As a cosmetic dentist in Philadelphia, I am often asked by patients about the different types of veneers and why I frequently choose to use Lumineers (a type of thin veneer). Patients also inform me that they have heard horror stories about veneers looking too big, too thick, too opaque, or breaking or falling off the teeth. There are many types of veneers and each has its own purpose. I advise patients that there are a lot of variables that the dentist must weigh in order to choose the right type of veneers for each patient. It is not that veneers are prone to look bad, break, or detach; it is often that the incorrect veneer was chosen for that situation. When possible, I prefer to treat patients with LUMINEERS, because they are thin, so they require less removal of natural tooth structure yet they are as strong and effective as traditional veneers.
Questions during the initial consultation with the patient should minimally include the following:
Is there another alternative to veneers (can the patient whiten their teeth and do bonding/patching or would moving the teeth be a better option)
Does the patient have wear on their teeth which indicates they may be grinding their teeth
Are the teeth very dark in shade
Are the teeth very sensitive
Do the lower teeth hit against the front upper teeth excessively
Does the patient have gum disease/infection/cavities or have they been prone to these in the past
Does the patient have unreal expectations (in which case veneers should not be placed)
How full is the upper lip
Are there wrinkles around the mouth
Are the teeth already too prominent
Do the upper and lower teeth touch when the mouth is closed
Are there any existing restorations on the teeth
The dentist must take into consideration the following BEFORE deciding if veneers are appropriate and what type to use. It is important to plan ahead, since the type of veneer will dictate the type of preparation. A dentist must figure out how they will reshape the tooth, including the depth (deeper for darker or more crowded teeth), the shape (if rounded teeth are desired with naturally-occurring square teeth, the corners must be rounded), how the margin (edge of veneer) is planned (feather edge or definite edge), and whether or not the edge of the tooth will be wrapped (will shell of the veneer go over the edge and cover the inside of the tooth).
To schedule a free consultation to discuss this with me in person, please call (215) 568-6222. I look forward to meeting you!