It’s easy to see why most people would want a flawless, bright smile, what with all the pearly whites that grin at us from magazine covers and TV screens, but that doesn’t mean that you should rush to the nearest cosmetic clinic and book an appointment; like all surgical treatments, dental restorations have to be considered carefully first. Veneers are very popular in the world of dentistry, mainly because they can provide that ‘Hollywood’ smile that so many are looking for, by covering up misalignments and discolouration, and changing the proportion of the teeth so that they look more aesthetically pleasing. If you are unhappy with the way your teeth look, you might want to think about getting dental veneers, but before you make your decision, you need to look at the treatment from all angles, including the negative aspects associated with it. The process of fitting veneers is costly and can sometimes involve extensive reconstruction of the natural teeth, so you need to consider the future implications, instead of just looking for a quick fix right now.
What are the pros of dental veneers?
They can fix your smile – By far the biggest positive of having dental veneers fitted is that they can fix your smile, and give you back the confidence to speak and socialise – something which you might not have had if your teeth were noticeable misaligned. Instead of waiting for expensive orthodontic appliances to do the work, veneers can straighten and adjust your smile in a matter of weeks, with flawless results. Although there are some fantastic brace systems on the market today, some adults still don’t like the idea of wearing ‘train tracks’ or clear aligners, and they can take advantage of the speedy treatment that porcelain veneers can provide. Not only can they help with teeth alignment, veneers are also great for covering up dental staining, which may not always respond to a whitening procedure; it won’t get rid of the discolouration, but it will disguise it and prevent the enamel from deteriorating further.
They look natural – They might be more expensive than the alternatives, but you certainly get your money’s worth with durable porcelain veneers; they look natural and can last for ten years or longer, with good care. High-end products like Lumineers or Emax veneers are made from treated porcelain that can last for decades in great condition, and they are painted with a translucent coating that gives them the appearance of natural teeth – most people would struggle to tell the difference even after a close inspection. Composite veneers are not as durable as the porcelain variety, and they don’t always look as natural either, but they do cost less and they don’t require as much reshaping, as they are made from bonding material, rather than an individually sculpted shell.
They are versatile – Although most dentists would probably prefer to fix misalignments and other problems using orthodontics, veneers can be used to cover a multitude of problems; from heavy staining to crooked, crowded teeth. Of course, extreme cases would have to undergo some sort of treatment first, before the veneers are fitted, but because the process involves cutting sections of the enamel away, it means that the shape of the natural teeth underneath is not too much of a concern once the end result has been achieved.
What are the cons of having dental veneers?
Price – The biggest barrier to treatment for a lot of people is the veneers cost; dental veneers can be as much as a thousand pounds just for one, so imagine what a full set would be, covering the upper and lower jaw. It’s not unusual for patients to pay upwards of twenty thousand pounds for porcelains, and unfortunately this does put most working people off having them fitted. However, there are some finance options available to you, if you have your heart set on veneers; almost all cosmetic clinics will work with a loan provider to make sure their patients have access to the best products without having to raid their savings or run up a huge credit card bill. Talk to someone at the Pearl Dental Clinic if you are interested in the finance plans offered to patients who would like a set of porcelain veneers.
Normally irreversible – Unless you have very minor alignment problems or you invest in the more expensive Lumineers – which don’t always require the natural teeth to be reshaped, you will have to have sections of enamel cut away, in order to fit the porcelain veneers in place. This might not sound too appealing, but it is a necessary part of the treatment; you don’t want the outcome to be bulky or over-sized. Because the outer shell of the teeth has been considerably reduced, this does mean that the process is irreversible, so you need to think carefully about your future finances, and consider whether or not you will be able to replace or repair any broken veneers after a decade or so, otherwise you will be left with unattractive, peg-like teeth.
They can sometimes cause sensitivity – Shaving away the protective layers of the tooth can occasionally have some effect on the sensitivity of the inner pulp, and the patient might notice a slight ache when they eat or drink something that has an extreme temperature. This shouldn’t be extremely painful, but it can be disconcerting, and if you want to avoid it, opt for a more expensive product like Lumineers, as they can often be placed over natural teeth without extensive reconstruction.
Fitting requires some artistry – You could be forgiven for thinking that all dentists fit veneers in exactly the same way; while the principle is the same, it actually takes a high level of skill and experience to place dental veneers in a flawless way, which is not something all surgeons have. For this reason, finding a suitable dentist can sometimes be difficult, and you should always ask to see some evidence of previous work before you agree to anything – if they can’t provide you with proof of their skills, look elsewhere for treatment.