5 Things Everyone should know about Veneers

upclose smileDental Veneers are a common treatment for patients who want to improve their smile.  Some patients request veneers to deal with color issues, while others want to close spaces, lengthen teeth, or alter the shape of their teeth.  All of this is possible, with beautiful results.

My goal with any front tooth aesthetic work is to create a beautiful, long-lasting, and stable result.  This requires a thorough understanding of the patient’s history and desires.  There are 6 points that I find are key for patients to understand when we begin to discuss veneers:

Veneers are a very thin porcelain facing on the surface of the tooth

Veneers are like thin porcelain contact lenses that cover the fronts of your teeth.  In preparation for the veneers, these areas are reduced by a fraction of a millimeter. The goal is to reduce your tooth as little as possible in order to maintain its maximum strength.  The tooth stays strong.  The veneer stays thin. In this way we restrict the breakage risk to the veneer.

Veneers are the most conservative type of porcelain “restoration”

In most cases, the tooth retains most or all of its original strength due to the fact that most of the tooth is left untouched.  The strength of a veneer lies in the fact that it is bonded to the enamel on your tooth, and bonding to enamel is extremely strong and long lasting.

Some teeth are better off with a full coverage crown

In some cases, due to tooth damage, there is not sufficient enamel remaining to bond a veneer to.  In these cases, a full coverage (wraparound) porcelain crown is preferable because it doesn’t rely on a bond to enamel to stay in place.  Many smile makeovers, especially those involving more damaged teeth, involve a combination of veneers and metal-free crowns.

Not sure what you’ll like?  Wear a mock-up for a few weeks!

For patients considering major changes in their look, I recommend an in-mouth mock-up.  We can create the exact changes you are requesting right on your own teeth, allowing you to wear these for several weeks.  Changes in this mockup can be made until you are completely happy, at which point we can translate those changes exactly into a finished product.

An Unhealthy Bite can damage your Veneers

A variety of common bite problems can manifest as worn or jagged teeth, or may be completely undetectable by the patient.  Undiagnosed, untreated bite disorders very often contribute to the breakage, chipping, and loss of many front tooth veneers. Many of these issues can be prevented by first establishing a healthy “bite” that takes into account your jaw joints, muscle, and chewing position.  By employing a specific process to build a strong, stable foundation, we increase the chances of a long-lasting result for our patients.

My role in your treatment is much more than the delivery of a specific procedure. Ultimately, my role is to apply my judgment for your benefit.  We’re ready to help when you’re ready to get started.