If you are looking to restore your smile to what it once was, or create a whole new look, veneers might be a good option. Basically, dental porcelain veneers are a thin coverings that are placed over the existing tooth to hide cracks, chips or discoloration. Veneers are custom made to match the color of the teeth around them so they look as natural as possible.
There are two types of veneers:
Porcelain Veneers – Traditional porcelain veneers have been around since the 1930s, when they were created as a way to hide imperfections in the smiles of movie actors. They were a temporary and often unreliable solution back then, but methods and materials have greatly improved since.
Modern porcelain veneers are ideal for patients with severely cracked teeth, overcrowded teeth or teeth with big gaps between them. With this type of covering, some of the tooth enamel is removed so that the veneer can be applied seamlessly overtop.
Cons – Porcelain veneers are irreversible, meaning that once the tooth enamel is removed, it cannot be replaced. Also, removing enamel can cause pain and increase the risk of nerve exposure.
Lumineers – Lumineers is a trademark name for an alternate type of porcelain veneer that is thinner and requires less preparation than traditional porcelain veneers. Lumineers are ideal for less prominent cracking and discoloration problems. The biggest difference between Lumineers and porcelain veneers is that Lumineers require no grinding down of the enamel and a lot less preparation.
Cons – Since Lumineers are very thin, discoloration of the original tooth may show through. In this case, some sort of block may be needed to prevent the darker color from showing through.
If you’re considering veneers to improve your smile, ask a cosmetic dentist or trusted dentist for a consultation. Veneers are long lasting and fairly costly – between $600 and $2,200 per procedure – so it’s always best to have the best possible information before moving forward.
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