Q and A with Dr. Joe Blaes

April 9, 2010

Question: What is your choice of materials for veneers? Why?

Answer from Dr. Joe Blaes: I have used every type of material for veneers. When I started doing veneers in the late ’70s, the only show in town was Dr. Robert Ibsen and DenMat. Dr. Bob taught how to use Cerinates, and his sales team was selling the materials to stick them onto the teeth. In those days, there were no dentin bonding agents, so the enamel was pretty well left in place so everything was bonded to enamel. Case selection was very important just as it is today.

Then I began using feldspathic (stacked) porcelain with some local dental laboratories, but not too successfully. The porcelains were not as good then as they are now. About that time, Ivoclar Vivadent came out with Empress and I began using that for all my veneers. If you have used Empress, you know that you must remove 1½ to 2 mm of tooth. That is a lot of tooth to remove, but the results were great. Luckily by that time some first and second generation dentin bonding agents were on the market, because when I finished prepping there was very little enamel left on the teeth.

I met my current dental laboratory owner (David Block of Aesthetic Porcelain Studios) in the early ’90s and have been using him ever since. David was using Empress with a cut back technique to add porcelain to the facial for shading. I was getting some great work then. David and I were at dinner one evening talking about dentistry and he told me that he could give me a better-looking veneer with feldspathic porcelain. My immediate thought was that I would not have to cut off as much tooth and I would have more enamel left to bond to. So I started using the veneer prep that Dr. Robert Nixon had taught me. I was happy with this much more conservative prep, and the resulting veneers were works of art.

We were having dinner again and David asked me why I only broke the contacts when there was crowding. I told him because I knew that he needed more space. He said that if I would break through all the contacts and put a finish line on the lingual that he could give me veneers with better contacts. I would also have a finish line that I could see and more tooth to bond to. So I began doing my three quarter crown prep for veneers. The results are even more beautiful.

So the answer to your question is that my material of choice for veneers is feldspathic (stacked) porcelain because that is the choice my dental laboratory owner made that allows me to look great when I seat his wonderful products. Sorry for the long answer, but it took me a long time to get where I am today.

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