Veneers: What Are They And What Do They Do?

A smile is a sign that you’re friendly, welcoming and, most of all, feeling happy. It’s ironic, then, that so many people feel self-conscious about the state of their smile.

In fact, fully a third of Americans are unhappy with their teeth, according to a 2012 study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists. Of this group, 36 percent believed their social life would improve if they had a more attractive smile.

In an ideal world, this wouldn’t be the case. If, as the saying goes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you certainly shouldn’t judge a person on the merits of their appearance. According to the same study, however, people really do care about looks.

Seventy-seven percent of the women surveyed said having crooked teeth is more of a turn-off than a receding hairline when it comes to a potential romantic partner. And when it comes to the workplace, 78 percent of Americans perceive people with crooked teeth to be unsuccessful.

These statistics are certainly sobering. As strange as it sounds, however, there’s never been a better time to have bad teeth. Cosmetic dentistry has come far in recent years, allowing people to address a host of issues when it comes to the look of their teeth.

One of the best routes to a beautiful smile is the introduction of porcelain veneers. A skilled cosmetic dentist like Dr. Zach Taylor of Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry of Billings, Montana can use this procedure to fix aesthetic concerns including:

  • Gaps caused by missing teeth or spacing problems
  • Misaligned or crooked teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Teeth of different lengths
  • A smile that is too “gummy”

The benefits of porcelain veneers go beyond the cosmetic. They Can help improve your overall dental health by realigning your bite and strengthening and stabilizing teeth that are cracked, broken, weak or loose. Porcelain veneers can even stave off future tooth decay, a benefit everyone can applaud.

What are porcelain veneers?

A veneer is a porcelain shell, as thin as a contact lens, that’s bonded and placed over a tooth to mask any cosmetic issues. It’s a quick and effective beautifying technique.

Ever wonder how your favorite celebrity got that white smile with perfectly uniform teeth? Chances are they have veneers.

If you want to see the difference it can make, look at Tom Cruise in early movies like the 1983 hit “The Outsiders” as compared to more recent films. His smile has gone from snaggle-toothed and discolored to dazzling, with veneers playing a large part in the improvement. It’s safe to say that cosmetic dentistry has been helpful in his meteoric transformation from bit actor to leading man.

Veneers are not a one-size-fits-all proposition

A reputable cosmetic dentist knows every face and every smile is different and approaches your veneers accordingly. For instance, at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry they take photos of you and then use software to customize veneers complementing your appearance.

Dr. Taylor and his crew then prepare your teeth with methods like pre-contouring and create a prototype of your veneers. You are presented that same day with veneers made of a temporary material. In some cases, patients who are dentist-averse opt to forgo the teeth preparation. Unless you present with alignment problems or certain other issues, your cosmetic dentist can install no-prep veneers.

It takes a few weeks for a ceramist to make your custom veneers. In the meantime, the prototype veneers let you rock your new smile right away and report if any improvements need to be made.

Once your porcelain veneers are ready, it’s time for a bonding procedure where the veneers are fused to your teeth. After that, even if you’ve spent your whole life embarrassed of your smile, you’ll be delighted to “grin and bare it.”

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