Dental veneers are an excellent cosmetic dental procedure that can produce dramatic results in a very short time. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front surface of teeth to change the appearance of the tooth. A full set of porcelain veneers can change a set of crooked, stained and misshapen teeth into a Hollywood smile in just a couple visits to a cosmetic dentist. The time from the initial visit to the final product can be as little as three to four weeks.
However, some people are concerned about the damage done to the natural tooth enamel for placement of veneers. A thin layer of enamel is removed from the surface of the teeth where the veneer is bonded to the tooth. In addition, veneers can be pretty expensive.
If the cost or damage to your natural enamel concerns you, talk to your cosmetic dentist about other options. You may be able to get similar results by straightening and whitening your natural teeth. There are several orthodontic systems that were designed for adults who do not want to spend three years wearing metal braces to straighten their teeth.
Some systems such as the Invisalign system use a series of clear plastic aligners to move the teeth gently into place. Others use tooth colored bands and wires and move only the front teeth. These systems only take about six months to get the job done.
Once the teeth are in place, professional teeth whitening is usually very effective for removing stains and discolorations and bleaching the teeth back to their original color. You may also need some tooth shaping or bonding to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing appearance.
This type of treatment plan will take much longer than veneers, but you can avoid any damage to your tooth enamel. There may also be a significant cost savings depending on your individual treatment plan. Your cosmetic dentist can help you explore your options.
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