Veneers have been a popular choice for years, for patients wanting to achieve a broader whiter smile. A trend which has evolved from Los Angeles, where Hollywood smiles are the order of the day.
Veneers can be used on a single tooth, multiple teeth or for entire arches, upper or lower teeth or both. Veneers can fix the appearance of gaps, crooked teeth, small arches, discoloured teeth, damaged teeth and a combination of other dental concerns. However veneers do require tooth surfaces to be prepared, in order for veneers to be placed. This means that the surfaces of your teeth would be altered, in order for veneers to be fitted.
This will invariably damage your natural teeth, as the surface of your teeth will need to be thinned in order to make it more rough so that the veneer will adhere to the surface of your teeth. This can put people off, as the cosmetic dentistry procedure is seen as partially invasive. Therefore veneers are not for everyone.
The advantages are the speed and no downtime, little or no discomfort and instant results. The results are instant because temporary veneers will be fitted at your first appointment, while your custom veneers are made by the dental office laboratory. This means you can walk out with your smile, in progress, and confidence on day one.
Your veneers, often made from porcelain will be custom made by the dental laboratory. Some practices have their own dental labs, and others contract out to a local or regional dental lab. You may need to visit the dental lab for measurements and shade matching, your cosmetic dentist will be able to advise.
The advantage of veneers is the precision in the design and makeover of a smile, as the dentist has full control over the dimensions and overall appearance of your new smile. Leading practices in major cities have full digital simulation available, enabling you to preview your new smile, effectively trying on your new smile.
Some patients consider themselves more suitable for veneers if they need to fix or alter the appearance of a single or small number of teeth, rather than a full set of upper, lower or both sets of teeth. Some patients consider it too drastic a change to have a full mouth of veneers fitted, and would prefer to simply fix a particular problem, such as a mis shapen, mis aligned or damaged tooth.
Many patients prefer a natural appearance and prefer their cosmetic work to be natural and not noticeable, rather than suddenly turning up with a Hollywood smile like Simon Cowell the very next day.
A new type of veneer has emerged, to address some of these concerns – this is called a lumineer. These are ultra fine porcelain veneers which require no preparation, meaning that the tooth surfaces do not need to be altered prior to placing the lumineers.
This is more appealing to patients as there is always an option to return to your existing smile without any alternation or damage.
Veneers and lumineers do not last for ever, and will need to be replaced every 5 – 9 years, depending on care and usage.