dental veneers

The truth and myths about dental veneers

The application of dental veneers is a very useful dental procedure. There are however, many myths associated with dental veneers that often prevent people from seriously considering getting them. If you’ve ever wondered whether dental veneers might be right for you, here are the facts and a few debunked myths.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are covers that are often fitted to the front of the front teeth. They can however, be applied to any tooth and are sometimes used to fill damaged teeth. Regardless of where they’re fitted, they’re always custom-made for each tooth to ensure a perfect fit.

Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of teeth that have been damaged, are malformed or have become discoloured. In the case of discoloured teeth, they’re a great alternative for teeth that cannot be treated by a whitening procedure. They can also correct misaligned teeth as well as teeth with large gaps between them.

Types of dental veneers

There are two types of dental veneers: composite resin and porcelain. Composite resin veneers are the less expensive option but they aren’t as durable. Porcelain veneers last up to 25 years but are more expensive than their resin counterparts.

Myth 1 – My teeth will need to be filed down a lot

One of the most common myths about dental veneers is that they can only be applied after a substantial portion of the tooth has been filed away. It is true that part of the enamel does need to be removed but it is only a very thin layer – less than 1 mm thick in fact.

Myth 2 – Dental veneers will weaken my teeth

Given how many people believe the first myth, it’s unsurprising that many people also believe veneers weaken the teeth. Given barely any tooth is removed however, dental veneers do not weaken the teeth. In fact, they provide a small amount of protection to the tooth.

Myth 3 – My teeth won’t look natural with dental veneers

Another common misconception about dental veneers is that they’re ‘too white’. However, the truth is that veneers are custom-made to match the colour of the natural tooth. The shape and thickness of each veneer is also designed to match a person’s other natural teeth. In short, dental veneers are designed to complement existing teeth.

Myth 4 – Dental veneers are fragile

This myth probably arose because of an association with porcelain crockery and dolls etc. Porcelain veneers are however, just as strong as tooth enamel. While composite resin veneers are not quite as durable as their porcelain cousins, they too are very strong. With proper care, dental veneers can last for many years.

Myth 5 – I’ll experience lots of side effects if I get dental veneers

For a few days after dental veneers are applied, teeth can be a little more sensitive than usual. This fades quickly however, and in the long run, some people find their teeth are less sensitive than they were previously. Also, if you’re worried about pain, a local anaesthetic is used when veneers are applied.

Myth 6 – Dental veneers are only for celebrities

Many people think only Hollywood stars get veneers, or that they’re frivolous or too expensive for the average person. While they’re generally considered a cosmetic dental procedure, there’s no reason why everybody couldn’t improve their smiles with veneers if they wanted to and they’re more affordable than you might think. They’re also an effective solution for restoring teeth that aren’t damaged enough for extensive treatment like a crown.

So, now you know the truth about dental veneers could your smile benefit from this treatment?

teeth whitening

Tips of the trade to get those pearly whites you dream of

Is your smile a little less than perfect? Do you want to change your smile for the better? If so, cosmetic dentistry is the service you need to get the pearly whites you dream of. Cosmetic dentistry is a broad term that covers many different options for improving your smile, from relatively simple procedures like inlays and onlays to complex procedures like composite bonding. If you’re looking for something simple though to boost your smile, one of the most basic procedures in cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. With just a little bit of work and a small expense, this procedure can drastically improve your smile.

Why might I want teeth whitening?

Over time, teeth can become stained. All food and drink can stain teeth but things like tea, coffee and red wine, which contain chromogens (colour pigments), are particularly prone to causing tooth discolouration as the chromogens can adhere to the outer surface of your teeth. Some medications, such as antihistamines and high blood pressure medication, are also known to stain teeth. Habits, such as smoking, are very effective at staining teeth too. In addition, no matter how well you brush your teeth, as you age, your teeth are unlikely to remain the pristine white they were when they first popped through your gums as a child because enamel usually thins over time allowing the colour of the more yellowish dentin layer underneath to show through. Tooth trauma can also cause your body to produce more dentin.

What does teeth whitening involve?

Before the actual whitening procedure commences, your dentist will remove any plaque, tartar or debris from all of your teeth. In other words, your teeth will get a thorough clean. Once that’s done, your dentist will then apply bleach (typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) to whiten your teeth just like you might use bleach to lighten your hair or remove stains from clothing.

How common is teeth whitening?

The short answer is, very common. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the most common improvement people wish to make to their smile is to get whiter teeth and nearly 90% of American patients request a teeth whitening procedure according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

Does whitening work for everyone?

Unfortunately no. Yellow discolouration is usually easy to correct through bleaching but brown teeth are harder to whiten and grey stains may not be possible to bleach at all. Bleaching is also ineffective if stains are due to medication or injury to a tooth. Bleaching also only works on teeth themselves (it doesn’t work on fillings or veneers for instance).

Can I just use a home whitening solution?

Yes, but there are side effects such as sensitive teeth due to the bleach going through the enamel and dentin to irritate the nerves underneath, and gum damage due to overuse of whiteners. If you want to avoid these side effects, it’s best to leave it to a professional.