Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, and author of the bestselling book, Age With Style— A Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living , discusses veneers.
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 author of the bestselling book Age with Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. Today our topic is veneers. Welcome Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy: Hi John. Thank you for having me.
What Are Dental Veneers
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, what are dental veneers?
Dr. Nammy: Dental veneers are thin shells that go around the teeth in order to make them look better, so it’s almost like a press-on nail.
John: Okay. And what are the benefits of veneers and what types of issues do they fix?
Dr. Nammy: The reason why I like veneers is that they fix the size and the shape of the teeth. And they’re the most conservative way to go ahead and do that because we don’t have to drill the entire tooth down. We just remove a very thin layer in order to cement or add on this thin shell to make the teeth look better.
John: And does the veneer go all the way around my tooth or is it just on the front?
Dr. Nammy: No, that’s the beauty of the veneer too. It’s only on the outside of the teeth. It’s purely for cosmetic reasons.
Options for Veneers
John: Okay. And what are some of the options that I have for veneers?
Dr. Nammy: There are quite a few veneers and types and materials. And my preference always is eMax because it’s the most biocompatible material that is out there. And also it allows this beautiful translucency, so it looks like you have natural teeth, so you don’t have that white chicklet look.
John: Are there any issues with veneers in terms of what types of food I can eat or anything like that? Do they risk cracking or falling off?
Dr. Nammy: They do. One of the biggest concerns of veneer is biting into a piece of bread or biting into an apple because of the concentrative forces, we ask you to minimize that. And the veneer is actually made out of a ceramic material, and tends to be a little bit more brittle. The eMax material is a lot stronger, so I do like to use that in my practice, but I still advise my patients to be really careful with biting strong pieces of bread, like a baguette is one of those that’s really concerning for the majority of the time.
John: And how do I choose what type of veneers are going to be best for me?
Dr. Nammy: The best way to decide what type of veneer is to come into the practice, because we need to figure out what the concern is and are the teeth natural? Do they have fillings on it? How big are the fillings? We also look at your face and we follow something called the golden principle or the golden proportion so that we can determine the size and the shape of your teeth to make everything look harmonious and most attractive and natural, like how nature would have designed it.
John: Is there any way for me to visualize what my teeth will look like after I get the veneers done?
Dr. Nammy: Yes, absolutely. We have programs that will help you decide and look at how your teeth would look. We have plenty of examples of patients, just like you, who we can show you how they started and what they look like afterwards. So, absolutely.
Caring for Veneers
John: And how do I care for my veneers after getting them done? I know you said maybe I have to watch out a little bit for certain foods that I’m eating to make sure that I’m not putting undue pressure on them. Is there anything else that I need to do to help care for them?
Dr. Nammy: Yes, absolutely. The most important is to come in for routine cleanings. I recommend every three months for veneers versus every six months because the veneers have micro cracks or micro gaps in between them where the veneer meets the tooth. So it’s like the grout lines in the bathroom. I always say the more you clean it, the better and longer they last and also making sure they get polished so that they have that beautiful luster that they look really good. And the last thing is to make sure that you’re not clenching and grinding because that will also crack a veneer or make it fall off. So wanting to make sure that you don’t have any breathing issues, making sure that if you do or have a digital device that works very comfortably for you and that way you’re not having poor function.
John: All right. That’s great information, 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.