Hollywood stars are no strangers to veneers when it comes to achieving a perfect smile. Many celebrities have used veneers to enhance the appearance of their teeth, from correcting minor imperfections to completely transforming their smiles. With their natural-looking and long-lasting results, it's no wonder veneers have become a popular cosmetic dental treatment among the rich and famous.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin layers of certain materials fitted onto the visible surfaces of front teeth and other teeth visible in the smile line. The aim is to improve the appearance of teeth and smile overall, by masking imperfections of colour or shape of the patient's own teeth. Think of it like a fake fingernail, but for a tooth and made with much higher precision materials and much longer lasting.
Compared to orthodontic treatment, veneers are simpler and quicker ways to correct different types of teeth problems.
What are the different types of veneers?
Veneers are available in two main materials: Composite and Porcelain.
The major advantages of composite veneers are that they are cost effective and in most cases require no removal of tooth structure at all. Composite veneers can be polished off with no damage done to the patient's own teeth if the patient wants the procedure to be reversible.
However, composite veneers cannot improve severely discolored or misaligned teeth, are more prone to staining and chipping, and are less durable than porcelain veneers; therefore, more upkeep oral hygiene and more frequent dental visits are required. In addition, composite veneers requires a certain amount of skill, special training, and years of practice by the dentist to achieve life like, natural looking results.
As for porcelain veneers, the material can be further subdivided into two types. Feldspathic Porcelain creates the most artistic and beautiful veneers but is slightly weaker making it suitable for anterior areas with low occlusal forces and high aesthetic requirements. Lithium Disilicate is stronger material and suitable for people who stress their veneers more, for example those who grind their teeth at night. The main advantages of porcelain veneers are longevity and the ability for greater improvement of colour or position of teeth.
Studies show that a porcelain veneer that is glued to enamel can last 20 years or more, but no veneer is stronger than your own tooth, so habits that would break teeth (like fingernail biting) will also break a veneer.
DSD(Digital Smile Design): Visualize your smile before veneer treatment
All procedures start with a Smile Design, to visualize how the result will look. Dentists use DSD (Digital Smile Design) a system that utilises standardized photos of the patient's smile and face to visualize an optimal “facially generated” treatment outcome.
Once the smile design is approved by the patient, a 3D model of the future teeth can be produced. With this model, technician can fabricate a silicon matrix to transfer the shape of the future teeth into the patient's mouth- this is called a trial smile procedure or mock up. Modifications can be made at this stage until the patient is completely satisfied with the appearance of their future teeth and smile.
For composite veneers, the whole process will typically take about 3 weeks from start to finish. For porcelain veneers, the treatment time will be about 4 to 8 weeks, depending on complexity of the case and choice of porcelain.
How should patients take care of veneers?
As mentioned before, anything that could break a natural tooth, can break a veneer. So “don't use your teeth as tools”. Teeth are for chewing food, not for biting fingernails or opening chips bags. On average, composite veneers last about 5 years, but porcelain veneers can last 20 years or longer. To keep your veneers in top condition, daily excellent oral hygiene, including the daily use of dental floss is a must. It is also important to see a registered dental hygienist for a professional cleaning every 6 month.
Seek professional advice from registered dentist before starting veneers treatment
With the popularity of dental veneers, there is a wide variety of treatments available in the market, from dental clinics to aesthetic centers and beauty salons. While it may seem convenient to have veneers applied at a beauty salon, it's important to note that this practice can pose significant risks to the patient's oral health. Veneers are a dental procedure that require specialized training and expertise to properly and safely apply. Beauty salons may lack the necessary qualifications, equipment, and sanitation standards to perform this procedure effectively. As a result, patients may be at risk of experiencing complications such as damage to their natural teeth, gum irritation, infection, and even permanent damage to their oral health. It's critical that patients seeking veneers services choose a qualified dental professional who can provide safe and effective treatment.
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