By Dr. Kerri White –
The Benefits of a Smile
Everyone knows a beautiful smile is cheerful and uplifting but did you also know it has many health benefits as well?
Research shows a smile can lower your heart rate and blood pressure while reducing stress. When you smile it releases endorphins that relax you, improve your sense of well being and even act as pain relievers in your body. One study shows people who often smile can live up to 7 years longer than those that seldom smile. So not only is a beautiful smile attractive and contagious it also is good for you! What if you’re not happy with your smile though, and as a result you don’t smile? Should you be losing all those health benefits just because you’re unhappy with your smile?
Cosmetic dentistry has a number of options for a variety of issues, this month I’ll be talking about porcelain veneers. They are the most aesthetic procedure in dentistry that can transform a self conscious mouth, into a radiant, beaming smile.
What is a Veneer exactly?
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are used to recreate the natural look of teeth. They are strong, resilient and look like your natural tooth’s enamel. Veneers are bonded to the face of teeth. Porcelain veneers are the most aesthetic restoration in dentistry and can make a damaged old smile healthy, young and beautiful again.
How are Cosmetic Veneers different from
Bonding or Dental Crowns?
Bonding is a resin filling material that is generally used to fill in small surfaces or cavities and repair chips in teeth, in the past bonding was used for covering the surfaces of teeth but modern dentistry has pretty much replaced that with veneers. A full dental crown is needed when a tooth has had root canal treatment, or when a substantial amount of the entire tooth structure (enamel) has been lost.
Veneers are placed on the front surface of teeth to create the aesthetic of natural healthy looking teeth. Porcelain veneers are best for: fractured teeth, gaps between teeth, or a permanent solution to teeth that may not respond to whitening. Veneers redesign and reshape teeth for a more cosmetically appealing look. The porcelain never stains and stays the same brilliant white shade.
What happens to my natural teeth?
Most Veneers require 1mm or less of natural tooth structure to be removed keeping your teeth as strong and healthy as possible. In Some cases Non-Prep veneers can be placed, where no tooth structure is removed. Sometimes the Initial condition of the teeth, the position of the teeth and specific desired results will require a small amount to be done to natural teeth. The goal always is to remove as little of the natural tooth structure as possible and one of the reasons veneers look so natural.
How are Porcelain Veneers prepared and placed?
At the first appointment the teeth are prepared for veneers and an impression is taken. This impression is then sent to a lab where each porcelain veneer is custom made to the dentist and patient specifications. Temporaries (temporary dental veneers) are also made this first visit so you leave with a nice white smile. It is worth noting temporary veneers can look almost as good as your permanent ones however, they are not porcelain so they don’t have the same strength and are set with temporary cement for easy removal.
At the second appointment temporaries are removed and your porcelain veneers are delivered using permanent bonding cement. In just two short visits you leave with your new beautiful smile!
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Porcelain Veneers are very strong and you can eat normal foods just like natural teeth. You do want to avoid using your teeth to bite hard materials such as hard toffee or using your teeth as a tool for things like removing staples. Depending on patient’s habits the life span of veneers varies, 10-20 years is a good estimate. However, if you maintain your teeth and avoid hard materials and using your teeth as a tool, there is no reason why your veneers won’t last you a lifetime.
Do Porcelain Veneers Stain?
No, porcelain veneers are resistant to staining and fading so you get the same white smile everyday! In the 80’s when plastic bonded veneers were first being used they could stain, yellow or grey however advancements in the use of porcelain veneers has created a stain free smile that won’t fade.
What about maintenance?
Remember porcelain veneers are bonded to the front surface of teeth so maintenance of teeth remains the same. You want to brush and floss your teeth daily just as you would your natural teeth and visit your dentist twice a year, so your dentist can make sure everything is healthy.
One of the reasons, I became a dentist was from my own personal experience. I had a severe overbite in my early teens. I had to put up with daily teasing and being called names like bull dog face, which isn’t pleasant for any girl especially when you’re just starting to become aware of self image. I worked every day after school and on weekends saving my money until I was 18. I was the one that had to put up with the teasing and name calling, so I was the one going to fix it. Luckily I met a wonderful dentist who changed my life. I knew then I wanted to be a dentist and help do the same for others. I love being a dentist, I like knowing the members of my community are getting the best dentistry possible, we see all family members from little sprouts with their first tooth to great grandparents. My goal is having all my patients leaving with a smile!
If you’ve wanted to improve your smile to help regain confidence, veneers might be the right choice for you, it is the most aesthetic procedure done in dentistry and can help turn a self conscious mouth into a beautiful, beaming smile! You are welcome to visit our office in the heart of East Boca Raton to discuss what options are right for you.
White Smiles of Boca
200 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Ste 103