Next time you pass a magazine rack at a newsstand or in the checkout line at the grocery store, have a look at the cover photos and try to find one common factor that is shared by all. You’ll identify many commonalities, but one you’re guaranteed to find has to do with celebrities baring their impossibly perfect teeth. Ultra-white, perfectly spaced, perfectly even teeth grimace at you from the shelves, fostering an ideal that is prized in our society.
When you and I look in the mirror, almost certainly our teeth aren’t ready for the cover of Cosmopolitan, Shape, or Maxam magazine, so what’s the difference between ordinary folk and the A-listers? Turns out that cosmetic dental veneers are behind those million dollar smiles, but the good news is, you don’t need a six-figure income to get yours. Dental veneers are affordable, painless, and function just like your normal teeth.
If you’re chomping at the bit to get a better smile, it’s good to take a moment to explore your options before you commit to a procedure. While braces and other orthodontics are an option, these can often take years to straighten teeth. In addition, braces do not whiten the teeth, so even if you get straighter teeth, you still have the same staining and overall “less than white” color. With veneers, you can get the beautiful smile that you’re after without the long process and pain associated with braces. You won’t go through an “ugly duckling” phase like your braces wearing friends either; the results are instant. Invisalign is a good solution for some, but you’ve got to ask yourself if you’re up for the hassle of inserting and removing the trays before meals and regular visits to the dentist to get fitted with new trays. Both braces and Invisalign are likely to give you a lisp, and cause some level of overall discomfort. Not so with veneers – you get perfectly straight white teeth every time. Veneers are also a great way to correct things like gaps, discolored teeth, and even teeth that are chipped.
There are two different materials that veneers are made from: porcelain and resin composite. Porcelain veneers are often the most popular choice, as they last longer and maintain their brightness for longer than resin composite veneers. Any cosmetic dentist will go over the options for their patients, determining which type of veneer is best to correct their problems with their teeth. A dentist will take x-rays and thoroughly examine the teeth of their patients to determine what veneers will work best for them.
Veneers are custom fit for each person who chooses to get them. A dentist will file down the enamel on the teeth so that the veneer can be placed over each tooth. Once the enamel is removed, molds will be taken of each tooth so that a perfectly fitting veneer can be constructed. These molds are sent off to specialized laboratories that make the veneers to perfectly fit each tooth. The dentist will instruct the laboratory on the materials to use to construct the veneers, as well as any special instructions. Making the veneers may take several weeks. If a person wants an immediate fix, they can have temporary veneers placed on their teeth until their set has been constructed.
When the veneers are finished, the dentist will place each one on the teeth to make sure that they are the right fit and color. The teeth will then be cleaned and etched, which is followed by the dentist bonding, or using cement, to put each veneer permanently in place. They will remove any excess cement and make sure that each veneer is properly in place for the beautiful smile that their patient is looking for. Aftercare of veneers is easy. Teeth can be brushed and flossed as usual with no special changes. They have also been shown to resist stains much better than natural teeth, although excessive drinking of wine, coffee or tea may cause a slight discoloration over time.
There are many advantages to getting veneers. Veneers are a quick and easy fix to help anyone get the smile of their dreams. Many imperfections and flaws can be easily corrected using veneers. However, there are also some disadvantages to having these placed on the teeth. One major disadvantage is that they can chip or crack. If this occurs, they cannot be repaired, but will need to be replaced. Replacement veneers may not be able to be matched to your existing veneers, sometimes leaving you with a slight difference in color. There may also appear to be darkness at the gum line where the existing teeth show, causing unevenness in color. Veneers also need to be replaced every five to ten years, so be sure you are ready to commit to keeping up your new smile, and set aside a few bucks for future procedures.
Veneers are a great way to make teeth look fabulous. Although there are some downsides, anyone considering veneers should talk with their dentist to see if these are right for them. For many people, veneers give them the smile that they desire, making them feel more confident while showing off their beautiful smile to the world.
Norman Jeffries writes about dentistry and related topics from his office in Silver Lake, CA. Norman works with the premiere web-based dental lab software program used by dental labs in the U.S. and around the world.