How to get a million-dollar smile: What you need to know about dental veneers
If we're being honest, good teeth most often boils down to one and one thing only: genetics. Sure, our dentists might preach the importance of upkeep — true when it comes to a brighter, whiter smile — but it doesn't quite apply to chipped, uneven gnashers, too-wide gaps, and or incisors shaped like malformed mountains (we wish we were kidding).
My dentist told me I need a crown. I was like I KNOW, RIGHT?— Swishergirl (@Swishergirl24) August 8, 2013
Short of going back in time to prevent one's conception, there appears to be a simpler solution on hand: dental veneers. These thin, tooth-coloured shells are attached to the front surface of teeth to give the straight, white-toothed smile of dreams. Psst: Miley Cyrus, Emma Watson, and Cardi B count themselves fans.
Got your attention? Below, the answers to all your burning questions regarding veneers — from the difference between the variations available to how to take care of 'em after.
How do veneers work, exactly?
Said ultra-thin, tooth coloured shells are permanently bonded to the surfaces of teeth to help hide discernable flaws and imperfections.
How many veneers can you get?
It depends on the overall effect you're looking to obtain from your veneers, though six to eight seems to be the norm.
What are the different types of veneers available?
Traditionally, most dental clinics offer porcelain veneers. They remain to be the preferred choice as they allow for teeth shape and colour correction effortlessly, with the effects lasting anytime from 10-20 years. Composite veneers, on the other hand, are a cheaper alternative, though they can appear less natural looking as compared to porcelain. Be sure to discuss with your dentist as to what works best for you.
What are the pros of getting veneers?
A million-dollar, Hollywood-worthy smile aside, veneers also provide strength and resilience to the natural tooth enamel. They can shield teeth from enamel cracks and chips as well, with it being the less invasive option when it comes to smile correction and severe discolouration.
What are the cons of getting veneers?
Some patients are known to experience increased sensitivity, though dentists assure that the sensation goes away in a day or two. Bear in mind that the procedure is also a permanent one.
What is the procedure like?
A preliminary appointment is first set up to discuss your veneer options, followed by an X-ray to evaluate your teeth's health. A mold impression is then taken so as to ensure that your veneers will make a perfect fit. Once the mold is made, teeth is thoroughly cleaned and grinded to create a rougher tooth surface. This allows for the dental cement to bind onto teeth more easily than before, whereupon the veneers are then applied.
What are the aftercare practices required after the procedure?
Hardly any downtime is required, with patients reporting that they are able to eat and chew normally once the anesthetic wears off. You can, however, take certain precautions to ensure the longevity of your veneers.
- Not chewing on too-hard objects such as ice cubes.
- Not using teeth to rip open any kind of packaging.
- Eating harder foods with your back teeth instead of the front.
- Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports.
- Wearing a retainer if you notice yourself grinding or clenching teeth constantly.