Knowing that you want to change a certain aspect of your smile is one thing. Knowing exactly how to go about achieving your desired outcome is another. The availability of so many treatment options is, in one way, advantageous. In another way, the plethora of treatments can also be confusing. Here, we break down a few of the important factors to consider before choosing veneer treatment.
The Value of Veneers
Dental veneers have been proven an extremely valuable treatment option due to the wide variety of concerns that can be disguised with high-quality porcelain. This brings us to our first point: material matters. In the past, there were a large number of patients being treated with composite resin veneers. The overall shape and size of such a veneer could be perfected, but the opacity of composite vs. porcelain is not something that can be changed. When you look at your teeth, the edges are transparent, or see-through. This should not change once veneers are placed. If it does, the smile will look fake.
Porcelain Veneers: Prep or No-Prep?
The next question that may confuse patient is whether to choose a fully conventional porcelain veneer or a no-prep veneer product. This may be a little trickier. It is easy to assume that, because no-prep veneer treatment is conservative, it is better. Yes, no-prep veneers eliminate the need for tooth-reduction. These veneers are as thin as a contact lens. When they are bonded, they withstand bite-force quite well. What an ultra-thin veneer may not do is fully disguise the flaw it is meant to hide.
Traditional veneers are as thin as a fingernail. This is slightly too thick to place directly over enamel. Doing so would create bulk, and the veneer would stand out from the gums. Not attractive! The reduction of enamel, though, means that the tooth will forever need coverage. Veneers may need to be replaced at some point – usually after several years. With the objective of creating the most appealing, long-lasting outcome, we choose to treat patients with this standard veneer process.
Ultimately, there is no “right” way for every person to get what they want. When it comes to veneers, some patients may achieve the appearance they knew they wanted a no-prep product. There are also patients who will not. The key is to know the difference.