Everyone wants to have good-looking white teeth. In many cases teeth whitening can get you there. But whitening only removes stains. It cannot change the basic color of a tooth. Additionally, not everyone was born with great-looking teeth. Or they might have suffered a tooth injury or problem. The good news is you can still get “movie star smile” if you want and you can do it the way many movie stars do — with porcelain veneers. Veneers can enhance your smile b,
- closing spaces between teeth,
- straightening crooked teeth,
- whitening stained teeth,
- hiding chips,
- and creating uniformity.
Porcelain veneers are fingernail-thin covers of tooth-colored porcelain or a resin composite that are molded to fit your teeth and make up for any inequities in your natural appearance. They are permanently bonded to the front of each tooth to give you nearly perfect form, size and color and can last up to 10 years.
Veneers are not just glued into place — doing so would give an abnormally thick tooth which would not look natural. To compensate for the thickness (about half a millimeter or 1/50th of an inch) of the veneers, we first remove a correspondingly thin layer from the front surface of each tooth. Porcelain veneers are thicker and so require more tooth surface removal. However on the plus side, porcelain is more stain resistant and better mimics the translucence and reflectivity of natural teeth. Since they are thinner, resin composites enable you to keep more of your natural tooth surface.
Every front tooth you have does not necessarily need veneers. In fact, if you only have one tooth that does not meet your expectations, we can fix that single tooth and make it match the rest of your teeth.
Once in place, veneers require no special care beyond normal brushing, flossing and cleaning. The actual veneer itself is immune to tooth decay so can never get a cavity.
Veneers offer many benefits not the least of which is a natural tooth appearance. In fact, veneers are very difficult if not impossible for the average person to distinguish from real teeth. Gum tissue has a high tolerance for porcelain veneers. However, veneers are not recommended for people with gum disease, structurally weakened teeth, or teeth with very thin enamel coatings.
But, as with anything, there are potential risks. While veneers are stain resistant, they are not stain proof. And because a front surface layer of each tooth has to be removed to make room for the veneers, the process is not reversible. If they chip or crack, veneers must be replaced. Because some enamel must be removed, your teeth may be subsequently more sensitive to hot or cold. As well, since the veneer only covers the front area of the tooth, the bottom, sides and back area of the tooth not covered by the veneers can remain susceptible to cavities.
If you are a person that bites their nails or chews on pencils or ice, or if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep, you should not get veneers since biting on hard objects can occasionally make them chip or come off (though this problem is not common).
If you plan on whitening your teeth, you should do so before you get any type of cosmetic dental product, since the product will be matched to the color of your existing teeth. Once installed in your mouth, the color of a veneer cannot be changed.
There’s another reason movie stars get veneers while normal people get whitening. Because veneers are tailor-made in a lab to custom fit your teeth they are more expensive and can cost for one tooth what whitening alone costs for a whole mouth.
Sometimes veneers are covered by insurance, but often times they are not. We can help find out the extent of your coverage when you come in.
Three to four visits are required to install veneers. You can then walk away with a dramatically improved smile thanks to having the gleaming white teeth you’ve dreamed of. Instead of being self conscious when people look at your teeth, you can be proud and flash them a dazzling white smile.
To learn more about veneers or to find out if they be right for you, please contact our office.