There are few ways to get a perfect smile that are better than porcelain veneers. Even the strongest whitening treatments won’t be half as effective as veneers when it comes to getting that classic Hollywood smile. Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that a cosmetic dentist lays over the teeth to make them appear straighter and whiter. You can either get prepped or no-prep veneers, depending on your unique mouth shape. With prepped veneers, a dentist shaves away a small amount of enamel so the veneers can fit over the natural teeth. No-preps don’t require any prepping but not everyone can get no-prep veneers. Your dentist will let you know which one would work better for you.
Your first question, however, shouldn’t be to prep or not to prep — it should be “are veneers right for me?” Veneers can give people amazing, life-changing smile transformations but they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are a few things you should consider before setting up a veneers consultation.
Hygiene is always an important factor, no matter what dental procedure you’re getting done. Plaque carries bacteria and bacteria equals infection. Even if it’s something as minor as getting no-prep veneers, your teeth need to be spotless. If you’re interested in getting veneers and you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, schedule a cleaning first. Your hygienist and dentist will make sure everything looks good before moving forward to the next step in the veneers process.
Decay and gum disease
If during your cleaning, your hygienist finds any problems (mostly decay and periodontal disease), they’ll recommend that you get treatment first. Veneers are a cosmetic procedure which means they won’t cure any underlying disease or decay. If you have decay, covering it with a veneer won’t make it better. Talk to your dentist about what options you have for trying to get a healthier smile. They may recommend things like fillings, root canals, or crowns. They may also recommend dental implants, if there is severe decay or tooth loss.
As long as you’re over eighteen, age doesn’t technically matter when it comes to getting veneers. However, we like to remind our younger patients who want to get prep-veneers that the procedure is permanent. Once teeth are prepped, there’s no going back. If possible, Dr. Bobbi recommends that younger patients get no-prep veneers, if possible. This ensures that, if they ever want to remove their veneers, they’ll still have their natural teeth intact.
It’s a sad fact: veneers that are cheap aren’t veneers that look good (or last). We see a lot of patients who went to other discount offices first, looking for the cheapest veneers they could find. They come to us when they realize those veneers are blocky or, in the worst cases, falling off. Veneers take a lot of time and effort to create and place — they’re custom-made after all. There is no way to make nice, long-lasting veneers on a budget so if you’re interested in getting them, make sure you understand the investment you’re going to have to make.
Do you want veneers because your teeth are crooked? Misaligned teeth are one of the most common things people mention when critiquing their own smile. Many of our veneers patients come in thinking that veneers will be able to correct their crooked teeth when, in reality, the only thing that can help severely misaligned teeth is orthodontics. If you’re getting no-prep veneers, this is especially true. The thin veneers only cover the tooth — they can’t reorient the tooth, like braces can.
We recommend that if you’re getting veneers on only a few of your teeth, to go ahead and get whitening done beforehand as well. Depending on the shade of veneer you get, your veneers will be whiter than your natural enamel. If you get veneers on your upper front teeth, you’ll want your teeth on the bottom to match your veneers as closely as possible. At our office, you can get either Kor or Zoom teeth whitening.