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Dental Veneers: A Complete Guide with Dr. Joyce Kahng, DDS

Dental Veneers
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Advice straight from the expert.

A bright, beautiful smile can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself. But if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, it can be tough to feel confident in your smile. That’s where dental veneers come in! We sat down with Dr. Joyce Kahng, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in Orange County and owner of Orange and Magnolia Dental Studio, to get the scoop on this popular dental treatment. Here’s what you need to know about veneers, from the process to the cost and everything in between.

What are veneers and why are they so popular?

According to Dr. Joyce, “Veneers are ultra-thin layers of porcelain or composite that are bonded to the teeth to enhance the color, shape, and size.” You can get veneers on one tooth or, as is more popular, a set of 4, or 8-10. Porcelain veneers are an excellent choice for improving the appearance of a number of smile imperfections, including:

  • A damaged tooth, flawed by chips, fractures, or wear.
  • A misaligned tooth or several teeth that show when you smile.
  • A stained tooth with discoloration from tetracycline, trauma, or root canal therapy.
  • Discolored fillings in front teeth.
  • Gaps between teeth.

Veneers have become increasingly popular over the years because they allow you to change the appearance of your smile while still leaving you with realistic and natural-looking teeth. Whether you simply don’t love your smile and want to take it to the next level, or a damaged tooth, veneers may be a good option for you.

Can everyone get veneers?

According to Dr. Joyce, “Most people could get veneers! It just really depends on how you personally feel about your smile.” However, there are some medical and dental considerations that might prevent you from getting veneers. For example, if you have gum disease, tooth decay, or other oral health problems, these issues will need to be addressed before getting veneers. Additionally, if you have a strong bite or grind your teeth, veneers may not be the best option for you. It is always best to consult with a dentist or cosmetic dentist to determine if veneers are right for you. They will take into account your dental health, budget, and personal goals to recommend the best solution for your smile.

What is the process of getting veneers?

Every dentist has a slightly different process, but Dr. Kahng’s Orange and Magnolia Dental Studio goes about veneers in the following way:

  1. Consultation: Virtual consultation or in-office consultation
  2. Smile Design: Digital scans and professional photography
  3. Temporaries: Prepare the teeth and place temporaries
  4. Finals: Cement permanent veneers
  5. Follow-Up Appointment

In more detail, Dr. Kahng will perform a comprehensive examination of your mouth at your first appointment, discussing what you would like to change about your smile. If there are no oral health issues such as tooth decay or gum disease and veneers are the appropriate choice for your needs, Dr. Kahng can start designing your smile. She works closely with her master ceramist to custom design a facially driven mockup that enhances both esthetics and function for the patient, and this mockup serves as a blueprint for what the final porcelain restorations may look like. The design process takes about two weeks, and then a prep visit is scheduled. At the preparation visit, you will be numbed with local anesthesia and Dr. Kahng will reshape the teeth to receive the final porcelain veneers.  Also at this visit, shading information and impressions are taken and you will leave the office with temporary veneers that are based off of the mockup that was designed.  This way, you can preview the shape of the final veneers for the next three weeks.  The models are then sent to a dental laboratory where Dr. Kahng’s master ceramist will hand craft the porcelain veneers layer by layer. In about three weeks, you return to have temporaries removed and final veneers cemented in place.

Dental Veneers
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Veneers before & after photos

Dental Veneers
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Do you have to shave your teeth down when getting veneers?

Yes, your teeth might need to be shaved down during the prep stage of veneers, but it really depends on your specific situation. There are some patients who are good candidates for a “no prep” veneer, in which no enamel is removed. These candidates usually have smaller teeth with spacing and in proper alignment. However, in most cases, the teeth will be reshaped a small amount to make room for the porcelain veneer to be placed, as little as 0.3 mm in some areas. When considering veneers, it is important to know that any removal of enamel is irreversible, which is why Dr. Kahng’s goal is to preserve as much of the natural tooth enamel as possible. 

Some may argue, ‘Why does it matter how much of my tooth is drilled if it is going to be covered anyway?” To that, Dr. Kahng says, ‘Underneath your veneers is still your tooth. You want to be able to preserve as much of it as possible as you move forward in life.  Porcelain veneers have a lifespan of about 15 years.” This is why Dr. Kahng’s practice, Orange and Magnolia Dental Studio, has been popularized for its minimally invasive esthetic techniques.  She believes in doing things once, doing it right, and making sure esthetic enhancements do not come at a compromise to the health of the teeth.  

Are veneers painful?

Getting veneers is not typically painful, but it may cause some discomfort. Dentists typically use local anesthesia to numb the area to minimize discomfort during the procedure. After the procedure, the gums may be tender for a few days as they heal. It’s also possible for patients to experience temporary sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, but this usually subsides within a week.

How much do veneers cost?

The cost of veneers can vary greatly depending on the location, type of veneer, and dental practice. For example, at Dr. Joyce’s practice, a veneer costs $2,300 each, but at other practices, the cost can range from $1,000 to $4,000 per tooth. The cost can vary greatly depending on the expertise of the dentist and the quality of the ceramic work.  The first step in determining the cost of veneers is to schedule a consultation, which can be done virtually or in-person. Some dental practices, such as Dr. Joyce’s, offer a complimentary virtual consultation, while in-person consultations may come with a fee.

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Joyce Kahng or her practice visit her website

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