To be fair, not everyone has been endowed with a “Hollywood Smile”, along with teeth that are dazzling white and perfectly shaped. In fact, many who are in the spotlight can thank their dentist for enhancing their smile with dental veneers. For many, however, dental veneers are much more than just a cosmetic enhancement. Patients who have damaged or decayed teeth can derive great benefits from dental veneers. And quite often, the difference is like night and day.
Without getting overly technical, dental veneers are wafer-thin translucent “shells” that are fitted over existing teeth to correct specific deficiencies. Veneers are custom-fabricated to fit, and are designed to enhance the aesthetic look of teeth. Dentists will prescribe dental veneers for a wide range of problems: broken or chipped teeth; teeth that are misshapen; teeth that may have been permanently stained; even dental fillings that are visually unappealing to the eye.
A dental veneer is purely designed to improve aesthetic appearance. And for some patients, the veneer option may not be the best option. This is exactly why a comprehensive examination by a qualified dentist is essential. And because every patient is different, it’s important to determine if dental veneers are right, and if the results will be worthwhile. Once diagnosed, a patient’s options can be considered, and if dental veneers aren’t right, there may be another option.
Some patients have serious tooth decay, and therefore require additional dental treatment before veneers can be applied. Some patients have poor tooth structure, and therefore may not be good patient candidates. Finally, there are patients who grind their teeth, and here again, veneers may not be the complete answer. What’s important is for the dentist to provide a good diagnosis of the patient’s condition, and for the patient to make viable decisions going forward.
From a more technical perspective, there are basically two types of dental veneers. Composite resin veneers actually stick to the surface of a tooth. These veneers are colour-matched with the patient’s natural teeth, and are then applied in layers. Once the layers of composite resin harden, the tooth can be shaped and polished so that the finished tooth is smooth and natural looking. Once completed, and when the work is well done, composite veneers look natural.
Porcelain veneers offer another approach, and with several benefits. Porcelain material is both durable and resilient, lasting for about 10 to 15 years. The material does not stain permanently, and the finished look is very “life-like”. With porcelain veneers, the results are exceptional, even though the procedure itself is more costly than others. This is because the dental work is more complex, and therefore requires a high level of professional experience/expertise.
At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, Dr. Lloyd Pedvis will prescribe the best dental veneer option. But for long life, veneers depend on proper day-to-day oral care, and a commitment to ongoing dental hygiene. Clearly, patients with veneers must be more cautious when they chew, bite, or grind.