If you are looking to change your smile or the shape, size, and/or colour of one or more teeth than porcelain veneers are the way to go.
Veneers are lightweight, and as close to the look and feel of your natural tooth as you can get. In multiple layers, they offer strength and resilience only matched by your natural tooth enamel.
What to Look for When Choosing Veneers
Smile makeovers, using veneers or crowns, are becoming very common. A smile makeover can have a significant positive impact on your self esteem and result in a massive improvement to your life. Many dentists are now choosing to offer this wonderful service, but veneers are one of the most technically challenging procedures in dentistry.
There are many factors that impact the outcome and can make or break not only the cosmetic appearance of your smile, but also the health of your teeth and gums. As a patient considering a smile makeover, be on the lookout for these 5 key points :
1. Consultation – since veneers are custom-designed specifically for you, it is important for me to understand my patient’s idea of how they want to look. Knowing my patient’s expectations and challenges is critical to a beautiful outcome and we focus on a detailed analysis of your current smile and its limitations in order to ensure that we meet and exceed your expectations.
2. Prep Work – one of the most common mistakes many dentists make when offering veneers and smile makeovers is failure to fully prep prior to starting the clinical work. There are many factors that impact the final outcome, and knowing exactly how to get the most aesthetic results depends highly on the work we do before we actually start the clinical work. This may include exact measurements of current and desired tooth length, width, and position in 3 dimensions, analysis of how your teeth “flow” into the back of your mouth, creating a full (or sunken) smile appearance, a wax-up on models taken of your teeth in order to fully understand how you will look before you even begin, and a plan for overcoming challenges like soft-tissue asymmetry, existing TMJ dysfunction, and existing vertical loss (due to grinding, past poor dental work, or anatomic lack of development).
3. Communication – the key to a great outcome is communicating not only the benefits of a smile makeover, but also the challenges specific to your particular situation. Based on your desired outcome as well as a detailed analysis of your smile and bite (achieved through the prep-work above) we can communicate any issues or challenges that may impact the final results so that you can make informed decisions prior to going ahead with treatment. This can be critical, especially if your teeth are currently significantly broken down or heavily restored, or if you have a jaw or bite issue that would impact the results.
4. Impact on speech and bite – since your speech is impacted by the length, angulation, and position of your front teeth, any changes to your teeth through a smile makeover can influence it. In addition, those same changes can have significant consequences to your jaw or bite if you have a preexisting condition related to TMJ or occlusion. We perform a thorough analysis of TMJ, facial muscles, and occlusion (bite) in order to determine what to look out for prior to beginning any smile makeover and go over these in the consultation so that you can make informed decisions along the way.
5. Follow-up – this is one of the most common mistakes many dentists make. A follow-up appointment after a smile makeover is key to fine-tuning and ensuring the best possible outcome. We schedule a follow-up appointment about a week or two after a smile makeover, in order to review your bite, soft-tissue, health of your gums, and address any questions you may have.
Botched Veneers - Porcelain Veneers Gone Wrong
We’ve all seen someone with teeth that just don’t look quite right. Maybe they are too opaque, or too long, or the four front ones don’t match the rest of the mouth. We notice something is “off” but we can’t put our finger on it.
Many people who choose to get porcelain veneers done to improve their smile end up getting less than what they expected. This can range from something minor, such as tooth shape or midline that’s tilted, or major, including poor contour and shade, lack of understanding smile design and poor aesthetics, and sometimes even massive discrepancies in fit and marginal integrity.
In our office alone, we have re-done hundreds of “botched” veneers, and there are some common mistakes that we see over and over and over again. These are the most common issues to be on the look-out for:
1. Poor colour, shade, translucency – this is probably the most common issue we see almost daily. Natural beautiful teeth have multiple shades throughout the body of the tooth, and often, a bit of translucency on the biting edge. We incorporate all the nuances of the beauty of natural teeth into our veneers so they look natural and stunning.
2. What is that??? – This is what I call “what is that?” moment. When dental veneers are so fake looking, you can’t help but ask what’s going on. Lack of understanding or training when it comes to smile design and aesthetics can result in veneers that look worse than the original teeth. In addition, lack of understanding of shade selection and how to make it look real is key to achieving optimal results.
3. Discount Laboratory – There are times where it makes sense to save money or buy at a discount. Your teeth are not one of those times. Many labs that make porcelain veneers offer discounts or “offers” but in the end, it’s the quality of lab work that can make or break the final outcome in a smile makeover. Beautiful teeth that look like you were born with them require skill, expertise, experience and enormous time.
4. Symmetry– what most people don’t realize is that it is more important to have symmetry than anything else. If the teeth on each side of the midline are a mirror reflection of each other, the smile automatically looks much better to others, and more aesthetically pleasing overall. Combining symmetry with contour, shape, and correct shade is the key to a beautiful outcome.
5. Soft Tissue Management – many dentists don’t pay any attention to soft tissue/gum levels. But having the gums look symmetrical one side to the other is a deal breaker for many patients. What I have found in my experience is that when someone is really unhappy with their smile, they don’t notice many minor challenges. But when they fix their smile and their teeth look great, they begin to notice all the other deficiencies. And the most common is “soft tissue”/ gum levels. If these are not the same from one side to the other, the final outcome never looks quite right. It is critical for the cosmetic dentist to pay attention to soft tissue contour, level, and health in order to deliver the most optimal results possible.