Porcelain Veneers… you’ve heard of them, you know people who have them, and you’re wondering whether they’re right for your smile. Well you’re in luck because veneers can change a number of things about your smile!
Porcelain Veneers can help by closing gaps, rebuilding weakened tooth structure and even whitening your teeth. The thing is, you’re worried that your teeth will be weakened by them. Maybe you’ve heard that your teeth would need to be shaved down and that terrifies you, or you saw those dreaded TikToks with nubs! Trust me, that’s scary to me too.
Well, let me assure you that the extreme shaving you may have heard of is actually an old way of doing veneers. Typically the bigger the preparation with your teeth nowadays will be considered a crown preparation. With the wonderful advancements in cosmetic dentistry and porcelain over the years, veneers can now be made as thin as a contact lens! What this means for you is that any shaving would be totally minimal- and in some cases none at all!
What kind of preparation is necessary for veneers?
Luckily at our Chicago-based dental loft we have options that require minimal to no preparation. Cosmetic dentistry and smile makeovers are our thing, and we love finding the healthiest way to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of!
Do you have fillings on these teeth already?
If you do, the old filling will need to be removed before your new veneers can be made. The veneer will not only cover the front of your tooth, it will also replace the filling so that you have one smooth solid piece. This solid piece fits on to your tooth to fill the space where the old filling used to be, then smoothes over the face of your tooth as a perfect porcelain veneer. As one piece, there are fewer seams for plaque to collect. The veneer is bonded and cemented snugly against your tooth. This will prevent leakage and be stronger!
Do your teeth chipped with jagged edges?
If so, those areas need to be smoothed out before porcelain veneers can be fitted over them. Jagged edges on teeth typically means that tooth structure has been lost over the years due to clenching or grinding. Luckily, that lost structure can be replaced with porcelain! Although we need to smooth out those edges, the reason is that the sharp edges of those chipped areas can actually fracture the porcelain of the veneers from the inside out! By smoothing any of those sharp corners, porcelain veneers will be long lasting and stronger.
Do you want to change the color of your teeth drastically?
As a rule of thumb, for every 0.3mm of porcelain, the color of your smile can be changed by one shade. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean your tooth needs to be shaved that amount. A lot of the time we can simply add porcelain and different tones on rather than shaving the tooth to then add porcelain. Depending on your shade, we can also whiten your teeth before placing the veneer to seal over it, this way they are permanently lighter. Typically, an in-office whitening is what I would recommend, because honestly who doesn’t like a nice bright smile?
Are your teeth crooked?
The areas of your teeth that are sticking out will need to be shaved back. What that means for you is the more rotated or out of place your teeth are, the more they have to be altered to allow the porcelain veneers to look straight. On the flip side, the more straight your teeth are, the less they need to be altered and shaved. To help reduce the preparation the teeth will need, we can always straighten them with Invisalign first! This way, minimal or no preparation needs to be done to your teeth!
No matter what the current state of your teeth, veneers can be done with minimal to no preparation. It may simply mean a few additional steps like whitening or Invisalign, or both! With just a little extra time and patience, you can have the smile of your dreams without the fear of having your teeth shaved down. Whatever concern you have with your smile, it can be enhanced with less preparation. If you’re curious what our cosmetic dentistry can do for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Brittany Dickinson at our Chicago dental loft and hear our recommendations!