Cosmetic dental work often involves a substantial investment, and may require special maintenance to help keep it looking its best. Cosmetic dentists with many years of experience in the field, have valuable insights into keeping your dental work looking great for years to come.

Recommendations for Home Care Following Cosmetic Veneer Preparation

Congratulations! You are well on your way to your new smile! We have placed temporaries on your teeth and will send your impression to the lab to make the permanent porcelain ones. The following is information about what you what you should expect:

The laboratory time required for the fabrication of a Porcelain Laminate Veneer is approximately two weeks.

Between your preparation visit and the insertion visit, please be very careful with your front teeth. These temporaries are for esthetics and your feedback only. If there is anything that you do not like about the size, shape or color please let us know so we can communicate properly with our lab. We want you to be happy!

You can expect some sensitivity to hot and cold. This is normal and is due to the removal of a small portion of the enamel covering of the tooth. This sensitivity should disappear after the placement of your Porcelain Veneer.

Your second visit, the insertion of your laminate, is usually longer in length. The laminates are placed with a light sensitive resin which is hardened by using a white light. On this day, your treatment will be complete.

The temporaries we have placed are fragile. This temporary should be quite serviceable for the weeks required to make your permanent restorations. The cement used is not as strong as “permanent cements”. Therefore it is necessary that you follow a few common sense rules while wearing your temporaries. Please avoid biting with your front teeth. Also, avoid sticky candies and hard substances like popcorn hulls, peanut brittle, pencils, fingernails or ice and enjoy softer foods, just until the permanent veneers are placed. Once placed your laminates are very strong and will resist most of the forces placed upon them by a normal diet.

When your bite is altered, or the position of your teeth is changed, it will feel different for a few days. It takes several days for your brain to recognize and adjust to the new conditions in your mouth. If you detect any high spots or problems with your bite when the numbness wears off, call us to schedule an adjustment.

Your gums may also be sore and somewhat swollen for several days. insing three times a day with warm salt water will relieve the pain and swelling. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, gently swish, and then spit carefully.

Mild, over-the-counter pain medication should ease your discomfort during the adjustment period.

Your speech might be affected slightly for the first few days; this is normal, and is not a cause for concern. You will quickly adapt to the new “feel” in your mouth, and will speak normally very soon.

Tobacco products, whether smoked or chewed, will quickly stain your teeth and unattractive yellowish brown.

Red wine, cola, berries, coffee and tea can stain your teeth as well as your temporaries, so brush or rinse after consuming them. Also soda and acidic foods (especially soda!) can de-bond them with frequent consumption. It is best to avoid them. Rinsing your mouth with water after you eat them can also help avoid this consequence.

If you possess darkly stained teeth, your veneers will significantly improve your esthetics, but may not entirely mask very dark stains.

If the temporary should come loose, please push it back in place and call our office as soon as possible. We still need to cement it back with the temporary cement. If it comes completely out Mix a small amount of petroleum jelly with a powder of some sort (baking soda, baking powder or flour). Line the temporary with the paste and place it back on the tooth. Push it down with enough pressure to let your bite come together, but be careful not to break it in half. They also sell temporary cements in drug stores if you are out of town or unable come in to see us right away.

Daily plaque removal is important to your gingival health and marginal integrity of your restorations during the next two weeks.   Gently brush with a soft toothbrush and swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily with a mouthwash such as Tooth and Gum Tonic or Pro Health. We look forward to your new smile!

Home Care for Your Permanent Porcelain Veneers

Here’s your list of do’s and do not’s for home care of your Porcelain Veneers:

The biggest no-no is heavy, frequent alcohol consumption. If you consume large quantities of alcohol daily, the alcohol tends to dissolve bonding or the composite luting material that holds the porcelain to the tooth. Within a period of a couple of years, you could completely ruin the dental work. So, watch your alcohol consumption. Moderate amounts won’t have a noticeable effect. Beware, also, of alcohol-containing mouthwashes. Read the list of ingredients on any mouthwash.

Regular toothpastes can be too abrasive for cosmetic dental work. We recommend Rembrandt® toothpaste, because it is very gentle – it removes stains by dissolving them rather than by physical abrasive action. Rembrandt® toothpaste has an aluminum oxide abrasive that is very gentle and is safe for any cosmetic dental work.

Don’t subject your teeth to sharp impacts or hard objects. Don’t bite pins, nails, or staples. Don’t grind your teeth. If you tend to grind at night, get a night guard to protect your teeth. If you engage in contact sports, wear an appropriate athletic mouth guard.

Floss and brush your teeth carefully. While the porcelain or bonding work is immune to decay, the part of your teeth not covered by the cosmetic work is still susceptible to decay. Keep it clean and it will stay decay-free and protect your investment.

Watch your frequency of eating. If you like to snack, you will tend to develop heavy plaque and thus will tend to get more decay. The best thing you can do to prevent decay, the deterioration of your teeth and the dental work, is to limit your eating to your basic three meals a day and maybe a couple of snacks.

Professional Care

Some professional maintenance procedures that are used typically on natural teeth or metal restorations can ruin the beauty of all ceramic or composite esthetic work. Be sure that your dental office understands these no-no’s and do’s:

Power polishing equipment, such as the Prophy-Jet®, which creates a powerful spray of sodium bicarbonate to clean your teeth, does nicely for natural teeth, but it will roughen the surface of porcelain or composite and make it stain more easily. It will look great at the end of the appointment, but in a few weeks you’ll notice the rapid deterioration in appearance.

Regular pumice polish, used routinely by hygienists to remove the protein pellicle layer from teeth, will scratch composite bonding. Even for durable porcelain veneers, the pumice will scratch and erode the composite that holds the veneer to the tooth and cause it to deteriorate prematurely. Hygienists should use a fine aluminum oxide polishing agent to polish cosmetic dental work

Fluoride treatments have to be done carefully. Many hygienists and dental assistants, and even some dentists, don’t understand the difference between acidulated and neutral fluoride, as far as it affects cosmetic work. The acid in acidulated fluoride is hydrofluoric acid, which has the property of etching porcelain and the tiny glass particles in many composites, and thus it will make them more susceptible to staining. It can also actually remove the color from some porcelain crowns! If you have any fluoride treatment after cosmetic dental work, be sure that the fluoride used is a neutral fluoride. It isn’t as strong, but it will protect your investment in dental work.

Ultrasonic scalers, if used at the margins of porcelain or composite cosmetic work, can chip the margin and make the tooth more susceptible to recurrent decay. If a porcelain crown or bonding does get looking lackluster or starts staining, there are polishing techniques that can bring the luster back. A dentist or hygienist specially trained in cosmetic work can bring the shine back. Most recommend extra maintenance polishing appointments – two per year – to keep the shine at its maximum, especially at the critical bond area between the tooth and the veneer.