How to Know Whether You Should Get Veneers

There's one "Hollywood" white smile treatment that seems to breed a lot of curiosity: porcelain veneers. Here are a few basic pointers to help determine whether veneers are right for you.

We think everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin—and smile! That being said, in the age of selfies and social media, we get lots of questions about cosmetic dentistry. There’s one “Hollywood” white smile treatment that seems to breed a lot of curiosity: porcelain veneers. Here are a few basic pointers to help determine whether veneers are right for you.

You’re Willing to Make a Permanent Change

When it comes to transforming your smile, there are a number of options that range in cost, permanence and complexity. Porcelain veneers fall somewhere between professional teeth whitening and dental implants. Veneers cost more than whitening, but can also solve problems that a simple whitening can’t, such as crowded, crooked, or gapped teeth. Veneers cost less than smile reconstructions that involve dental implants, and they can’t replace teeth that are missing or severely damaged (you’ll need an implant, crown or bonding for that).

Because most veneers procedures involve removing some of the natural tooth structure in order to fit a porcelain “sleeve” on top, they are irreversible. Once you get veneers, you will always have veneers and should take future maintenance (and often replacement) into account when deciding whether to get them.

Physical Appearance Is Vital to Your Job

While for most of us a smile makeover is a self-confidence and health decision, for some people it is also a career decision. Certain jobs require or at the very least reward a very polished and idealized physical appearance. High standards of appearance in the entertainment industry are the reason that veneers are known as a “Hollywood” smile. But there are other people for whom a great-looking smile is a career asset, such as real estate agents, politicians and even social media brand influencers. For these people, investing in their smile may be a good long-term choice.

You Have Great Oral Health

As with any cosmetic dentistry procedure, porcelain veneers are only recommended for people with relatively great oral health. If the dentist has identified you as being at high risk for cavities or periodontitis (gum disease), the dentist may recommend that you don’t get veneers, or at least hold off on the decision until your habits and oral health are better.

Teeth Whitening Products Don’t Work Well

There are some people whose teeth discoloration doesn’t respond well to traditional teeth whitening products, whether they’re the professional grade kind used at the dentist or the over-the-counter kind. For example, certain antibiotics can change teeth to a grayish color from the inside out, meaning that teeth whitening treatments, which are applied to the outside of the teeth, don’t have much of an effect. Someone with this type of staining can achieve the white smile of their dreams with porcelain veneers.

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