Dental veneers are dental prosthetics designed to form a shell over a tooth or teeth that are chipped, discolored, fractured, or worn. Some people have gaps that braces cannot correct, and a veneer can help close the gap. They can also be used to make the teeth symmetrical.
Statistics are clear that how your teeth look matters.
- 12% of people feel they didn’t get a promotion or job due to their teeth/smile.
- 16% of people suffer low self-confidence due to their teeth/smiles.
- 21% of people feel uncomfortable in job interviews because of their teeth/smiles.
- 25% of adults have had someone close to them say negative things about their teeth.
- 38% of people say they’d be unlikely to ask someone with crooked teeth for a second date.
- 62% of adults 25 to 44 (20% for ages 45+) are embarrassed when they laugh.
- 70% of adults feel self-conscious about their teeth.
- 73% of people say they’d be more likely to trust someone with a perfect smile than someone dressed well.
What are the things people wish they could change if they had the chance? Whiter teeth topped the list. Crooked teeth, gaps, and receding gum lines were the answers.
Dental veneers have the power to change all of the negative comments and boost your self-esteem. How can something as simple as a tooth covering improve your quality of life? Take a closer look at dental veneers and what they can do for you.
The History of Dental Veneers
Think of the dream Hollywood smile. Hollywood is what led to the development of dental veneers in the 1920s.
Dr. Charles Pincus was called to meet with Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers to help them solve a problem. Silent films were moving over for newer technology that established talking movies. That meant actors now talked, and cameras focused more on the mouth. They needed to be understandable and look good.
You had characters like The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, or Dracula with unusual teeth. The teeth at the time were bulky and affected speech. The film industry needed a streamlined device that could easily be put on before the shoot and taken off afterward. Most importantly, the dental device had to be comfortable. If actors were distracted by the fake teeth, it could impact their work.
For ten years, Dr. Pincus worked to create esthetic devices he called “Hollywood facings” that fit over the teeth and be easy to take on and off. As his research continued, he noticed how his veneers could also help with the texture of a tooth surface, the color, and the contour. It was a game-changer when it came to cosmetic dentistry.
You may have even seen these early veneers. Dr. Pincus’ creations appear in these movies.
- Devil Doll/Lionel Barrymore (Played a woman in some scenes and needed to have a feminine jawline)
- Horror movie characters Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man
- Man of Two Faces/Edward G. Robinson (One actor playing two characters that couldn’t look alike)
- Many Shirley Temple movies to hide the changes in her teeth as she grew up and lost her baby teeth
- The Years Are So Young/Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore (Needed the teeth to make them look like brother and sister)
The Common Problems That Veneers Can Fix
Are you unhappy with your smile? If you have chips or cracks, discoloration, or an uneven smile that braces cannot correct, veneers are a great solution.
- Chips and Cracks
Bruxism, commonly known as excessive teeth grinding, can lead to chipped and cracked teeth. Biting down on hard foods like candies, ice, or popcorn kernels can also chip or crack the teeth, as can trauma, poor oral care, and cavities. Veneers can repair these problems if the chips and cracks aren’t too large.
- Discolored Teeth
Dental veneers are a permanent solution to discolored teeth. As you age, the beverages you drink, such as coffee and wine, stain the teeth. Tobacco use and certain medications also discolor them. Dental veneers restore the whiteness you desire.
One common issue is discoloration from tetracycline medications taken as a child. Tetracycline is an antibiotic drug that’s used to treat infections. Before the 1980s, the antibiotic was often used in children under the age of eight. But, it was found that the use of this drug caused the discoloration in adult teeth. Dental veneers are the best way to get rid of the gray appearance.
Sometimes, teeth don’t form ideally. They may be smaller than they should be, and braces cannot correct that issue. Veneers can, and that can help improve your bite.
- An Uneven Smile
You can also ask a dentist about using porcelain veneers to even out several teeth. It’s beneficial when you have irregularities in the size and shape of your teeth. By correcting the size and shape, your smile look even.
- Worn Enamel
When you eat acidic foods, it wears the enamel over time. Enamel protects the tooth, and you may find hot and cold foods cause pain. If bonding isn’t a suitable solution, veneers can correct issues with enamel erosion.
While dental veneers fix those issues, there’s one huge benefit. They’re hard to tell apart from natural teeth. People won’t be able to tell that they’re veneers because they match the contour and color of your other teeth.
When it’s time to take care of your veneers, you won’t need to learn anything new. Brush and floss them as you do your other teeth. Floss at least once a day and brush at least twice. Make sure you see your dentist twice a year for cleanings.
How Veneers Are Applied
There are dental veneers that require preparation, but no-prep veneers require minimal prep work. The amount of work depends on the type of veneer.
With a composite resin or porcelain veneer, the dentist etches the front tooth surface below the enamel layer. Only 0.5 mm is removed, so it’s far less than if you needed a crown. Once that’s completed, a layer of composite resin is applied to the tooth. Additional layers are applied, and then the composite resin is cured using specialized lighting.
If it’s a porcelain veneer, the veneer is made by creating a tooth mold. That mold is sent to a specialized lab to create the porcelain veneer from the mold. While you wait, a temporary veneer is put in place. When the shell is ready, you return to the dentist to have the temporary veneer removed, and the porcelain veneer is secured to the tooth with cement. Take care of them, and they can last upwards of 20 years. Some people have had them last for even longer.
No-prep veneers don’t require the tooth’s surface to be etched or ground down. A cast of the tooth is made, and the veneer is applied to the tooth. The downfall is that no-prep veneers may only last five to seven years, depending on how well you care for them.
Are you interested in porcelain dental veneers? Dr. Jody Jones offers virtual consultations to make it easy. Take a selfie with a close-up smile and let us know what concerns you about your smile. Dr. Jones will respond to your concerns through a customized video and address what dental veneers will do to help. Schedule an appointment after that.