Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of veneers. Featured on several popular makeover shows and sported by a number of A-List celebrities, veneers can mask several types of cosmetic flaws and give you a beautiful, symmetrical smile. From the way they’re presented in the media, it seems as though you can just drop into any dentist’s office and walk out with a perfect set of teeth. Of course, the reality of porcelain veneers is not so simple or straightforward. Dr. David Zelby, an experienced Atlanta cosmetic dentist and prosthodontist, discusses the advantages and drawbacks of veneers and offers some alternatives for people who want a brilliant smile without the potential risks.
Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
Nicknamed the “instant smile makeover,” veneers can dramatically improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. Some benefits of veneers include:
- Veneers can hide a number of flaws, such as chipped teeth, uneven or oddly shaped teeth, stains that do not respond to teeth whitening, or spaces between teeth.
- Dental porcelain is very strong, stain resistant, and has the translucent beauty of natural tooth enamel.
- With consistent care, veneers will last for years.
Dr. Zelby, who has successfully placed thousands of porcelain veneers, wants people to know that before deciding that veneers provide the best option, their dentist should perform a comprehensive examination. During this exam, your dentist should pay special attention to any outstanding oral health issues such as tooth decay or gum disease as well as the strength and thickness of your natural tooth enamel.
Drawbacks of Porcelain Veneers
Placing porcelain veneers requires the removal of some of your tooth enamel. Preparing the enamel allows the veneers to look more natural but, regrettably, many general dentists do not have the skill and training to know how much enamel to remove. Some patients end up with permanently compromised enamel because an inexperienced dentist went overboard during the enamel removal process. Dr. Zelby suggests you do the research and go with a prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in esthetic restorations such as veneers) or a cosmetic dentist with years of experience and a proven record of happy patients. By visiting an expert, you can feel confident that he or she will preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible while still providing you with a gorgeous new smile.
Conservative Alternatives to Veneers
Some people have veneers placed even when another, more conservative treatment plan might yield the same results. This is often the result of half-hearted research on the part of the patient and a lack of scruples on the part of the dentist. Dr. Zelby believes that if he can suggest a more conservative treatment plan, he will. Indeed, by combining certain procedures, patients can still achieve their smile goals without having to drastically alter their natural tooth structure. Popular alternatives to veneers include:
- Invisalign (a nearly invisible alternative to braces) plus cosmetic dental bonding can straighten teeth, correct gaps, and fix chips or stains.
- Teeth whitening to brighten your teeth plus a little reshaping using bonding or contouring can also revitalize your smile.
Ethical Cosmetic Dentistry in Atlanta
If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile, call Dr. David Zelby at (770) 955-0550. Dr. Zelby and the expert team at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta provide a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services to help you achieve the best smile of your life. Our Atlanta dentist office proudly serves patients in Marietta, Smyrna, East Cobb, Buckhead, Vinings, and Metro Atlanta.