It seems like all the magazines today are talking about celebrities getting veneers for glamorous, camera-ready smiles but what is a veneer really?
A veneer is a cosmetic dentistry option that involves a thin piece of porcelain being cemented over the front of a tooth. Patients can receive one or several veneers depending on the custom dental plans that my dental team and I create at our Boston dental office. With veneers, we are able to alter the shape or color of the tooth to hide stains, close gaps, even surface texture and straighten smiles. Veneers are a very durable cosmetic dentistry option with a longer life expectancy and color stability than cosmetic bonding and high resistance to permanent staining from coffee, tea or even smoking.
Veneers may be right for you if you have pitted or grooved tooth enamel, chipped or fractured teeth, spaces between your teeth, overlapping or crowded teeth, teeth of uneven lengths or sizes, crooked teeth or discolored teeth. The advantage of veneers over an alternative such as a porcelain crown is that more of your natural tooth structure is left undisturbed. For conventional veneer, 0.5-1 mm of tooth structure needs to be removed to allow for the thickness of the ceramic material. In “no prep veneers” such as Cristoble and Cerinate, little or no tooth structure is removed, but these are not possible or desirable in all cases.
At your first consultation, we will decide if veneers are the best cosmetic dentistry option to meet your appearance enhancement goals. Our goal is always to enhance your appearance with natural looking cosmetic dentistry. We do so by blending colors, adding translucency and shape make the veneers identical to natural teeth. During your first treatment visit, teeth are lightly buffed to accommodate the veneer – often a local anesthetic is required but not in all cases. We then take a mold of the tooth/teeth to create the veneer(s). This entire visit lasts 1-3 hours depending on how many teeth are being treated. At your final visit, lasting an hour or two, we will first place the veneer on the tooth surface with water or glycerin to check the fit and color. Once we are sure the veneer is perfect, we clean the tooth, place special cement between the veneer and the tooth and apply a laser to harden the cement. Finally, we recommend a follow-up visit two weeks later to check the veneer(s) and photograph your fantastic new smile so you can see your amazing before and after dental transformation!