Advice if you’re thinking about dental veneers

So, you’re thinking about getting dental veneers but want some background information before you visit your dentist to consult.  That’s understandable of course, because anything that will change the look of your smile requires some thought.  Speaking with our patients in St. Catharines and Burlington about porcelain veneers, we’ve been able to compile this article titled, “Things You Should Know About Dental Veneers.”

For starters, “What are dental veneers?”  This is a question that we get asked all the time and this is what we say.  Veneers are a thin, tooth shaped shell (or wafer) of porcelain that your dentist permanently bonds to a tooth (or teeth) to enhance it’s shape, colour or position in your mouth.  The process is simple and can provide amazing results, but it can also be somewhat pricey.  That’s why you need to consider the following before you visit your dentist.

1 – This tip makes the top of our list because it’s really super important.  Porcelain veneers can take your smile to the next level, but only if your dentist is good at it.  Never go with the basement price option, instead choose to go with someone who ahs a certifiable track record.  Take your time during your consultation and make sure you absolutely love the “before and after” of what your new smile will look like.  Veneers are simple procedure, but it can get screwed up and taking them off again is a real – pain.

2 – Veneers are a cosmetic fix.  It’s as simple as that.  Any underlying dental issues will need to be sorted out beforehand to make sure your oral health is in top shape.  Veneers are great at hiding imperfections (cosmetic ones) like discoloured teeth and chipped or cracked teeth, making them a great option if you’re looking for a “permanent” teeth whitening procedure.  Veneers are also great for fixing minor alignment issues that would normally require clear braces or a retainer.

3 – Veneers are as individual as your smile and must be custom made.  It’s not as easy as walking into your dentist’s office and saying, “I want perfect, shiny white teeth!”  While you could say that, you’d be better off getting veneers that match your smile, your face and your character.  After all, you don’t want everyone to think you have a set of fake pearly whites in your mouth because your veneers stand out too much.  It’s all about what works for you.  A certain amount of imperfection is what creates perfection in this case.

4 – When thinking about veneers (or in consultation with your dentist), there’s always the question of which teeth to add veneers too.  You don’t have to put veneers on all your teeth to make a dramatic impact.  Maybe you have just one tooth that is chipped or cracked from an accident.  It might no make much sense to do your whole mouth just for one tooth, so think about what smile you’re after before you head to your dentist.

5 – Go natural or you might look weird.  Everyone wants white teeth, but they should also look natural.  It’s important to match the colour of any veneers to your face.  This means skin tone plays a large role in deciding on the actual shade of white for your new veneers.  Your veneers can be pretty much any colour (we hope you’re only thinking of white) or shade under the stars, so make sure you love the choice before the veneers become a permanent part of your smile.

6 – Applying veneers can take a while, especially if you’re getting all (or most) of your teeth done.  For example, if you’re getting ten teeth done, expect to be in the dentist chair for about 3 hours.

7 – Veneers are like plastic surgery for your teeth, which means that you will potentially experience some pain and discomfort after treatment.  There is something called bonding sensitivity that affects about half of the people who get veneers attached.  This pain usually lasts around 5 hours once the local anesthetic wears off, but lesser aches and even sharp twinges are commonly felt for up to a week or two.  An over-the-counter painkiller is recommended to help with the discomfort.  Your gums will also be sore until they adjust to the new shape of your teeth. 

8 – Veneers have a shelf life, albeit a long one of about 15 – 20 years, but still.  They will need to be replaced once they are worn out or become damaged.  You can extend the life of your veneers by keeping up with a proper oral hygiene routine and by visiting your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice every year.

We’ve listed some of the most important aspects of porcelain veneers, but there’s still a lot more to consider.  Its’ important that you take the time to fully understand and converse with your dentist to ensure you know exactly how your procedure will take place.  Veneers can give you a serious cosmetic lift and a confidence boost, but only if they are done properly and suit you perfectly.

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