So you have decided to get veneers to upgrade your smile. Do you know the different types of veneers available? With one or more custom designed porcelain veneers, you can completely transform your smile without needing extensive dental treatment. In fact, in addition to their highly lifelike appearance, their ability to preserve your healthy teeth is one of the reasons why they’re so popular. In some cases, your dentist may even be able to place cosmetic dental restorations without altering your tooth structure at all. To help you decide if you should receive minimal or no-prep veneers, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth, and then consult with you about your personal preferences.
An Introduction to Veneers
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or plastic that attach directly to the fronts of your teeth. They can be used to cover up structural flaws and stains. They can even close gaps or change the shape of worn or uneven teeth. Though dental veneers have recently soared in popularity, they have actually been around for many years. They were first invented by Dr. Charles Pincus in 1928, and they were used to enhance the appearance of actors’ teeth during filming. The restorations were quite temporary, and therefore they did not come into widespread use until the last fifteen years. Since that time, however, the treatment has become immensely popular. Recent technology improvements have made them more lifelike than ever before.
Wondering What Traditional Veneers Could Do for Your Smile?
To place traditional veneers, Dr. Fondriest will carefully prepare and shape your teeth to receive the porcelain enhancements. First, he will remove a thin layer of enamel – typically between .3 and .7 mm thick – from the front of your teeth. This procedure makes room for the porcelain and keeps your teeth from looking overly bulky. Then he will take impressions, photos, and precise measurements of your teeth. Based on this data, technicians will carefully craft veneers that are customized for your teeth.
This process can take between one and fourteen weeks, depending on the type and quality of veneers you select. When they are completed, Dr. Fondriest will lightly etch the surface of your teeth. This creates a stronger bonding surface and makes them much more durable. He will then apply the pieces with strong dental cement. Whichever type of veneer you have, you will have a beautiful smile.
The traditional preparation type of veneer can be used to fix a great many cosmetic issues, such as:
- Correct gaps between the teeth in far less time than orthodontic treatment
- Hide permanent stains or drastic discoloration that whitening alone cannot correct
- Make disproportionally small or oddly shaped teeth look more uniform
- Fix jagged edges on chipped teeth
- Noticeable wear
- Create the appearance of a more symmetrical and brighter smile
- Replace old bonded fillings
Minimal Prep Porcelain Veneers
Minimal prep is slowly becoming a more popular type of veneer. It requires advanced training to place them. A well trained cosmetic dentist will prepare your teeth by sculpting a small amount of enamel from their front surfaces. Only a thin portion is sculpted, usually less than 0.5 mm, which is the typical thickness. The preparation allows your custom-designed veneer to sit comfortably and flush with the rest of your healthy, natural teeth. Minimal prep veneers are often ideal when you have multiple tooth blemishes, but your tooth structure is otherwise strong and healthy. This type of veneer is technically more difficult to create. Less well trained dentists tend to leave large open margins and overhangs which shorten service life.
Thanks to recent developments in dental technology, scientists have developed extremely thin yet durable veneers. These porcelain shells are often less than 0.2 mm thick. That means that your dentist will only have to remove a very small amount of enamel, if any. Unlike other minimal prep veneers offered, the restorations we offer can still be customized. They can be fabricated to match your desired shade, ensuring a natural appearance. To place a minimal prep veneer, Dr. Fondriest will still take impressions of your teeth, and he may perform some etching to ensure stronger adherence. High-quality veneers will last a long time.
No-Prep Type of Veneers
While veneers are already minimally invasive, we can often provide even more conservative treatment with no-prep veneers. Crafted from the same lifelike porcelain, but made thinner than traditional veneers, no-prep veneers can be bonded to your teeth without having to permanently alter their enamel. If you qualify, no-prep may be the optimal way to improve your smile’s appearance. It also offers to protect the long-term health of your teeth and smile. Significant color correction is not possible with no-prep designs.
Which types of veneers are best for you?
There are advantages to both traditional and minimal prep veneer treatment. Because minimal prep versions leave more of the tooth structure intact, they are considered a reversible procedure. Reversible does not mean simple. Though more difficult to create, our patients are consistently pleased with the appearance of their custom veneers. Minimal prep versions are effective in correcting many cosmetic issues, but they are not suitable for all cosmetic applications. Because no-prep versions are so thin, they may be too translucent to effectively correct severe flaws. For example, if you have acutely stained teeth, or closing gaps between teeth, you may be a better candidate for traditional veneers. That version may also be a better choice to achieve the smile you want.
Learn more about all of the types of veneers
Your smile is one of the most important aspects of your appearance. It is often one of the first things people notice about you. To learn more about high quality esthetic restorative care options, schedule a consultation by calling us in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.