosthetic on-screen instantly. Once the patient happy with the design and look, our dentists will send this data to the milling station. Then, CEREC takes a block of medical-grade porcelain and mills the prosthetic. This allows the diagnosis, design, and placement of the prosthetic to happen in a single appointment.
This is in contrast to other dentists, where the patient comes in for a first appointment, and they address the tooth and prepare for the prosthetic. Then, our dentists at Prosthodontics of New York, will take impressions and send them to a dental lab for fabrication of the crown/veneers/inlay/onlay. This can take up to two or three weeks. During the interim, the patient has to wear a temporary prosthetic on the tooth/teeth. Then he or she returns for a second appointment when the finished prosthetic comes back to the office.