Are Tooth Veneers Right For Me?
If your teeth are less than perfect, you might be considering veneers as a quick way of achieving a Hollywood smile. But before you seek out your nearest cosmetic dentist, there are some things you need to know.
What are tooth veneers?
Tooth veneers are made of wafer-thin sheets of porcelain and fit over your teeth not unlike a fake fingernail. Veneers are used to correct uneven teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, gapped teeth and dingy teeth that do not respond to tooth whitening due to permanent discoloration.
What is the procedure?
The process is done over several visits. The first visit the dentist sometimes will take a cast of your teeth and perhaps x-rays. The enamel from the teeth that will receive the veneers is removed in approximately the same thickness of the dental laminate. An impression, or model, is made that will be used to craft the veneers. Your teeth will look terrible at this point. If you want, temporary veneers can be fitted until your final ones are ready. This adds to the cost. When it comes time to fit the permanent veneers, the dentist will first make any fine adjustments to their shape and size before applying the cement that will bond the porcelain into place. Voila, a perfect smile!
Pitfalls of Seeking the Perfect Smile with Tooth Veneers
When done right by a skilled cosmetic dentist, veneers mimic the beautiful translucent quality of natural teeth. They are durable and if can leave you with a perfect gleaming even smile.
But there are downsides.
A traditional tooth veneer requires that the enamel of otherwise healthy teeth be blasted away in preparation for the porcelain shell. In other words, your teeth are permanently and irreversibly altered, and will always require a covering.
Once in cemented onto your teeth, the veneers cannot be altered, they are expensive, they can fall off if you bite into something really hard, the teeth can become more sensitive to cold or hot because their natural enamel was removed, and typically they cannot be fixed if for whatever reason they chip or crack.
They are also very expensive ($500 to $1,200 or more per tooth) and
they last only 5 to 10 years, at which time, you would have to undergo
the whole process again. It is also possible that decay would have
formed in this time that requires more extensive care and perhaps even
And consider this.
Popular young actress and singer Hilary Duff got veneers after chipping a front tooth on a microphone. The procedure morphed her mouth from pretty to manly. Her veneers are simply too long and masculine. And if a wealthy celebrity with access to the supposedly best cosmetic dentists ends up with a mouth full of Chiclets, then the rest of us mere mortals better be very careful when choosing a dental professional to perfect our smiles.