A trip to the cosmetic dentist can change your smile for life. If you aren't completely happy with your mouth, you don't have to rely on at-home whitening treatments that only last for months or a year. Porcelain veneers cover your teeth with a thin layer that looks just like natural enamel. The only difference is that the veneers will make your teeth bright and evenly shaped. Before you decide on veneers, consider a few facts about the process and the product.
1. Veneers aren't just a one-layer deal. Your cosmetic dentist, like Clendenon Kirby DDS, will need to apply several thin ceramic layers over an adhesive layer to replace the real enamel. In the process, the professional removes some of the original enamel to make room for the porcelain layers.
2. There are easy-on (or at least, easier on) options. Minimal or no-prep veneers are a porcelain alternative that allow the dentist to place the material on your teeth with less enamel removal. Even though the dentist will still need to remove some of the tooth surface, the procedure isn't as long or invasive as the traditional porcelain method. These are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. That means they may not work as well to correct the size or shape of your teeth as a full veneer would. Only your cosmetic dentist can tell you if you're a candidate for the minimal or no-prep options.
3. Porcelain veneers last for years. They may last anywhere from five to 20 years, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. While average length of time is more towards the five year figure, in some cases well-cared for veneers can stay in place for up to two decades. Your veneers will need to be replaced with new ones eventually. When the dentist removes the veneeer, the missing enamel means that you'll need another new surface.
4. You're getting a custom-made product. Veneers aren't one size, or color, fits all. Your dentist will take a model of your mouth for the lab to use when creating a custom fit, according to the American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy website. This means that you'll need to wait between one and eight weeks after the initial visit to get your veneers.
Porcelain veneers provide a long-lasting way to beautify your smile. Whether you want to change the color of your teeth, correct cracks or totally transform your smile, a cosmetic dentist can use these porcelain products to give you a bold new look.