One of the most rewarding treatments we provide as dentists is when we correct a person’s front teeth to give them a beautiful smile.
There are many treatments we may use to achieve a better smile, including tooth whitening, minor orthodontics (straightening), aesthetic recontouring (smoothing the teeth), gingival recontouring, microabrasion, and cosmetic bonding with white filling material. In many cases we have to bond custom-made porcelain facings to the teeth, called veneers.
Why do we often choose veneers over other treatments?
With veneers, we are custom-making the shape, size, colour, and position of each tooth in the laboratory, so we have more control over what the final result will look like.
How many teeth do I need to treat?
Every case is different. Cases range from treating just the two upper front teeth, to treating the front ten teeth top and bottom. And in many cases we will veneer some teeth, and use other treatments on other teeth in the same case. Again, this is something to discuss with the dentist.
What are the veneers made out of?
For most cases, we are using lithium disilicate (e-Max), a pressed porcelain system, or occasionally feldspathic porcelain veneers. e-Max is very popular because it is strong and easy to work with, but still has the translucency and appearance of natural teeth.
What is the procedure?
A small amount of the tooth is smoothed off on the outside—we may or may not use a small amount of freezing depending on how much has to be removed. Then we take a very accurate model of the smoothed teeth using a rubber-like material, or a scan image using an optical intraoral scanner. Depending on the amount of tooth removed, we may make temporary covers to protect your teeth for the week or so it takes the ceramist to construct the veneers.
When you return, the veneers are tried in and any minor adjustments made. Then the veneers and the teeth are treated with special chemicals and the veneers are bonded to the tooth surface.
How will I know what my result will look like?
In many cases, the dentist will take models of your existing smile and have the laboratory technician, called a ceramist, build up what the final result will look like in wax. In some cases we will also build up a temporary plastic version of the possible result, which you can snap onto your teeth in the clinic. As well, we will sometimes take a digital or scanned photograph and enhance it on the computer to demonstrate what is possible. It really depends on the case and what we are correcting.
Aesthetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers, are only done after careful planning and consultation. Talk to one of our dentists and discuss what treatment might be right for you.