Ever wonder how do your favourite celebrities keep their teeth so white? Many celebrities have dental veneers to disguise any stains, discoloration, chips or minor gaps in their teeth. Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore, Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage are just a few of many celebrities believed to have dental veneers. Dental veneers, very plainly put, is nothing but thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are fixed on to the front surfaces of teeth for smile transformation. These are individually crafted for each patient and are made from advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of natural dental enamel.
The Benefits of veneers
Since veneers are individually sculpted for each patient, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Unlike natural teeth, custom-made veneers resist coffee and tea stains as well as cigarette smoke because they are made of high-tech materials. With veneers—as opposed to crowns—your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount being altered to fit the veneer. Even for teeth that resist whitening, veneers can make even the darkest teeth appear bright white. Dentists may also recommend veneers to quickly fix minor twists, overlaps and small gaps.
Porcelain veneers are recommended for people who are looking for cosmetic solutions for existing dental problems like:
- Crooked teeth
- Poorly shaped teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Discoloured teeth
- Chipped or worn teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
Porcelain veneers are very durable and longer-lasting; they can last 12-25 years and rarely require maintenance. The dentist will make an impression of your prepared teeth and send them to a laboratory, where the shape for your veneers can be replicated. Once they have been made, the dentist will ask you to return so they can ensure the veneers are the perfect shape, fit and colour-match for your teeth. Dental cement is then used to bond the veneers to the teeth.
Maintenance of porcelain veneers
Maintaining porcelain veneers is quite simple: Treat them as you would your original teeth with routine brushing and flossing. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste will typically be suggested by your dental professional. Most dentists would ask for a follow-up visit, one week after your veneers are placed to evaluate how your mouth is reacting to the veneers. If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, your dentist may fit you with a night-time bite guard so you do not damage your veneers.
Additionally, it is also recommended that you return to your dentist once every six months for regular professional maintenance because porcelain veneers should be polished with a specially formulated, non-abrasive paste and will be checked if there is need for any adjustment.
When it comes to dental treatment, cutting corners and opting for a cheaper option can sometimes cost you more in the long run and this is particularly true in case of veneers. Choosing a cheap veneer will often lead to issues such as:
- An ill fit, leading to further dentist visits to reshape the veneer
- Being more prone to chipping and damage, leading to higher maintenance or replacement
A less natural looking smile due to the lower quality being more obvious amongst the surrounding teeth.
Dr Sheby Poulose
Specialist Dental Surgeon and Prosthodontist
Wassan Specialty Dental Center