Mastering the Art of Porcelain Veneers: A Conversation with Dr. Weiss

Interviewer: Good day, Dr. Weiss. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Could you please start by introducing yourself and sharing a bit about your experience in dentistry?

Dr. Weiss: Yes, thank you, and good day to you as well. As for my experience – I’ve got over 40 years of experience; it’s been quite a long journey.

I’m originally from Winnipeg, where I graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1982. After graduating, I worked as an assistant professor at my university for several years, as one of the youngest in my department, working with specialists at our clinic. I actually went on to work with clinics across Manitoba and the Northwest Territories during this time as well, and devoted a lot of my time to helping Indigenous communities, which was an amazing experience.

Fast forward, I opened up my own clinic in the university student union building, where I worked for about five years. During this time, with it being the early 80s, cosmetic dentistry was an exploding industry, especially in the United States, and so I would spend a lot of my time flying down there to learn, and eventually became inspired to change my direction and enter the field of cosmetic dentistry myself.

I moved to Toronto in 1990 and opened a clinic there, all while building up my experience and knowledge by taking orthodontics and Neuro Linguistic Programming courses, which helped me become a better practitioner and I consider to be the incredibly important building blocks for what I do in my practice today.

Interviewer: That’s impressive, Dr. Weiss. Cosmetic dentistry is truly an art. Could you tell us about your practice, the Art of Dentistry, the history and how it aligns with your philosophy?

Dr. Weiss: I would say that the bottom line of my philosophy, especially when it comes to my practice, is that I strive for perfection and accept nothing less than excellence. Of course, it’s also essential for me to keep in mind the happiness of my patients, and whether or not I’ve satisfied their original goals from when they first came in. Even when it comes to the most difficult cases, what really matters is that they’re happy, and that I’m happy with the results.

Interviewer: Fascinating. Let’s delve into the topic of Porcelain Veneers. For those unfamiliar, could you explain what Porcelain Veneers are and how they differ from other cosmetic dental procedures?

Dr. Weiss: Yes, of course. There’s a lot to unpack in that question. So, a porcelain veneer is a very thin porcelain layer, even less than a millimetre, that is placed over the surface of your teeth to change their size, colour, shape, or position. They were actually originally developed to make discoloured teeth appear whiter – which is still the case, don’t get me wrong – but they’ve evolved into being able to tackle a lot more than just that.

Now, when it comes to porcelain veneers, there are a couple of different types – mainly, what we call prep veneers and non-prep veneers. Prep veneers require us to file down a bit of your existing teeth before we can apply them to your smile, while non-prep ones use newer technology that just needs to take an impression of your teeth without touching them. Prep veneers are usually better in cases of overcrowding in the mouth, helping bring teeth out and align them better, and bringing in larger teeth that are protruding and need straightening. Meanwhile, non-prep veneers generally help teeth change their appearance – become brighter, more natural, and et cetera.

Interviewer: That sounds versatile. What are the key benefits of Porcelain Veneers, and in which cases would you recommend them to your patients?

Dr. Weiss: Great question. I would say that the number one benefit of porcelain veneers is that they are long-lasting and tend to have natural-looking, reliable results, especially from skilled professionals with experience and expertise.

As a rule of thumb, non-prep veneers usually last longer – 20-30 years – while patients can expect their prep veneers to last about 15, since more changes are being done to the original teeth in terms of filing before the procedure.

Typically, I recommend porcelain veneers to patients who come in with concerns over the size of their teeth, especially in the case of smaller teeth with large gaps in between who are looking to make their smile more visible, feel more confident in their smile, you know? I also do a lot of veneers for professionals looking to appear more approachable, retired athletes; I make some teeth look more feminine or masculine by changing their shape, and I make others whiter without coming across as artificial. There’s really quite a broad spectrum.

Interviewer: The process sounds intriguing. Could you walk us through the typical journey a patient takes when considering and getting Porcelain Veneers?

Dr. Weiss: Certainly. So, in my office, I always book an initial consult with any new patient interested in veneers, and I take that time to sit down with them and coordinate their treatment, what they’re interested in, their history, what they’re looking for, and so on. From there, we usually scan their teeth for a full set of images on record, and go over the images with them to make sure everyone is on exactly the same page when it comes to the treatment plan.

Next, once we have all the images, we can also sometimes do what’s called a wax-up, which is a model of your exact teeth made of wax during a follow-up appointment. This is a great option for patients who want to be able to see what their new teeth will really look like. We use this to put together an estimate for a specific treatment plan, so that my patients can leave their consultation knowing all of the information about their veneers – cost, timeframe, and recovery.

Now, on the day of your actual procedure, there’s a difference between prep and non-prep veneers, of course – with non-prep veneers, there’s no downtime between appointments; they’re bonded in immediately during your next appointment. Meanwhile, when it comes to prep veneers, this process requires a bit of work beforehand where we numb the mouth and file any teeth that need filing before taking a final impression of your smile. Then, we create your temporary veneers.

Interviewer: It’s clear that Porcelain Veneers offer remarkable transformations. How do you ensure that the veneers blend seamlessly with a patient’s natural teeth?

Dr. Weiss: I would say that ultimately, the answer to that question depends on the number of teeth you’re interested in getting done. Traditionally, if you’re looking for natural veneers, we pick a colour that has a bit more depth and translucency to it so that it accurately blends in with the rest of your mouth and your smile.

I also always schedule follow-up consultations with my patients in order to make sure that they’re happy with their results and don’t need any adjustments.

Interviewer: That attention to detail is commendable. After the procedure, what can patients expect in terms of recovery and long-term care for their Porcelain Veneers?

Dr. Weiss: In general, long-term care for your porcelain veneers should be the same brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings on a regular basis that you’re already doing. We also offer nighttime retainers to prevent the grinding or clenching of your jaw in your sleep.

The biggest difference in care is that when it comes to prep veneers, your temporaries will tend to stain while you’re waiting for your final results. With non-prep veneers, though, there’s nothing different you have to do except be excited for your new teeth.

Interviewer: Your expertise is evident, Dr. Weiss. Could you share a success story where a patient’s smile was transformed through Porcelain Veneers?

Dr. Weiss: Honestly, every day, I see a transformation. I’ve treated teeth that have been impacted by medical issues and drugs; I’ve had patients who have come in asking for their teeth to look brighter or younger.

I had one patient just a few days ago, a woman who was unhappy about her recent dental work and wanted to look the way she used to without her teeth having to be any bigger than they already were. I took a look at her photos and was able to open her bite back up the way she wanted by hand. She was so happy she was crying in her chair.

What really sets my practice apart is my approach. I mean, I can give you so many stories; I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I really love my work. It’s a passion of mine to create the perfect smile for each and every patient that can match their personality. I’m 64 years old and I love what I do as much as I loved it 30 years ago, and I don’t want to stop because I truly do love what I do.

Interviewer: That’s truly inspiring. Lastly, for those intrigued by Porcelain Veneers and considering a consultation, how can they get in touch with you and schedule an appointment at Art of Dentistry?

Dr. Weiss: Anyone interested in porcelain veneers can call or email our clinic for a consultation. We actually offer complimentary consultations, so that our patients don’t have to worry about any kind of hidden costs when their priority should be their health.

Interviewer: Thank you, Dr. Weiss, for sharing your insights and expertise on Porcelain Veneers. It’s been a pleasure learning from you.

Dr. Weiss: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, as well. It’s been rewarding for sure, and a pleasure.

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