In this podcast, Dr. Nammy Patel from Green Dentistry talks with John Maher about veneers. She explains when to use veneers, the process of getting them, and how to take care of them.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, Founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. And the author of the bestselling books, “Age With Style: Your Guide to a Youthful Smile” and “Healthy Living and Total Wellness: Understanding the Link Between Your Teeth and Your Health”. Today, our topic is, are veneers worth It? Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thank you for having me.
What Are Veneers?
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, what are veneers?
Dr. Nammy: Veneers are like press-on nails that we can put on the teeth, and they’re permanent. They look beautiful. And it is a great way to uplift our smiles, make us feel really good about ourselves, especially when we do not like the size or shapes of our teeth.
When Should You Use Veneers?
John: And when should a person use, or maybe not use veneers?
Dr. Nammy: I recommend veneers when a person does not like the shape, size, or color of their teeth. Sometimes we want to have teeth that look bigger than what we have, and that would be a great reason to do veneers. Or sometimes we have these really square, boxy teeth and we want them to be more rounded. That would be another reason to do veneers.
Or sometimes we want this beautiful arch that looks really nice. Or if our teeth are crooked, sometimes we want a quicker fix. We don’t really want to go through Invisalign or some braces. We want a quicker, easier solution. So we would do veneers to make it aesthetically pleasing. Those are some examples of when to do veneers.
Different Types of Veneers
John: And are there different types of veneers?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. There are so many different materials for veneers that are out there. My preference is biocompatible veneers, which means that we use milled porcelain. And the types of porcelain that we use actually helps prevent bacteria from sticking to it. So you get longer lasting veneers. They look beautiful, they look really natural. We don’t have to remove a lot of tooth structure. And it works really well for patients.
John: What are some other types of veneers that maybe you don’t recommend quite as much?
Dr. Nammy: There are zirconia veneers, the colors are not as beautiful as I tend to like. And there’s different types of porcelains that are made in the lab that are packed on, so they can chip or break. So those would be some things that I’m not a big fan of. And I tend to like to have milled porcelain, or eMax is what we call them. And they are milled, they’re beautiful. They’re thinly pressed, compacted beautifully. They reflect the light beautifully and last a really long time.
Procedure to Get Veneers
John: What can I expect from a procedure to get veneers?
Dr. Nammy: If you came into my office and you said, “Hey, Dr. Patel. I want to get some veneers.” The first thing I would do is look at what did you not like about your teeth? We would look at what is it that you want to do, what is it that you want to change? And what we would do is do a mock trial.
So you would try them on and see how they feel for you and see if there’s anything you wanted to change or move. And we would do a trial run. And once you’re happy, we would make you the final veneers. So it would take about two visits or so.
Using Temporary Veneers to Test the Look
John: So you can actually make temporary veneers, if you will. And you can put them on with some sort of temporary glue or something like that, so that I could smile and see what it would look like. And then say, oh, I think you made my two front teeth a little bit bigger than I wanted, or something like that. And then you can change that.
Dr. Nammy: Yes, absolutely.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
John: Okay. How long do veneers last, and will I have to replace them at some point?
Dr. Nammy: Veneers, just like … I always say, dentistry in the mouth, it doesn’t last forever. Just like I always like to use an analogy with the house bathroom remodel project, the grout lines in between the tiles do wear away over time. But you can make them last very long if you come in for routine maintenance cleanings and make sure the bacteria’s being cleaned away as well as the stains and the biofilm. So veneers can last a really long time, as long as you take care of them.
I have some in the mouth that have been placed over 17 years ago. It’s mainly because of routine and maintenance. We are doing a really good job of making sure the patient comes back, making sure that they’re getting their cleanings regularly, every three months. We’re polishing them with beautiful polishing paste and making sure that things last for a very long time.
Eating and Drinking With Veneers
John: If I get veneers, do I have to be careful about what I eat or drink?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. So veneers tend to be thin and they’re made out of porcelain, so they are brittle. So for example, I do not recommend biting almonds with it or biting a piece of strong hard bread. I would recommend that you chew that with your back teeth because they’re more equipped to take the forces. For veneers, I would recommend if you want apples, anything like that, I would just cut them and then eat them from that end. Or bite them from the side or bite them from the back.
John: So generally trying to avoid things where you’re using your front teeth to bite into something?
Dr. Nammy: Yeah. Especially hard, like really hard forces.
To Learn More About Veneers, Contact Green Dentistry
John: Okay. All right. That’s really good advice. Dr. Nammy, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: My pleasure, John.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com. Or call (415) 433-0119.