When to Consider Porcelain Veneers vs. Dental Bridges

Are you unhappy with your teeth? Would you like to improve the way they look? A cosmetic makeover can change you inside and out! With a beautiful smile, you’ll have the confidence to take on life and feel better about the way you look. But you may be wondering what exactly can be done to improve your smile. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. Finding the right dentist for treatments like bridges and porcelain veneers in Scottsdale may seem overwhelming to you. But it doesn’t have to be! At Lernor Family Dental, we’ve transformed hundreds of smiles just like yours. Some of the most common cosmetic restorations we offer are dental bridges and porcelain veneers. Before you choose one, it’s important to know how they differ from each other. What Is a Dental Bridge? Losing a tooth can be a scary thing. But it doesn’t have to be. In most cases, lost teeth can be replaced with dental bridges. A traditional dental bridge fills in the space of a missing tooth. It can, in some cases, replace more than one. Our dentist will take an overall look at your mouth and teeth to help determine the best options for your particular situation. Let’s say you want to replace a single tooth. In order for a bridge to be an option, there will have to be a healthy tooth on either side of the space. This is important because just like a bridge that brings two roads together, in your mouth, its purpose is to close gaps in your smile. This means these natural teeth are required to serve as anchors to hold your bridge in place. A bridge is a great option if the teeth on either side of the gap have had previous dental work, or show a small to moderate amount of wear. Since these compromised teeth tend to be weaker, covering them in their entirety will help to protect your smile better. A bridge is made up of three components: a crown for each natural tooth, which is a prosthetic cover that is placed over the teeth on each side, and then a solid, artificial tooth (known as a pontic) that connects the two crowns together. The final dental bridge is one piece but looks like three teeth. It’s a very strong restoration, yet natural looking because it’s professionally fabricated at a dental lab. It bonds permanently over your teeth. Some prep work needs to be done to the natural teeth before making your bridge. Our dentist will trim the enamel to ensure that there’s enough space for the prosthetic to fit over each tooth. Rest assured, we only remove enough tooth to make enough room for the bridge. At this first appointment, you’ll be fitted with a temporary to wear while the lab fabricates the permanent bridge. Once it’s ready, you’ll come back for a second visit. We’ll remove the temporary, and then slide the permanent one in place. It’s important to check to make sure your new restoration forms a good seal and that the contacts between other teeth are tight (but not too tight), so that your bite is aligned properly. If the fit is exactly how we want it to be, we’ll bond it permanently into place. Good oral hygiene will prolong the life of your new dental bridge. So, before you leave the office, you’ll be shown how to floss and clean around it. Regular upkeep and checkups will ensure your restoration lasts around 15 years or more. If you’re not missing any teeth, or don’t require as much prep work done, then veneers may be a better option for you. Are Porcelain Veneers Right for You? Veneers are one of the most popular types of cosmetic dentistry available. And for a good reason; the results are life changing! Cosmetic dental veneers are a thin shell that fits over the front of your tooth and wraps around the sides slightly, changing what others see when you smile or laugh. This procedure is a good option if you have:

  • Cosmetic defects and imperfections, like chips, gaps, or cracks
  • Stained teeth that don’t respond well to bleaching
  • Slightly crooked, but not severely misaligned teeth

Before agreeing to porcelain veneers, our Scottsdale dentist will have to make sure you have healthy teeth (no gum disease or severe decay), and that you don’t grind or clench them. The latter is a serious problem that can cause you to chip, break, or pop off your cosmetic investment! Our cosmetic dentist will inspect your bite in order to recommend how many veneers are necessary. The number typically ranges anywhere from four to twelve, with most of our patients choosing six to ten for a complete makeover. Porcelain veneers, like bridges, do require some prep work. But, with veneers acting like an artificial fingernail, the amount of reduction to your natural tooth is less than with a traditional bridge. So this means the teeth to be trimmed should be strong, healthy, and free of prior dental work. Just like with a bridge, you’ll likely make two trips to our office. The first one being the prep visit, and the second about two weeks later, to get the permanent veneers bonded into place. It’s important to note that, though you may look like you have a brand new smile, your permanent teeth are still underneath. In order for your cosmetic investment to last 10 - 15 years, you’ll want to maintain regular brushing, flossing, dental cleanings, along with checkups to reduce the risk of decay and gum disease. Cosmetic dentistry is a great investment, but the way you care for your new smile will determine how long it lasts. Lernor Family Dental is here to give you a new gorgeous smile. So, if you’re looking for a cosmetic dental office in Scottsdale, look no further. Give us a call today! Affordable financing options are available.


Trying to choose between dental bridges and porcelain veneers? Give Lernor Family Dental a call! We are a Scottsdale cosmetic dental office specializing in helping patients achieve beautiful smiles.  Call today at (602) 483-4112 or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Lernor to discuss your options!