Dr. Van Zyl and his team at The Van Zyl Center for Advanced Dentistry are experts in the field of cosmetic dentistry. Located in Collierville near Memphis, TN, this practice specializes in creating beautiful and custom-made porcelain veneers for patients who are looking to improve the appearance of their teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded over the natural tooth, dramatically improving the entire smile.
A porcelain veneer is really just basically a new facing for your tooth.
What we do is we skim maybe three tenths to five tenths of a millimeter off
of the front surface of the tooth. Sometimes over the edge, the biting edge
of the tooth also. Then that gets replaced with a new, pretty porcelain
shell. But basically what we do with the veneer is, if there's any tooth
that's out of alignment, or say for instance we've tried to bleach the
teeth and they just won't get any whiter and the patient really wants to
have whiter teeth, then the only option we have is to physically change the
outside characteristics of the tooth. We're able to make teeth a little
wider, little narrower. Make a little longer, a little shorter. Whatever we
have to do to make the smile into the work of art that we like for it to
The process is basically in three steps. Consultation, we make some
impressions, we do our evaluation. We do our smile design. We have several
mockups of different setups for teeth, and what the patient is after in
their smile. We let them choose what they want, then we send the models off
to the laboratory. They do a wax up. Basically what that is, is a mock-up
of what we think the teeth will look like.
When we do the veneers, patient comes back in. If they're fine with the
setup and the way the teeth look, then we schedule them for the preparation
appointment. And what happens in that appointment is the patient is numbed.
Just like when we do a filling, the patient gets numbed first. Then we
shave off about three-tenths to five-tenths of a millimeter off the front
surface of the tooth. Just to the right of the crest of the gum line.
If we have to go in between the teeth to shift teeth from one place to
another slightly, we have to take more tooth structure away. But we try to
be as conservative as we can with the veneers, so we reduce the tooth
structure to a certain degree in order give us the ability to recreate the
smile the way we want it to be. Then to increase our place, after the
impressions are made of the preparations on the teeth, that's enough for
the laboratory. About three to four weeks later we schedule the patient to
come back. At which point they are numbed again, and then we glue the
porcelain veneers into place.
Porcelain veneers are the most beautiful restorations that we can create as
dentists for patients. It's not just making a veneer. There's some artistic
ability that needs to be embraced and used also, in doing and creating the
smile. I want to work on people's mouths where people say, "Boy, you've got
beautiful teeth." Without people knowing that they're fake. And that's what
some of the materials allow us to do nowadays when we do porcelain veneers.