So what actually is a veneer?
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is glued over the surface of your teeth. In most cases it requires a small amount of your natural tooth to be trimmed back to allow room for the porcelain to be fitted.
Do I need porcelain veneers?
We often get people booking in for a consultation for veneers at our CP Dental Coopers Plains, Emerald or Mater Hill – South Brisbane clinics. With the relentless increase in social media postings about cosmetic dental procedures that focus on veneers, it is understandable that people find them intriguing, if not desirable. Most of these refer to porcelain veneers, which are typically an expensive, generally irreversible procedure. Don’t get us wrong, We LOVE the amazing transformations and quality results that porcelain veneers provide. They are durable (with an estimated life of 7-15 years depending on the situation), resistant to staining and can make a huge difference to someone’s confidence. In many cases, veneers ARE the ideal choice.
If you have either worn, discolored, mis-shaped, mildly crooked teeth or a combination of these factors, then porcelain veneers can be used very effectively to get you an amazing result that is less invasive than crowns and more durable than composite resin or “bonding”.
We also find that there are some people who just want them because they love the look that can be achieved.
This is an important thing to consider. Veneers are entirely custom made to suit the individual. This means that they can be made in any colour, style, size and shape.
They can be made to look more natural and blend in, or they can be made to look incredibly white for those seeking the “Hollywood” smile.
Your dentist plays an essential role in listening to your concerns, explaining the options and taking the time to work with you to reach your desired goals.
This process requires planning and an extensive consultation that should at least involve a thorough dental examination and cleaning to ensure that there are no active dental decay, infection or gum disease issues. Additionally, it is important to have photos, and scans or models taken of your teeth to assist with planning.
One of the great tools available to dentists is the ability to do a mock-up or even a digital smile design. This means you can get to visualise or even try – in your new smile, and tailor the outcome before you commit to going ahead.
It is a cliché, but there is no point in building an expensive fancy house on poor foundations. The same thing applies to cosmetic dentistry. As tempting as it is to want an amazing smile as soon as possible, it is essential to have excellent oral health and hygiene habits.
Why you probably DO NOT need porcelain veneers?
The thing is, for MOST people, there are other options that are less expensive, less invasive and better suited and may require less ongoing maintenance.
This is where having a dentist you trust to provide options in YOUR best interest, not theirs is critical.
Remember, veneers won’t last forever and will likely require replacing a few times during your life.
An alternative to porcelain veneers is to use composite resin filling material or “bonding” to change the colour, shape and position of teeth. The main advantage of this is price. It is typically about one quarter of the cost of porcelain veneers. It is a great material, but does wear out faster, stain slightly more easily and may not give the perfect aesthetic outcome.
What about tooth whitening or braces as an alternative to veneers?
For most people (especially if you are younger) these are more suitable. If all you want is to change the colour of your teeth, then minimally invasive and inexpensive whitening can be all you need. Tooth whitening works very well, and if done under the supervision and direction of a trained oral health professional is very safe and very effective. It usually requires topping up as the results usually fade after a few months. We feel using a customised take – home kit is the most effective.
Braces or clear aligner systems such as Invisalign are typically the most effective at positioning teeth in their most appropriate aesthetic position. Some patients feel that they do not want to spend the 12- 24 months in braces to get a great result. However orthodontics from trained dentists, or our experienced colleagues at http://brisbane-orthodontics.com.au/ means less invasive procedures and less ongoing maintenance.
In some situations, patients may need a combination of veneers, whitening, composite and orthodontics treatments to achieve the ideal outcome. What is essential is that you get the best advice and do not rush into any decisions.