Porcelain Veneers: a Popular Cosmetic Dentistry Option
Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a wide selection of options for today's consumers for enhancing their smiles. As an alternative to crowns, chipped or stained teeth can be effectively restored with porcelain dental veneers -- ultra-thin, custom-designed ceramic shells bonded to the front teeth.
A porcelain dental veneers can change a tooth's color, size or shape. They're ideal for a number of tooth restoration purposes:
- to mask severely stained teeth, such as from antibiotics;
- those with discolored fillings on front teeth;
- to repair crooked, chipped teeth;
- or for those with poor spacing or worn enamel.
Porcelain dental veneers have a good longevity record, lasting many years when properly applied.
About the Porcelain Dental Veneers Procedure
Porcelain dental veneers treatment requires a four-step process:
- First, patients consult with the cosmetic dentist regarding the specific nature of the desired changes. It is possible that you and your dentist may want to view the expected final result. This can be accomplished by performing a "wax up" of your teeth on some impressions (molds) of your mouth. You may also view the expected result via a computer enhancement program.
- During the next appointment, your teeth will be prepared for the porcelain dental veneers. They'll be lightly buffed to remove about 0.5 mm from the tooth's surface (which may require local anesthesia).
- Next, an impression will be made of your teeth for customizing the porcelain dental veneers. This will be sent to a dental lab and used for creating a perfect fit. A temporary dental veneer might be applied at this time, if appearance is of special concern.
- When the porcelain dental veneers are ready, the dentist will carefully attach them, adjusting the shade if needed. Once the dental veneers are cemented, color alteration is no longer possible. Dental cement is applied between the porcelain dental veneers and tooth. A "light" touch finalizes the process with a beam of light activating the hardening of the cement.
Once teeth have been veneered, they will require periodic treatment and regular visits to the dentist. The result is a beautiful and long lasting smile you will love!
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO
Visit a Cosmetic Dentist - Raise Your Self-Esteem
What can cosmetic dental work do for your self-esteem that all the pots of cream and eyeliner on Madison Avenue can't? While we agree with the ad men that esthetics motivate how people see us, value us, and respond to us, true natural beauty has to do with good health, not technique with a make-up brush. When you admire the dazzling smile of that Revlon model, will you buy the lipstick - or seek the restorative dentistry that perfected the smile? Dentistry thee smile to health and symmetry. Cosmetics? Sure. But call on cosmetic dentistry for a beautiful smile that won't wash off.
- Vertical dimension is a key element in a pretty smile. It is the height between two points - one on the upper jaw, one on the lower - when the bite is closed. When vertical dimension is askew, facial features can appear "collapsed." A good denture maintains esthetic vertical dimension, likewise muscle tone and youthful looks.
- Sex a factor in dentistry? So-called masculine front teeth are boxier, more prominent, with "bold" cuspids, slightly rotated. A "feminine" smile has more delicate, rounder teeth, and open incisal embrasures, spaces, between the curved surfaces of adjoining teeth. This norm is changing, though. Women are seeking a "sportier" look.
- The "smile line" is used by some believers as a guide to cosmetic dental harmony. The theory goes that the curve of the bottom lip should reflect the curve of the upper front teeth. Whether your six front teeth are natural, or part of a denture or dental bridge, restorative dentistry can help bring out the best in your smile line.
- An early orthodontics evaluation assures healthy growth into a sound, balanced bite. The position of the jaw will determine profile. For jaw abnormalities, orthognathic surgery brings nothing short of miraculous results.
- Wear. As we age, our front teeth naturally wear down to an even line. Rounding edges with tooth bonding or dental veneers will achieve a younger aspect.
- Beautiful gums are intrinsic to a beautiful smile. Coral in color, firm-healthy gums are, well, sexy.
- Euclid's concept of "golden proportion" is followed by many cosmetic dentistry professionals. The rule holds that the most esthetically pleasing smile has certain proportions. Each tooth in this "perfect" smile is about 60% the size of the tooth just in front of it.
- Young teeth have more texture - stippling, concavity - than older teeth worn smooth with age.
- Light. The way teeth reflect light is another factor in pleasing the eye. Dental crowns, bridgework, dentures and other cosmetic dental work can be tinted to capture and reflect light just like natural teeth. Michelangelo, move over.
- A low lip line - one that hides tooth and gum in a grin - can be compensated for by veneering. The front teeth are lengthened to regain "ideal" form.