If you’ve got chips, gaps, discoloration, etc., veneers are the way to go, right? I’d say yes, but beware. There is a vast array of results you’re going to get, depending on who you see.
Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way. We can take a mouth full of unsightly problems and make the smile amazing. But it’s quite the process to do it right. That’s why the price might initially seem a bit high. Once you understand the process involved, the price tends to make more sense.
This is one of those cases where it is very unwise to go with the cheapest option. You don’t want people to know you have veneers, but you want them to look amazing; it’s a conundrum not every dentist figures out.
It’s not just about making the veneers look good. They have to fit the face, your age, your lips, and your jawline. Often, veneers will transform someone’s appearance too much, or they will look too perfect, like dentures. Veneers shouldn’t change your identity. Too often, veneers are simply too tall for a person’s face. We’ve all seen it, the face that makes us do a double take because something doesn’t look right. Often it’s in Hollywood, on the TV, but we also see it among friends and family.
Veneers are essentially a porcelain shield that is bonded to your teeth to hide blemishes and gaps. To give you an idea of the process, and how much time and expertise it takes, here are some key steps:
A dentist highly trained in the art of veneers will create models of the patient’s teeth. Using the model, the dentist will create a new model of what the teeth will look like with veneers. There is actually quite a bit of artistry involved here. Balance, aesthetics, not to mention color, all matter immensely. The dentist is essentially sculpting what has to look like real teeth. This process will help the patient feel very comfortable about the process, because they can look at the result before it actually arrives.
In the process of preparing the final veneers, and preparing the actual teeth for the placement of veneers, a good cosmetic dentist will place temporary veneers that look like the finished product. It gives the patient the chance to feel what it’s like having veneers and protects from sensitivities that can occur during the preparation process.
Prepare the Teeth
Remember, the dentist is actually altering your natural teeth to prepare for the veneers, so mistakes are permanent. Exactness and experience are invaluable in this stage.
Lab the Veneers
Once a final model is prepared of the exact shape and color of the veneers, the model is sent to the lab, where the final porcelain veneers are made to exact specifications. You might even ask which lab your dentist uses, and make sure it’s legitimate and quality.
Place the Veneers
Veneers are supposed to last for more than a decade, if not longer. So obviously, the placement of the veneers is incredibly important.
Should I Be Scared of Permanent Changes to My Smile?
You shouldn’t be scared, but again, this is a reason to really do your homework, and realize that to have it done right, you should go with the right dentist. Teeth are permanently modified to prepare for veneers. If the veneers fall off, you don’t like them, that is when you’ll be kicking yourself.
If all of this seems scary, know that veneers can indeed look amazing. A new, beautiful smile can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. I’ve seen it time and time again. But understanding the process should give a clear idea of what to look for in a cosmetic dentist.