Every movie plot is different, but you can always count on one thing. The stars of the big screen will have dazzlingly white and straight teeth.
How do they get their smile so perfect? Is it a requirement for being a movie star?
The truth is that only 1 in 90,000 people are born with genetically straight, perfect teeth. The rest of us live with the flaws or use cosmetic dentistry to correct our smiles.
At Dr. Julia Snyder’s office, cosmetic dentistry is a regular part of the day. Preventative care is essential to a healthy mouth, but we also believe you don’t have to live with a smile when you’re not happy with it.
Covering Up Minor Imperfections
The most well-known dental fix is braces. However, millions of people have minor imperfections that aren’t significant enough for braces. How do they end up with their ideal smile?
For many of them, the answer is a veneer. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that bond to the front enamel of your tooth. With one of these shells placed over the flaw, your smile is transformed instantly.
Are you wondering if this dental magic solution could be right for you? Read on to find out answers to questions like, “How long do veneers last” and, “Can they fix my specific problem?”
Can a Veneer Help You?
Sometimes, our dental goals are to fix the slight imperfections we have. If you don’t want to deal with long-term orthodontic solutions or dental treatments, you still have options.
Veneers are a versatile solution for a variety of problems. If you thought you were stuck with any of the following common dental “flaws,” a veneer may help:
- A crooked tooth (or a couple of teeth) messing up your straight smile
- Stained teeth that won’t brighten with whitening treatments
- Teeth that have been worn away or otherwise damaged from bruxism (grinding)
- Chips and/or cracks in your tooth
- Uneven spaces and gaps between your teeth
These are all typical complaints we hear in our office all the time. The good news is that they’re also easily fixed with a veneer!
How Veneers Work
Veneers are wafer-thin shells made out of porcelain or composite resin (your choice). These materials are used because they’re easy to shape and color to match your natural smile. Additionally, they are strong enough to do the difficult job of chewing, talking, and biting for years.
You’ll have two main decisions to make should you decide to have veneers placed. First, you’ll have to choose between composite resin and porcelain for the material. Each of these has advantages we’ll discuss in a minute.
Then, you can decide if you want custom-made veneers or standard shells. The standard option is cheaper and can be done in as little as one visit. Note that these are always composite resin. Porcelain veneers have to be customized to the patient.
The process of applying a veneer is simple and painless. Dr. Snyder prepares the veneers by sculpting and shaping them to match your surrounding teeth. Then, she readies your tooth enamel and applies a bonding agent. The agent cements the veneer to your tooth, and you’re done!
With a procedure this easy, it’s no wonder so many people are using veneers as their cosmetic dental solution. The only dilemma is whether to with composite resin or porcelain shells.
Composite Resin vs. Porcelain Veneers
Are you wondering, “How long do veneers last on front teeth?” and “Are veneers permanent?” These are normal queries that are answered best by understanding the two types of veneer materials.
Permanent or Temporary?
Composite resin and porcelain are the most common substances used to create veneers. When these dental fixes were first designed back in 1928, they were intended to cover up flaws in Hollywood smiles. Because they were only needed for an hour or two, long enough for the shoot, they were “temporary” veneers.
Over the decades, these hour-long solutions turned into more long-term dental correctors. However, until the 1980s, we didn’t have a bonding agent strong enough to hold the veneer in place for longer than a week or so.
As soon as the combination of dental etching and the right bonding agent was achieved, the more “permanent” veneer was on the market. Yet, veneers aren’t permanent, although they can last the wearer anywhere from five to fifteen years or longer.
The Pros and Cons of Veneer Materials
Let’s look at porcelain veneers to begin with. They’re not technically “permanent,” but these shells can seem like they are. If you’re careful, an investment in porcelain veneers will let you enjoy the benefits for nearly two decades.
The reason they last so long is that porcelain is similar to your natural teeth enamel. You never have to worry about chewing, biting, or talking with a porcelain veneer. It’s difficult to damage or stain these shells. They’re the go-to for people in contact sports, smokers, and habitual coffee/tea/soda drinkers.
Porcelain veneers must be custom-made for each patient, so it’ll be a little wait until yours are created. Still, the benefits are often worth the wait and the expense.
If you’re looking for a quick fix that’s a little easier on your wallet, composite resin veneers might be preferable. The final result is the same look as porcelain veneers. The difference is in things like how long they last and how durable they are.
Standard composite resin veneers can be applied on the same visit if they’re not custom-made. The average shell with this material tends to have a lifespan of five to ten years.
These veneers are durable and long-lasting but aren’t as resistant to damage as porcelain ones. They can shift or crack with too many hard or sticky foods or strong impacts. Repairing veneers is a simple in-office procedure, though, so don’t worry if yours are damaged! Just call our office, and we’ll get you in and out as soon as possible.
Let’s Help You Get the Most From Your Veneers
The material you select is only part of what helps your veneers last for years. The other factor is how well you take care of your teeth. With good dental hygiene habits at home and regular checkups with Dr. Snyder, you can maximize your veneer investment.
The basic oral hygiene steps include brushing and flossing every day. Mouthwash is great for killing pesky hidden bacteria that could damage your teeth and veneers. Going for your checkups and cleanings gives our office the chance to watch for dental problems and make sure your veneers are in good shape.
When you’re ready to get a Hollywood smile, call Dr. Snyder’s office. We’re here to help you look and feel like a celebrity!