Beverly Hills Porcelain Veneers 101 What are veneers?

Ask an expert about the art and science of a Smile Makeover with porcelain veneers

If you want to understand more about porcelain veneers, just ask Dr. Kourosh Maddahi. Dr. Maddahi is an award-winning Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist with over 24 years of experience in designing and placing porcelain veneers. Having personally placed thousands of porcelain veneers, he has the experience, skill, and artistic eye to create your exquisite smile makeover.

Dr. Maddahi is known as the Smile Transformation Expert

He has perfected the art of smile makeovers to ensure that the makeover is rapid, pain-free, and precisely crafted to give you a smile that is perfectly suited to your face and your personality. His work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Extreme Makeover, and many other television shows.

In this part of our website you will find answers to some of the questions Dr. Maddahi hears most from his patients about porcelain veneers. You can also call our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Maddahi at any time.

Porcelain Veneers Before & After

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What are Porcelain Veneers?

Dental veneers are very thin porcelain covers that are put on top of your natural teeth to change the shape, size, and color of the teeth. With the latest technology in dentistry, veneers can be made to look exactly like natural tooth enamel and are often used to create custom smiles. The longest-lasting and most natural looking veneers are made from extra high-quality porcelain.

What conditions can porcelain veneers correct?

Porcelain veneers were originally thought to be simply a solution for permanently discolored teeth or to re-shape teeth slightly. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Maddahi has worked with all possible types and styles of veneers, and has found that veneers can be used to correct many different dental problems:

Crooked Teeth

Dr. Maddahi was one of the first dentists to begin using dental veneers as a solution for crooked teeth. Instead of having to wear braces for 18-24 months, many patients can get their crooked teeth fixed in two or three visits with Dr. Maddahi. This patient suffered from many crooked and misshapen teeth that had grown in at odd angles. The gums were re-shaped and the teeth prepared for new veneers. Once the veneers were placed, the remaining teeth were whitened to match the new replacements, resulting in a complete smile transformation.

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Gaps Between Teeth

In the past the only option to close gaps in your teeth was braces. Today Dr. Maddahi uses veneers to re-shape the teeth and close gaps large and small. This patient had a gap in her front teeth, and also wanted to improve the shape and color of her teeth. This smile transformation was accomplished with porcelain veneers and tooth whitening.

Beverly Hills porcelain veneers before and after photo 02

Teeth that are too small

It is fairly common for a person to have one or two teeth that come in smaller than the rest. This alone can drastically affect their smile. Veneers can be used to fix one or two teeth and make them the proper size. Many dentists will not use veneers for single tooth replacements as it can be very difficult to match the color and shape perfectly. Dr. Maddahi routinely treats these types of cases with great success. This patient wanted a simple smile transformation to fix some of her teeth that were too small, and to address stains on her teeth. Three veneers were placed to change the shape of the smaller teeth and give her smile a full, natural effect. The full procedure was completed in two visits.

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Teeth that have been ground down

Many people grind their teeth and over time their whole smile can be compromised. Dr. Maddahi can restore the teeth with veneers and provide custom mouthguards to prevent the effects of grinding. This patient had several decayed teeth in the upper jaw as well as teeth that were worn down due to grinding. Single-tooth implants were used to replace the severely worn teeth that could not be saved, and his entire mouth was transformed using veneers and cosmetic crowns.

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Stained, discolored, or yellow teeth

Veneers are permanent fixes for teeth that are stained due to tetracycline, coffee, or smoking, and even teeth that have yellowed with age. And the best part is - the veneers themselves do not stain and will continue to look beautiful over the years. This patient's teeth had become yellow with age, making her look several years older than she actually was. Dr. Maddahi replaced her upper and lower teeth with a series of porcelain veneers to give her a natural, beautiful look. And shaved about 10 years off of her appearance.

Beverly Hills porcelain veneers before and after photo 05

Misshapen teeth

Sometimes teeth do not grow in properly or shift over time. Just one misshapen tooth can affect the appearance of the smile. Veneers are a perfect solution to correct this. This patient was in her late fifties and was very self-conscious about her smile. Her husband had recently passed away and she wanted to be able to enjoy life again. She knew she was holding herself back because of the way her teeth looked. In just two appointments, her smile was completely re-done, including treating the underlying gum disease, fixing her crooked bottom teeth, and placing new veneers and crowns on the upper and lower arch.

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What are the advantages of Veneers compared to other types of dental work?

You always have options when it comes to dental work. Porcelain veneers come with many advantages that make them an excellent fit for smile makeovers and cosmetic dentistry. Three of the most common situations we see in our office are people who want to: a) whiten their teeth, b) straighten their teeth, and c) fix chips, gaps, or other flaws with their teeth.

Dental Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening

Professional tooth whitening is one of the many services we offer and it can lighten your teeth up to eight shades in one visit to the office. In some cases, such as severe tetracycline stains, this whitening procedure is not enough to achieve the whiteness people want. Permanently stained teeth can be re-surfaced with veneers to make them look perfect. Best of all, the veneers themselves are stain-resistant so you won't have the problem coming back.

Dental Veneers vs. Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding can be used to fix flaws and chips in your teeth, and even to close gaps or fix misshapen teeth. There are two issues with dental bonding: durability and quality. Dental Bonding usually lasts 3-5 years at best before it starts to chip, wear away, and look old. Porcelain Veneers on the other hand can last 15 years or longer with proper care. The quality of dental bonding has a lot to do with the skill of the dentist, but it cannot match the exact color, translucence, and other qualities of your natural teeth the way we can with porcelain veneers.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Braces

The primary issue with braces is time. It takes 1-2 years wearing the braces to get the teeth in place, and then you have to wear a retainer for the rest of your life to keep them there. Veneers are a permanent fix that can be applied in two visits, and in many cases at Dr. Maddahi's office, this means starting on Monday and completing on Friday. While veneers are more expensive than braces, the results can be more lasting and be accomplished in a fraction of the time.

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What is the process like for getting Porcelain Veneers?

At Dr. Maddahi's office, the process for getting porcelain veneers placed is typically done in two visits. At the first visit, Dr. Maddahi will take detailed photographs of your teeth and create images of what your new smile will look like. Your teeth will be prepared for the new veneers and temporary veneers will be put in place so you can experience them for a few days while the permanent ones are made. This gives you the opportunity to experience your new smile and make sure it's exactly what you want. This first visit can take anywhere from 1 and a half to four hours depending on how many teeth are involved.

At your second visit, the permanent veneers will be put in place and your bite adjusted to make sure everything is comfortable in your mouth and looks beautiful. Typically this visit will be similar in length to the first visit. Due to the use of our exclusive dental lab, we are often able to start this procedure on a Monday and complete it on a Friday with all permanent veneers put in place. Our office is specially designed with patient comfort and speed of service in mind, all so that we can accommodate patients who need to get their work done quickly with no compromise on quality.

How many dental veneers do I really need?

Porcelain veneers are most successful when they look and feel like your natural teeth, but shaped and colored in the way that you would like your smile to look. It is important when placing veneers to have them color-matched exactly to your remaining teeth, so that your smile looks consistent and natural.

Color-matching can be a challenging process, and some practitioners prefer to give a patient a full set of 6 or 8 matching veneers, rather than attempt the more difficult task of matching the 2 or 3 veneers that are actually needed to the patient's existing smile. Dr. Maddahi does not believe in cutting down healthy and beautiful teeth for veneers, just so that his job will be easier.

Instead, he will work with you to determine exactly which of your teeth truly need veneers, and then he will carefully create veneers for those teeth that will match perfectly with your remaining teeth. Typically, he will recommend teeth whitening prior to veneers preparation, so that your completed smile will be whiter and brighter.

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Are all porcelain veneers the same?

Dr. Maddahi says that the short answer to this question is no, they are not. Different veneers can produce very different results for a patient. Veneers are made by many different manufacturers. Composition, shape, and thickness are all varied from veneer to veneer. Because he has spent so many years working with porcelain veneers, Dr. Maddahi knows which materials are going to give which results, and will carefully customize a patient's veneers depending on the needs of each individual tooth.

For example, some teeth may be recessed a bit, causing the lip and face muscles to "sink in." Using a thicker veneer to rebuild the tooth can support those muscles, helping the patient to look trimmer and younger. Other teeth may need only the thinnest layer of veneer to complete a look.

Whether you need one or several different types of veneer to complete your smile, Dr. Maddahi will find the best material for each tooth, and, with his exclusive lab and in-house technician, carefully color match those veneers so that they match your natural teeth, perfectly.

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How durable are porcelain veneers?

When they are applied properly and well cared for, porcelain veneers are extremely durable. You will be able to eat, drink, speak and brush normally. While they resemble tooth enamel, veneers will not discolor as enamel does, so their beautiful color will also remain consistent. With proper care, your veneers will keep you smiling for 15 years or more.

What about "prepless veneers" or Lumineers? Can I get those?

"Prepless veneers" are veneers that are glued to the surface of your teeth, without much prior shaping or other preparation. They can be appropriate to correct some conditions – for example, an otherwise perfectly-shaped tooth that is discolored and has receded a bit. However, they will of course add thickness to the tooth, and will not blend as easily with your other teeth unless the circumstances are exactly right.

For a natural, comfortable, and long-lasting smile, Dr. Maddahi usually finds that other types of porcelain veneers are superior to this type of veneer, but he does provide Lumineers and other prepless veneers when they are suitable for the case.

If I get Porcelain Veneers, how long will it take?

Dr. Maddahi understands that with veneers, you are interested in a rapid smile makeover. That's why if you come to our office for your first veneers appointment on a Monday, he can have your completed, permanent veneers applied and your new smile in place by Friday. This kind of speed is only possible with Dr. Maddahi's 20+ years of experience and skill combined with our exclusive laboratory and in-house lab technicians.

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Does Dr. Maddahi do anything unique in his office when placing veneers?

While the placement of the veneers themselves is a common procedure, it is all the work that leads up to it that makes our office unique. When Dr. Maddahi looks at your smile, he isn't just looking at your teeth. He is looking at your facial structure, your lips, your jaw, and all aspects of how your teeth and mouth frame your face. A smile transformation from Dr. Maddahi goes beyond re-shaping your teeth and into what we call a "dental facelift".

As people get older, the jawbone starts to wear away. The lips no longer look as full as they once were. Sometimes the front teeth bunch up in the lower jaw. All of these conditions can be enhanced with a dental facelift. By placing veneers, Dr. Maddahi is able to give your teeth the right balance of thickness and length to perfectly complement the face, make the lips appear larger, and re-gain the structure of the mouth so it no longer looks sunken in.

This approach can make a person look five to ten years younger and enhance any type of plastic surgery they may be considering. In fact, in television shows such as "Extreme Makeover" you will notice that the teeth are done as the first step of the makeover. This is because any other facial surgery can be affected depending on what happens with the teeth and smile.

Can Veneers be an alternative to braces?

The simple answer is "yes and no". Braces are designed to move your teeth into place and correct bite and jaw problems. There are certain situations that can be handled with braces that cannot easily be corrected with veneers. However, in many cases where you are dealing with crooked teeth or missing teeth, veneers and dental implants can provide a much faster and more lasting treatment option. Dr. Maddahi regularly helps patients who need a rapid alternative to braces, and he can help you examine your options as a free consultation.

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Complimentary Consultation for Porcelain Veneers

If you are considering porcelain veneers, call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Maddahi.

Your initial consultation and exam are free. It consists of a 41-point comprehensive exam that includes everything from looking at your teeth and gums, to your bite and the way your whole mouth looks and functions as a whole.

Before we plan your veneers we want to know everything about the health and aesthetics of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so that we can help you get there.

(NOTE: There may be a charge if x-rays are necessary. We encourage our patients to bring x-rays to their first visit if they have had them taken recently.)

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