When we gaze into the bathroom mirror at the start of our day, it is not unusual to notice even the slightest imperfections in our smile. Perhaps there are annoying gaps between our teeth or some teeth are slightly crooked. Stained and discolored teeth are a common problem for many people. It is all too easy to become a little self-conscious about how our teeth make us look to others, whether it is in our social or business life. Deep down inside, you wish that there was something you could do to fix the problem with your smile. But you just don’t know where to start.
Before you panic, just take a deep breath and gently exhale. Remember that no one is perfect. Yes, the bathroom mirror does not lie. But the glass also does not reflect who you really are or show you what you can be in the future. Everyone has the potential for a great smile. Yesterday’s seemingly insurmountable problems can quickly become tomorrow’s’ solutions when you take ownership of your life. It is time to develop a smile-changing game-plan. In partnership with your neighborhood Dental professional you can do this. Your dentist will advise you on various options that will enhance your smile, improve your oral health and give you back some of that self-confident swagger that got lost along the way.
One of the most popular and cost effective options to achieve your extreme makeover are laminated porcelain . One of the most exciting treatments in modern cosmetic dentistry, this process involves bonding a wafer-thin laminated veneer, made of pressed porcelain, onto the surface of the tooth. Veneers are comparable to the thickness of contact lenses, about 1/2 to 1mm. They look and feel so natural, you will hardly notice the difference from your real teeth.
Aristides Rotsos, D.M.D, is one of the leading dentists in his area of professional expertise, advanced cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Rotsos sat down with this writer to chat about laminated veneers and just how this revolutionary treatment can restore the form and function of your teeth.” Veneers are considered to be one of the most conservative treatments that we have available to us and do not involve complicated techniques.” said the doctor. ” In most cases, the veneers are easily bonded onto the patient’s teeth without the use of dental anesthesia”. Continuing on, Dr. Rotsos told me that laminated porcelain veneers help a patient feel better about his or her smile, regardless of age, budget or the extent of their problem. This treatment levels the playing field, as it were, and helps to overcome the obstacles that the patient in question was facing in terms of achieving a great smile.
Naturally, one of the first things most patients will wonder about is just how time-consuming laminated veneer treatments are? Dr. Aris said that, “most treatments can be completed in as little as two appointments or more, depending on the case and each session can last between forty-five minutes and two hours for larger cases”. He also explained that veneers are highly esthetic, entirely ceramic and metal-free, which is very important.
Some people believe that veneers could be harmful to your teeth. Dr. Rotsos said that veneers do not destroy tooth structure, but instead preserves it. What happens, he explained, ‘is that you keep your own enamel and it is protected by the veneers”. He also went on to say that the technique to apply veneers is minimally invasive. The results are very natural and they are one of the most predictable restorations in dentistry. Veneers resist staining, chipping, cracking and are non-irritating to the gums. When properly applied, veneers can reshape teeth, close unsightly gaps, cover stained teeth as well as give the patient a whole new look.”
Showing me a couple of veneers that he had on hand, the doctor explained that the actual fabrication of the veneer, its shape and contours, is made by a Dental lab. All dentists have a lab who they know and trust, when it comes to achieving reliable results. The dentist, however, is the heart and soul of the entire process. The dentist is the one who takes into account all of the factors that go into turning out a perfect veneer. Your dental professional will utilize his or her clinical and artistic level of expertise to take vital facial measurements as well as examine the gums and the bite of the patient.
“The facial measurements will tell the doctor what the length of the actual veneer is going to be. The distance from the bridge of the nose to the bottom of the patient’s lip has to be precisely taken into account. In order to fashion the veneer, the lab technician has to be given the lip line (or smile measurement). Is it high, medium or low?” said Dr. Rotsos. He concluded that when doing a veneer treatment, the dentist needs to follow nature’s facial contours and enhance them, while striving to maintain the soft tissue.
“In effect”, said Dr. Rotsos,” cosmetic dentists are the plastic surgeons of the mouth. Laminated porcelain veneers achieve long-term results and are as good, if not better, than your natural teeth and veneers have excellent bio-compatibility”. How long do veneers last, I wanted to know? “There is no set answer to that”. replied the doctor. ” Depending on the patient, veneers can last anywhere from 10 to15 years, perhaps twenty. But be advised that this is not a short-term fix. You will not have to worry about replacing the veneers for a while.
After the Diagnosis and initial consultation takes place, the next step is the tooth preparation visit. During this session with your dentist, a mold is taken of your teeth, which is then sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. ” The patient’s teeth are lightly buffed”, said Dr. Aris,” to allow for the addition of the veneer when it is placed on the tooth.”
During the final bonding visit, the veneers are placed on the teeth with water or glycerin to check the fit and get a sense of the actual color and shade. While they are gently resting on your teeth, the veneers can be adjusted with various shades of cement in order to match the color of your teeth. An etched surface will help to hold the laminate veneer to the tooth. A resin cement is applied to the etched surfaces of the tooth inside the laminate. Your teeth are cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once the cement is sandwiched between the tooth and veneer, a visible high intensity light beam (Laser) causes a catalyst to be released, hardening the cement.
” We get a lot of requests for veneers, because they are not as expensive as other cosmetic and corrective procedures can be”. There is no pain involved and the patient gets instant gratification”, explained Dr. Rotsos
Once you receive your beautiful new smile, it is your job as the patient to keep your veneers clean. I cannot emphasize enough, the need for the patient to brush their teeth and floss them. It should be second nature. Take care of your new veneers just as you would your natural teeth.
At every six-month check-up, remember to ask your dentist to check your tooth restorations and determine if they are showing signs of wear. Dr. Rotsos advised that, “it is always better to address a potential problem too soon, than too late”,
Whether you are building the house of your dreams or a brand new smile, a solid foundation is the key to long-term success. That is why it is so important to work closely with your dental professional. Your dentist, the lab technician and you comprise the extreme makeover team. Laminated veneers are your ticket to the new look you have always wanted. Make the most of this wonderful opportunity and get ready to beam from ear to ear.