Which Type of Veneers Are Right for You?

Your smile is one of the most important aspects of your appearance, and it is often one of the first things people notice about you. However, when your smile is marred by noticeable cosmetic flaws such as cracks, chips, and significant discoloration, it can have a huge impact on your self confidence. If you are embarrassed by your smile, you may be a good candidate for dental veneers from your Lake Forest, IL dentist. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we offer both traditional and no-prep veneers. Though the two treatments are similar, you may be better suited to one type over another. In this post, Dr. James Fondriest discusses the two types of veneers and provides guidelines for choosing the right one for you.

An Introduction to Veneers

Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that attach directly to the front of your teeth. They can be used to cover up structural flaws and stains, and they can even close gaps or change the shape of worn or uneven teeth. Though 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 veneers did not come into widespread use until the last fifteen years. During that time, however, the treatment has become immensely popular, and recent developments have made veneers more lifelike than ever before.

Traditional Veneers

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 the veneers much more durable. He will then apply the pieces with strong dental cement.

No-Prep or Minimal Prep Veneers

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, which means that your dentist will have to remove a very small amount of enamel, if any. Unlike some minimal prep veneers, the restorations offered at Lake Forest Dental Arts can still be custom 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.

Which One Is Right for You?

There are advantages to both traditional and minimal prep veneers. Because minimal prep veneers leave more of the tooth structure intact, they are considered a reversible procedure. Although our patients are consistently pleased with the appearance of their veneers, you may appreciate the greater flexibility afforded by these no-prep restorations. However, although minimal prep veneers are effective in correcting cracks, chips, and overly small teeth, they are not suitable for all cosmetic applications. Because no-prep veneers are so thin, they may be too translucent to effectively correct severe flaws. For example, if you have acutely stained teeth, or if you are looking to correct the appearance of a discolored metal filling, you may be a better candidate for traditional veneers. These veneers may also be a better choice for closing gaps between teeth.

About Lake Forest Dental Arts

Of course, the best way to determine the best type of veneers for you is with a thorough consultation with your cosmetic dentist. Dr. Fondriest offers stunningly lifelike traditional and no-prep veneers performed in a state-of-the-art dental facility. We proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.