Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers, also called dental veneers, are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. When employed by a skillful dentist, like Dr. Mitchell, veneers can transform any smile into something radiant. Veneers can also fix minor misalignment issues in a process called “Instant Orthodontics,” as well as chipping, cracking, discoloration, and gaps.

Dr. Mitchell has been enhancing and repairing smiles with porcelain veneers for 25 years. During that time she’s trained with every major cosmetic dentist in the country. She’s also a watercolor artist with a keen eye for color and the ability to look beyond what’s there to what could be. That’s why people travel from all over the world to get their porcelain veneers done here: Dr. Mitchell is the best cosmetic dentist in Chicago.

The Mitchell Difference: Full Facial Enhancement

Most dentists make porcelain veneers that are the same size and shape as the existing teeth, so the bite doesn’t change. In the “before and after,” the only difference is the color: flat and white. Not only does this usually look bad, but it leaves so much opportunity for improvement on the table. If you can envision how to improve the shape and bite of the teeth, you can get dramatically better results.

That’s what we strive for when we work with our clients. We aren’t just trying to give them a good smile, we try to give them the right smile. We understand how much your teeth affect your face. They affect the position of your lips, how your cheeks look, and even how weak or strong your chin looks. We aim for “Full Facial Enhancement” and the results can be transformative. Take a look at our Smile Gallery to see our work!

To learn more about dental veneers, call (312) 642-1014 or schedule an appointment online.

I cannot say enough great things about this dental practice and the team! Extremely nice staff, very accommodating, and incredibly professional as they walked me through the process and steps. Would absolutely recommend!

-Randi H.

Dental Veneer Process: How it Works

1. Consultation

Our first step is to find out what you’re looking for. What do you like about your smile? What don’t you like? We take 15-20 photos from all angles, look at it closely, talk about what’s working and what isn’t, and discuss redesign right in the consultation. Then we take a digital scanner with a laser to build 3D models that get digitally printed. This allows for deep analysis. Once we’re all happy with the plan, it’s time to take impressions.

2. Impressions

We will take an impression of your teeth to create the veneers in an aesthetics lab. The veneers will match the size, shape, and color of your teeth. They typically take a week or more to create.

3. Preparation

In order to place dental veneers, we will first prepare your tooth by removing a portion of the enamel. This helps the veneer lay flat and in line with your gum tissue.

A young black woman with a fun afro and straight, white teeth throws her head back in laughter.
A man with blue eyes, straight white teeth, and a white T-shirt smiles at the camera against a light green background.

4. Temporary Veneers

After preparing the tooth, we will secure a temporary veneer using removable glue. While wearing a temporary veneer, it is important to brush your teeth gently and avoid eating any foods that may push it out of place. Since it is secured by removable glue, it can be moved easily.

5. Final Placement

When your permanent veneers are ready, we remove the temporary veneer and ensure that the new veneer is a perfect fit. If any adjustments need to be made, it will be done at this time. If everything fits as expected, the tooth will be cleaned, and the dental veneer will be bonded to the tooth.

What to Expect After Getting Dental Veneers

Your teeth will typically be sore for a few days after the preparation phase and after placing the permanent veneers. During this time, you can take pain medication to help you stay comfortable and use a cold compress to reduce any swelling. We recommend that you watch what you eat for a few days and stick with foods that are soft.

Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers

Although porcelain veneers can be 10-100% harder than your natural tooth, in general, anything that can damage your tooth can damage your porcelain veneers. Thinking about this is particularly important for patients who are getting veneers because of grinding or clenching. In that case, we strongly recommend getting a night guard to protect your teeth.

Porcelain Veneers FAQ

Made from porcelain, dental veneers are thin, laminate coverings attached to the front of your teeth. Veneers allow a cosmetic dentist to change the size, shape and color a tooth. (In contrast to Invisalign, which can only move a tooth and not change the shape of the size and shape of the tooth). In the hands a skilled dentist, they are one of the most powerful tools we can use to create a “perfect smile”.

We can accomplish a variety of things using dental veneers. By placing veneers on top of the teeth, we can close gaps, make teeth even in length, cover dark stains and create a uniform looking smile. We also use dental veneers for restorations. When teeth become cracked, chipped or broken, a veneer can restore the tooth to its full functionality. As long as the tooth structure is intact, we can restore the appearance of a tooth while making it possible to eat and speak without feeling any discomfort.

During the consultation process, we take pictures of your teeth from all angles, scan them with a laser, and take impressions of your teeth. These tools allow us to perfectly match the shape and size of your teeth. To get the color to match, we rely on an aesthetics lab for manufacturing and Dr. Mitchell’s experienced and artistic eye for installation and final touch ups.

A crown covers the entire tooth. Veneers cover the front and bottom of the tooth. This is one reason veneers take more skill to install than crowns – you need to be much more precise.

When looking into porcelain veneers, you will find a wide range of prices. Common prices range from around $800 per tooth to $5,000 per tooth. This discrepancy comes from both the materials used and the skill of the dentist. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. Like with most goods, there are cheap services available…and they look cheap. The difference is: porcelain veneers are going to be a part of you – your face and smile – for the next 20-30 years. With those kinds of stakes, getting it right is worth the investment. Read more about Veneer Cost >

It depends on how the veneers are being treated. If you take care of your veneers, including getting them cleaned and wearing a night guard, they will last 20-30 years. If, for example, you’re getting veneers because of clenching or grinding your teeth and you don’t wear a night guard, you can break them much faster.

Yes, but significantly less than natural teeth.

The biggest downside is the cost. Because getting porcelain veneers requires both specialized training and artistic skill, getting veneers that will really enhance your smile costs a lot. However, the results can transform your looks (and your life).

In general, you need healthy gums and teeth to get veneers, which are used for cosmetic or restorative treatments. If you have poor oral health, other treatments may serve you better than dental veneers. Otherwise, porcelain veneers are great for treating: minor chips or fractures, miss-sized teeth, misshapen teeth, gaps, mild alignment issues, tooth discoloration, and grinding or clenching damage.

Once your veneers are in place, most insurance companies cover 50% of any repair costs. However, as a cosmetic procedure, insurance companies usually don’t cover the initial installation. One neat trick that many of our patients use is creating an HSA (Health Savings Account). This money is tax free and can be used to pay for veneers. This means you are paying effectively 20-40% less (depending on your tax bracket).

The closest alternative would be Artistic Bonding, which is sometimes called “Composite Veneers.” Essentially, a dentist can rebuild your teeth out of the same composite material used in white fillings. The benefit of this method is that it’s cheaper. The drawback is that the procedure itself is much longer and the composite material is softer than tooth or porcelain. This means it won’t last nearly as long, likely somewhere in the ballpark of 2-10 years.

As with most cosmetic procedures, there can be some discomfort associated with getting dental veneers installed. We do our best to keep patients comfortable during the procedure so that you will not experience any pain while the veneers are being placed or your teeth are being prepared. The preparation process can take several weeks; there will be a period where you need to be careful about what you eat and what activities you engage in. In other words, do not play football after getting temporary veneers placed onto your teeth. You should schedule the procedure for a time where you will be close to home and able to take it easy.

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