A beautiful smile is one of your most important assets. This simple and universal expression has a power beyond measure. In the absence of words it can communicate your most positive emotions. It radiates your personal warmth and inspires the confidence and trust of those around you.
Because a smile illuminates your face and highlights your features more than any other gesture, an attractive smile contributes to a positive self-image. According to dental surveys, many people believe that being secure about the appearance of their smile helps them in both their social and professional interactions.
Although some people have a naturally pleasing smile, many believe theirs requires improvement. Fortunately, thanks to advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry, there are several options available today to transform and perfect the look of one’s smile.
One of the most esthetic and conservative means of creating a more pleasing and beautiful smile is the placement of dental veneers. Offering a relatively quick avenue to a dramatic and highly satisfying smile improvement, dental veneers are thin facings that are individually custom designed and bonded to the visible surfaces of the front teeth. Beyond just taking a few visits, dental veneers are appealing because they require the removal of very little tooth structure. In many situations they are an excellent alternative to full coverage dental crowns for modifying the size, shape and color of the front teeth as well as perfecting the overall appearance of your smile.
If you are interested in improving the look of your smile with dental veneers you must first see your dentist for a smile makeover consultation. At this visit, the dentist can assess the overall health of your teeth, the surrounding tissues and jawbones, and begin the process of analyzing your smile. If you have not had a complete dental examination in the recent past it will be recommended that you have one done. This is so that any decay, gum disease, infections, or other dental problems can be addressed before beginning cosmetic care.
Dental veneers may improve the appearance of front teeth that are:
- Stained or discolored
- Slightly crowded or misaligned
- Peg shaped or undersized
- Have spaces or gaps between them
- Minimally chipped, fractured, or worn down
Depending on a variety of factors, dental veneers can be made of either porcelain or composite resin materials. Your dentist will decide with you which material best suits your needs and budget. When done correctly, both materials are capable of producing a beautiful result.
Porcelain veneers are typically fabricated from what is known as dental grade porcelain. A very durable material, porcelain has an inherent translucency that gives it a remarkable ability to create the most life-like and naturally appearing tooth surface. Porcelain veneers are highly stain resistant and will not darken from richly colored foods or habits like cigarette smoking. Although they are ultra thin and inherently brittle, once bonded to the teeth these veneers are very strong. Porcelain veneers are most often fabricated in a dental laboratory and take just a couple of visits from start to finish. They are generally more expensive and more difficult to repair than composite veneers, but if they are cared for properly will last longer and require less maintenance.
While porcelain veneers are fabricated from an impression and outside of the mouth, composite resin veneers offer the possibility of being directly sculpted onto one or any number of teeth in a single visit. Made from the same materials as white fillings, composite resin veneers are also capable of creating naturally appearing and absolutely brilliant smiles. However, since composite resin is a more porous material than glazed porcelain, these veneers can be more susceptible to staining or chipping.
Since cosmetic dentistry is both an art and a science, your dentist will consider many factors to determine the type, shape, and size of the dental veneers most suited to your case. Achieving facial harmony and balance is of paramount importance. Your smile improvement expectations and goals will play a significant role in the treatment plan.
Once your new dental veneers are permanently placed you can begin to enjoy the beauty of your improved smile. Your veneers can be cared for just as you care for your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing and routine dental care are important. Your dentist may advise you to avoid toothpastes that are overly abrasive, as well as certain foods that may damage your veneers. A mouthguard or nightguard may be suggested in situations where the front teeth may be exposed to potential injury from sports or grinding and clenching habits.
Transforming your smile can impact both your life and your outlook. Considering the array of cosmetic concerns that dental veneers are able to address, it is no wonder they have become such a popular choice for cosmetic smile makeovers.