Have you ever looked at a celebrity smile and wished your smile could be equally perfect. Well, it’s no big secret among dentists that most Hollywood stars were not born with perfect teeth. For many celebrities, their Hollywood smiles are achieved with the help of cosmetic dentistry, particularly porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are a great option if you want to improve the appearance of your smile efficiently and affordably. Compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental implants, crowns or even orthodontic braces, veneers are less invasive and often less expensive. Because veneers are less complex than these other options, they are also one of the easiest options for a smile makeover.
Veneers can be used to repair and beautify cracked or stained teeth, lengthen short teeth, and fix gaps between teeth. Veneers are shells made of tooth-colored porcelain that fit over the front of your teeth. They are most commonly used on the front teeth of the upper jaw, which tend to show the most when someone smiles, laughs or speaks.
The entire veneers procedure usually involves several visits. The first visit usually involves a discussion with your dentist about the goals for the design of your new smile. At this visit the dentist may also take an impression (i.e. a mold) and x-rays of your teeth.
At the second appointment, the dentist will prepare your teeth for veneers. The dentist will remove a small amount of the enamel on the surface of each tooth that is going to be covered. This helps the veneers fit properly and securely, however it also means that the veneers procedure is irreversible. The resulting transformation of your smile is well worth it! In the meantime before your next appointment, the dentist may attach temporary veneers to protect your teeth and make them look better.
The veneers are then created by a dental lab technician, based on a model of your smile made from the mold. The color of porcelain veneers is carefully selected to look natural with your existing teeth, though of course they may be whiter in order to improve the appearance of your smile. Porcelain is a great material for veneers because it is durable and its texture is very similar to that of teeth, including how it absorbs and reflects light.
At your last appointment, the dentist will ensure your veneers are ready to fit your teeth, trimming them or making color adjustments as necessary. Veneers are affixed to your teeth using a special dental cement, the color of which can be adjusted to help make sure your veneers look natural. Once the veneer is in place over your tooth, the dentist uses a special light to harden the cement, so it bonds your veneer to your tooth very quickly.
You should care for veneers just as you would care for your natural teeth, by brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly for teeth cleanings. Though porcelain is stain resistant, it’s still a good idea to avoid foods that could stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, or red wine, as this will help make sure your natural teeth continue to match your veneers.