Thanks to Dental Veneers Say Goodbye to the Smile You’ve Never Liked
Your teeth are healthy enough. They just don’t make a great impression. If you’ve always wanted a more beautiful smile, porcelain veneers are excellent way to get a smile you’ll love without major changes to your teeth.
Porcelain Veneers: Elegant Strength
Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. In order to place them, roughly half a millimeter of tooth enamel is shaved away from each tooth to make room for the veneer and to prevent the teeth from becoming too thick. Porcelain Veneers may be thin, but they are made from durable, strong materials engineered to look exactly like natural teeth. Each veneer is custom shaded and shaped so that veneers are able to close small gaps an reshape teeth and smile lines.
Porcelain Veneers: Long-Lasting Beauty
Today’s veneer materials are long lasting and don’t become opaque with time like we see with old crowns. They are more resistant to staining than cosmetic bonding or even natural teeth. Veneers provide great esthetics for years to come. While we see veneers lasting more than 25 years, patients replace their veneers, on average, once in their lifetime.
What about Snap-on or No Prep Veneers?
We know that this is a solution everyone really wants to be great. No drilling. No bonding. Just make the new teeth and snap them in place for a gorgeous new smile! If Snap-on veneers were as great as they are supposed to be, it is a treatment I could sell all day long. Unfortunately it’s cheap for a reason.
First, those snap-on veneers add bulk to the teeth and lips. We mentioned earlier that the reason we remove a small amount of tooth enamel when we prepare a dental veneer is to prevent the tooth from getting too thick. To understand what we mean by too thick, imagine a bulging lip.
They also are almost always loose in the mouth because they can’t be bonded or hooked in place without drilling or damaging the anchor teeth. Have you ever tried to gracefully bite into anything with wiggling thick teeth? The mouth is a very fine-tuned part of the human body. The tongue, lips and jaws are sensitive to minute differences in movements. When the teeth are suddenly half a millimeter or more thicker, it changes how the face looks and it also affects a person’s ability to talk, chew or smile normally.
Important: Don’t get dental veneers without a bite analysis!
Porcelain Veneers sometimes get a bad rap for being “too fragile” or “too easy to chip off” when they actually failed because the dentist didn’t do a complete bite analysis before and after designing and placing the veneers. Having said that, PLEASE HEAR ME: If you are opening beer bottles with your teeth or trying anything else that would be equally dangerous to your natural teeth, don’t expect me to take the blame. However, if you’re just biting into a sandwich (no olive pits) or smiling and a veneer pops off or breaks, the first thing that comes to my mind as a dentist is that your bite wasn’t balanced and was probably exerting too much force on the dental veneer. A bite analysis should be part of every restorative procedure and it needs to be explained to patients who are getting fillings, crowns or veneers that if anything feels “different,” maybe thicker, bulgy, high, or something else new in the first couple of weeks after the restorations are completed, it’s worth bringing to your dentist’s attention. Sometimes a new restoration alters the bite and it is critical to get things re-balanced in order to protect restorations and teeth and help them last as long as possible.
Not Sure If You actually NEED an Dental Extraction?
Hearing you need an dental extraction when you’re not sure why it’s necessary. How can you know if the tooth truly needs to come out or if it could actually be restored? Isn’t it best to keep your own teeth as long as possible?
We meet new patients all the time coming in for a second opinion and feeling frustrated that another dentist wanted to take a tooth out that the patient is pretty sure could be saved. What we’ve discovered is that about 5% of the time, there was a restorative option available that was overlooked. However, about 95% of the time, the tooth needs to be extracted and the diagnosing dentist simply didn’t take the time to adequately explain why.
It’s easy as a dentist who “does teeth” all day long every day, to forget that patients don’t “do teeth” all day long and that they need extra information in order to feel comfortable making decisions, especially about losing teeth. Dentists also have different personal guidelines about what “saving a tooth” means.
Here are my personal guidelines for when teeth should be extracted:
- If the tooth has an untreatable level of infection inside the tooth
- If the tooth has an untreatable level of infection in the surrounding gums
- If the bone around the tooth has dissolved and can’t support the tooth
- If the tooth has broken or decayed to the point that it can’t support a crown
- If the tooth has already been root canaled twice
Why these guidelines? Because I don’t believe that fixing a tooth just to have it break again in a month counts as “saving a tooth.” Every one of these scenarios could be patched, but would explode as a toothache, dangerous infection or deeper trauma within days or weeks, further risking your health. I’m not willing to put my patients’ health at risk for convenience.
If you’re not sure why your tooth “needs an dental extraction” come see me for a second opinion. We’ll take a look and a 3D-CT radiograph give you a clear explanation of what is going on either with that one tooth or in your whole mouth depending on how much you’d like to know.