The cosmetic dental treatment of choice among film stars, dental veneers can dramatically enhance your smile by concealing flaws such as chipped or stained teeth while giving the impression that your teeth are completely natural.
Dental veneers can also improve the smile of those with an uneven gum line – producing a tidier appearance more in proportion with the teeth.
Other embarrassing oral problems that veneers can fix include minor teeth crowding or gaps, and they can also be used to reshape teeth so they appear longer or squarer.
According to the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), veneers are an increasingly popular cosmetic dentistry option for people looking to improve their smile.
Dental veneers are tooth-coloured, ultra-slim, customised casings that are fixed onto the front of teeth to improve the appearance of your smile by masking minor cosmetic issues. They’re secured in place with dental glue after a small area of enamel is trimmed from the tooth surface.
Veneers resist staining better than natural teeth and need no special oral hygiene measures. While veneers are a primarily cosmetic treatment, they also protect the tooth from further damage.
Veneer treatment usually takes two or more appointments, depending on the complexity of the procedure, and your veneers can be fitted with little or no anaesthesia.
Veneers are at the forefront of the development of state-of-the-art procedures that are breaking new ground in aesthetic dentistry.
The original dental veneers – created in 1928 for a Hollywood film shoot – were primitive by today’s standards, consisting of an acrylic cap that stayed in place for just a few hours.
Veneers have evolved continuously since then, and cutting-edge technology behind modern veneers has made them more effective than ever, less costly, and a popular mainstream cosmetic dentistry option.
Today’s veneers have better bonding agents and are much thinner, allowing your dentist to preserve most of the structure of the tooth, and digital imaging helps to make veneers as near a perfect match as possible to your natural teeth.
Advances in dental technology have also paved the way for porcelain veneers that can improve your smile even more effectively.
Porcelain veneers – also called dental laminates – are favoured over their composite counterparts because they’re more stain-resistant and look more natural.
Although in many forms – such as crockery – porcelain is a fragile material, the solid glass-like properties of medical-grade porcelain dental veneers give teeth a smile-enhancing protective surface that can last up to 15 years.
They’re so durable because external forces from everyday activities such as eating are transferred from the veneer onto the strong, rigid structure of the tooth itself, designed by nature and evolution to withstand constant wear and tear – the outer, protective enamel layer of a tooth is the hardest substance in the body.
Porcelain veneers resist wear resolutely and are impervious to temperature changes caused by hot or cold food and drinks. Any tooth sensitivity after porcelain veneer treatment is minimal and gradually fades quickly.
Besides durability, porcelain veneers offer several other advantages. They:
Your dental veneers won’t require any special maintenance measures.
You should continue to brush and floss properly and regularly – a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush are recommended to avoid damage to the shells – and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings with a veneer-friendly polish.
Bear in mind, though, that like teeth, veneers can be damaged by habits such as chewing on hard objects such as pens, pencils or ice, or biting your fingernails.
If you suffer from bruxism – teeth grinding – a nightguard may help to protect your veneers and your teeth.
If your teeth are showing signs of having seen better days but are still basically healthy, veneers could be the ideal cosmetic dental option.
If you choose dental veneers to improve your smile, you’ll be in good company. Many movie stars – including Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Garner and Demi Moore – have had veneers fitted because significant results can be achieved fast.
Veneers can fix many unsightly dental defects to improve your smile and boost your self-confidence. Generally as thin as about half a millimetre, dental veneers can improve the appearance of teeth that are:
The most effective, comprehensive smile makeover may be achieved with a combination of porcelain veneers and professional teeth whitening – veneers for your more visible front teeth and whitening of surrounding teeth to create a uniform look.