Having perfect, white teeth has become an expected norm for our society. Your teeth’s appearance is often associated with confidence, health, and good hygiene. Many older adults remember that this has not always been the case, as our teeth are not naturally pure white. Up until the latter half of the 20th century, only the very young or fortunate had brilliant, perfectly white teeth and like gray hair, yellowing teeth were accepted as part of aging.
In the last 30 years, popular celebrities and the media have completely changed the standards for our smiles. Just as you never see wrinkles or dyed roots on a polished celebrity, you don’t expect a healthy person to have stained or yellow teeth. Our changing standards of beauty have created a great deal of demand for veneers.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are a thin, translucent shell of porcelain that fit over your existing teeth and are frequently used to fix discolored, crooked, misaligned, or oddly shaped teeth. In cases of discoloration, bleaching treatments are rigorously used before veneers are recommended as a treatment. If whitening treatments have not given you the results you want or your discoloration is deep set or congenital, Dr. Zadeh will discuss your options.
There are always considerations when undergoing any form of cosmetic dentistry and Dr. Zadeh will happily walk you through the entire process start to finish, getting you the smile you want in as little as two visits.
Dental veneers are great for:
- Fixing small deficiencies in your smile, such as crooked teeth, a chipped tooth, and discoloration, oddly shaped, or small teeth.
- Improving the evenness of your smile, especially if you do not want or require extensive orthodontic work.
- If your teeth are stained internally — veneers can restore the natural brilliance of your smile.
- Repairing damage to teeth, such as small chips, pits, and cracks, that do not require dental crowns, but are too extensive for bonding.
- Protecting your teeth from staining and decay.
- Giving you a radiant smile in as little as one or two visits!
What Extent of Treatment Will I Need?
Most patients only require 1 or 2 in tandem with whitening treatments to ‘iron out’ the wrinkles of their smiles. This is a conservative approach favored by many dentists, who see veneers as an enhancement rather than a reformative tool. Patients who desire a total smile makeover may need 4, 5, 6, or more veneers, depending on their needs and goals. It comes down to what you want and what the Doctor recommends. He will use the minimum required to get the desired results as the use of veneers does require that some of your tooth be sanded down or removed for placement.
Help! I Went To A Dentist and They Recommended More Veneers Than I Am Comfortable With…
Some dentists may push more drastic approaches as they lack the skill and care needed to create a natural looking smile. Getting dental veneers applied is a delicate process that requires years of practice and skill to master. Just because your dentist is a great general dentist, this does not mean they are a great cosmetic dentist. Nor do they necessarily have the skill to properly administer veneers.
As another word of caution, less ethical dentists use them as a way to charge you more money. If you feel your dentist is pushing more veneers than you are comfortable with or feel you need, do not hesitate to get a second opinion. Dr. Zadeh offers second opinions for no cost. He will tell you what you need to get that perfect smile and you can then make an informed decision with no obligation. A second opinion can save you from lots of unnecessary work and costs.
How Does The Process Work?
When you get your veneers applied, you will be given local anesthetic such as Novocaine to make sure you are comfortable through the procedure. After you are numbed, Dr. Zadeh will remove some of your enamel to give your veneers a gripping surface. The procedure is not too unlike getting a filling or inlay placed.
During your first phase of treatment, you will receive temporaries to protect your smile while your permanent veneers are manufactured by our in-office CEREC machine. Following your placements, you may feel some minor sensitivity to hot and cold, but this should go away in a day or two. If you have any concerns, please feel free to speak with the Doctor. He will help find an option that works for you.
Dr. Zadeh crafts your veneers with his state of the art CEREC machine. This gives him absolute control over the quality and reduces the cost of your porcelain veneers. He tries to use the thinnest, most conservative veneers to preserve as much of your tooth as possible. Your veneers will also be matched to your teeth using various colors grades and materials to give you the natural, beautiful smile. You will never walk away with bad veneers or bulky ‘horse teeth’.
As with all of Dr. Zadeh’s dentistry, you do have the option for IV sedation dentistry. We often recommend this for patients who have procedures over two hours or are undergoing smile makeovers and getting their dental veneers as part of their treatment. Severely phobic patients may also opt for sedation upon request.
The Advantages of Dental Veneers
Dental veneers have a number of advantages for patient who get them. First and foremost, they are highly resistant to staining and decay. That means that your teeth will remain radiant for years to come. Even if you regularly enjoy coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco. You also will have to worry about fewer cavities on the surfaces of your teeth.
With their versatility, Dr. Zadeh has the expertise to fit you with veneers that compliment and improve your individual features. This is great for patients who might otherwise be embarrassed by the discoloration or flaws of their smile that cannot be treated with bonding or traditional whitening techniques. Veneers are also easy to care for; only requiring normal brushing, flossing, and checkups to maintain!
For busy professionals, porcelain veneers also offer a great alternative to more time consuming orthodontic work. The process used to correct minor flaws from crowding, crooked teeth, and other shortcomings is called instant orthodontics. You can have a perfect, straight smile in just a few office visits! This prevents you from going through months or even years of orthodontic treatment, especially if you only have minor misalignment of your teeth.
There is one distinct disadvantage to veneers. They need to be replaced regularly, so be aware of this before committing to them. High quality veneers a minimum of 10 to 15 years before requiring replacement. Ten years is recommended for routine replacement as veneers are made of ceramics and porcelain, which are not as sturdy as your natural teeth and will wear out more quickly. Remember, nature provided your teeth with the best material possible, so try to maintain your teeth in their natural state for as long as you can!
The good news is: If you maintain good dental hygiene and go with a conservative approach, veneers will be very affordable over the course of your treatment and lifetime. Do not let yourself get railroaded into more veneers than you need. Not only will the upfront costs be astronomical, your costs down the road will be equally painful. Again, if you feel pressured, please get a second opinion. You will be glad you did.
Lumineers: An Alternative to Traditional Porcelain Veneers
While traditional veneers can improve or restore the brilliance of your smile, sometimes patients are uncomfortable with removing part of their teeth to get the desired results. This is where an alternative called Lumineers comes into play. The staining or misalignment of a patient’s teeth may not severe enough to require a permanent veneer but is too severe for bleaching, or orthodontic work is too extreme for a minor flaw such as a irregular or crooked tooth. As a result, Lumineers can provide you with the results you want in a fully reversible process. They serve as a wonderful middle ground, and many of our patients swear by them!
You can view more before-and-after photos of porcelain veneers in our smile gallery.