We’ve all seen Extreme Makeover, we’ve all watched those Hollywood stars smiling blindingly. Ever wondered what you’d look like with a little cosmetic dental work?

One of the most popular ways of transforming your smile is through the application of dental veneers.

Natural Appearance

Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of ceramic that are permanently bonded to the front surface of teeth with dental adhesives.

As the ceramic used in dental veneers is translucent, it reflects light in a way similar to living teeth, giving veneers a very realistic appearance. Veneers can also be tinted to further enhance their natural look.

The surface of veneers is glass-like and not only holds its original colour for years, but also resists staining from cigarettes, coffee, red wine etc.

Uses

Though porcelain veneers can be used to protect weakened teeth, they are generally applied in an effort to enhance or improve appearance.

Dental veneers can correct the appearance of:

  • Crooked teeth.
  • Chipped and cracked teeth.
  • Discoloured teeth.
  • Worn teeth.
  • Gaps between teeth.

The Procedure

If you decide to bite the financial bullet and acquire a set of veneers it’s likely you’ll go through a three step process.

1. First, you’ll visit your chosen cosmetic dentist and discuss the work you want done and the goals you hope to achieve. Dental imaging may be employed to help you visualise the finished result. Your dentist should provide you with a full outline of the veneer placement procedure and information relating to the various veneer options available and their relative merits.

2. On your second visit to the dentist your teeth will be prepared to receive veneers. This will entail the removal of a small amount of enamel (often less than half a millimetre). Temporary veneers will then be applied to protect your teeth while your permanent veneers are prepared at a dental laboratory.

3. During your final visit the permanent veneers will be bonded to your teeth.

Cost and Lifespan

Porcelain veneers can cost anything between $700 to $2000 per tooth, depending on the type of veneer used and the experience and reputation of the dentist. If you live in Christchurch, Dentistry With a Smile are known for their excellent practice at affordable prices.

Though porcelain is a brittle material, when it is bonded to a tooth is forms a very strong and stable surface. With care, dental veneers should last in excess of 15 years.

Caring for Your Veneers

Care should be taken to avoid chipping and cracking – chewing ice, for instance, is not recommended.

Apart from an awareness of impact damage, and the avoidance of teeth grinding, veneers demand little more than regular brushing and flossing.

Who Can Have Them?

Almost anyone with the money can get veneers, though they may not be an appropriate choice for individuals with excessively decayed teeth or active periodontal disease. They are generally not recommended for people under 18 years of age.

What to Expect Afterwards

As veneers require the removal of enamel you may find your teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold.

In the weeks after fitting you may also experience a period of readjustment as you get used to the feel of your new teeth during speaking and eating. Veneers can have a profound affect on appearance and this, too, may take some getting used to.

These small discomforts, though, will almost certainly be outweighed by the happiness your new smile brings. The relatively simple process of applying porcelain veneers can turn cracked and stained teeth into a set of pearly-whites any Hollywood star would be proud to flash at a camera.

To learn more about porcelain veneers check out this video.

Porcelain Veneers – Cosmetic Dentistry for a New Smile, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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