There are many options in cosmetic dentistry today that promise to give you the whiter, beautiful smile you have always wanted. One of the simplest procedures for achieving this goal is dental veneers. These thin coverings go over the teeth to hide a host of imperfections that can make you self-conscious about your appearance. Are veneers the right choice for you? There are some factors to consider before you make that final decision.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are customized shells crafted from materials designed to look like your natural teeth. They are designed to adhere to the front of the teeth, hiding discoloration, gaps and a variety of other imperfections. Veneers come in different materials, allowing us to tailor your procedure to your specific needs, desired results and budget. These coverings can be a quick, painless way to make over your mouth, improve your appearance and increase your self-confidence.
Options in Dental Veneers
At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer two basic types of veneers:
These veneers are crafted from a very thin but strong porcelain material designed to look as closely like your natural teeth as possible. Porcelain veneers come in various shades that allow us to match your veneer to your natural tooth color for a seamless result. This type of veneer is crafted in a special laboratory, using special molds of your teeth taken by your dentist during your initial office visit.
Once the veneers are completed, patients come back into our office for the bonding of the veneers to the prepared fronts of the teeth. Porcelain veneers are generally considered the gold standard in dental veneers and work for the large majority of patients that are good candidates for dental veneers. When they are properly cared for, porcelain veneers can last 5-10 years.
Composite veneers are crafted of a composite resin substance. These veneers are shaped by your dentist right in the office, usually at the same time the veneers are placed over the teeth. Because of this, they can usually be placed in a single office visit and often without the use of anesthesia.
Composite veneers are also a more cost-effective option and may be recommended for a tooth that is cracked, chipped or discolored to restore a flawless smile. However, composite veneers are not a good choice for everyone. Dr. Kohani will help you determine whether composite veneers are a good option or if you would enjoy better results with porcelain veneers.
When Dental Veneers Make Sense
There are a number of issues that dental veneers can treat:
- Discoloration due to medications, excessive fluoride or a root canal
- Teeth that are disproportionately small due to grinding or other wearing
- Teeth that have become chipped, cracked or broken completely
- Teeth with noticeable gaps between them
- Teeth that are uneven or misaligned
- Teeth that are oddly shaped or have pits or craters in them
The advantage to dental veneers over other cosmetic dentistry options is that the tooth structure remains intact. However, this also means teeth receiving veneers need to be in relatively good health in order for this option to be beneficial.
Who Should Not Get Dental Veneers?
While dental veneers can provide benefits for many patients today, there are times when veneers are not a good option:
Patients that have tooth decay or other health issues with their teeth
Patients with persistent periodontal disease
Patients that might want to return to the natural look of the tooth in the future (because some enamel is removed, veneers are not considered reversible)
Patients that excessively grind or clench their teeth (some may be able to have veneers if they wear a mouth guard at night to protect their veneers)
Patients with minimal discoloration to the teeth and no damage may be better candidates for teeth whitening treatments. This allows you to enhance the appearance of your smile without permanently altering your teeth.
Porcelain veneers typically involve a two-step process. At the first appointment, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send them to a laboratory with possible photos and other records that will help the lab customize the creation of your veneers to your specific needs. It usually takes 1-2 weeks to get the veneers back from the lab so that we can continue with the second step in the process.
At the second visit, your veneers will be applied to the fronts of your teeth. Some veneers do not require any tooth preparation while others will necessitate removal of a very fine layer of enamel before the veneer can be bonded to the front of the tooth. Once the veneers are applied, they are carefully checked to make sure your bite alignment will not cause any damage to the veneers over time.
Composite veneers can be applied in a single office visit. Like the porcelain veneers, some etching of the tooth may be required before the veneer can be adhered. However, because this is typically a less elaborate process than applying porcelain veneers, most patients can forgo any type of anesthesia while the veneers are bonded to the teeth.
Ask Your Dentist
Veneers are an effective way to camouflage a host of tooth imperfections and create a flawless, beautiful smile. These veneers allow you to keep the structure of your teeth while enhancing their appearance to improve your look and your self-confidence. Dr. Kohani is considered an expert in dental veneers, after working with some of the top ceramists across the globe in this area. He can provide you with the highest quality in care and veneer products to ensure your results achieve and even exceed your expectations.
If your smile is making you self-conscious, now is the time to find out what you can do to improve your appearance. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer a wide range of cosmetic options to brighten and enhance your smile. To learn more, contact our office today at 858-295-0603.