Thinking about a smile makeover? If so, there are plenty of reasons to consider dental veneers. These thin, tooth-colored shells of translucent porcelain can easily cover up a variety of flaws in your smile: small chips, stubborn stains and irregular spacing are several examples. What’s more, veneers can help you achieve a complete aesthetic rejuvenation of your smile and, by extension, your overall appearance. How is this possible?
As it turns out, it’s not just graying hair and wrinkled skin that can make us look older. Our teeth can also display very obvious signs of aging. Older teeth tend to be duller and darker than young teeth, because their translucent enamel covering thins over time, allowing more of the yellowish inner tooth material to show through. Thinning enamel can also develop very fine cracks; these may trap food debris, which can cause stains.
Older teeth also tend to be shorter and flatter than younger teeth from decades of wear. Over time, the teeth (particularly the two in front) can become worn down, and their small natural ridges get smoothed out, making them appear blockier. If the teeth get a lot shorter, the lips may start to sag inward slightly because of a lack of support. Lips tend to sag downward a bit with age anyway, meaning that the top lip may end up covering more of the front teeth over time. If the lip covers the teeth completely, a person can appear toothless – not exactly a youthful look!
Porcelain veneers were designed to solve these issues. Veneers can be made slightly longer and whiter than your natural teeth to give them a more youthful look. The high-tech porcelains in use today have a remarkable lifelike quality, and can be created in a variety of natural-looking shades. Perhaps the best thing about porcelain veneers is that they don’t stain the way natural tooth surfaces do.
What’s involved in getting porcelain veneers? It usually takes at least two dental appointments. Your dentist may first need to remove some surface enamel from your teeth (about the same thickness as the veneer itself—a fingernail-sized sliver) so that the veneers do not add too much bulk when they are permanently attached.
Once this preparation is complete, the dentist will create a model of your mouth, either digitally or with a putty-like impression material. This model will be sent to a dental laboratory so technicians can create veneers for you that will look and fit exactly right. You will receive temporary veneers to wear until your permanent ones come back from the lab. When your final veneers are ready, you will come in to have them permanently cemented or bonded to your teeth.
Veneers done by an experienced, skilled cosmetic dentist are virtually impossible to tell from natural teeth. And taking care of veneers is pretty much the same as taking care of natural teeth — just stick to good, daily routine of brushing and flossing and avoid biting into extremely hard objects like ice cubes (or your own nails) to avoid chipping your veneers.
An important thing to keep in mind before proceeding with dental veneers is that they usually require a permanent change to your teeth – the removal of enamel mentioned above. Therefore, you should make sure to have a detailed discussion with your dentist regarding exactly what you’re hoping to achieve with your smile makeover and the best way to get your desired results. If you’re interested in finding out how porcelain veneers could rejuvenate your smile, just ask your dentist! Call us at 1-800-238-5163 to find out about how dental savings plans can help make quality dental care affordable.