To a lot of people, their smile is one of the most important aspects of their appearance. But having chipped, cracked, discolored or misshapen teeth can put a damper on wanting to show your pearly whites to the world.

While there are many options for repairing cosmetic dental imperfections, one of the best choices is cosmetic (dental) veneers. Veneers are a long-lasting, natural-looking way to perfect your teeth and make you eager to show off your smile.

What are cosmetic veneers?

Cosmetic veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are adhered to the top of your natural teeth. These porcelain pieces are created specifically for you to provide the most natural appearance of a perfect smile. They also provide strength and resilience to the teeth like tooth enamel does.

To create veneers, your dentist will need to examine your teeth. They may shave off a small layer of enamel from your natural teeth before the veneers can be molded and created to the shape and size you desire. Dentists use a strong adhesive to bond the veneer to the front of your tooth for long-lasting results.

Dental veneers are a good choice when making slight tooth position alterations or changing the size, shape, or color of teeth. They are not meant to hold together severely damaged teeth.

There are two common types of cosmetic veneers: Traditional and “no-prep” veneers.

  • Traditional: With traditional veneers, your dentist must remove a thin layer of the natural tooth enamel to make room for the veneer before applying. These veneers are not reversible because the enamel has been removed. Removing a little bit of your enamel is important because it provides the veneers with ample room to sit within the mouth and the most natural-looking results.
  • No-prep: In no-prep veneer applications, the dentist can apply veneers with minimal or no enamel removal. No-prep veneers are not always an option and may have more limitations than traditional veneers. However, they’re reversible because the enamel remains intact.

Cosmetic veneers can last longer than 20 years if they are taken care of well! Although the adhesive used to bond the veneer to the tooth is very strong, it can loosen over time, especially if you like to eat sticky foods. Proper maintenance is essential in getting the longest lifespan out of your veneers.

How cosmetic veneers can transform your smile

Porcelain dental veneers are ideal for camouflaging a number of dental imperfections that might make you self-conscious about your teeth. Here are just a few things that cosmetic veneers can do to transform your smile:

  • Change size or shape: If your teeth are shaped in a way that you don’t like, or if a few teeth are too large or too small, dental veneers can help transform their appearance and make them look uniform with the rest of your teeth.
  • Cover gaps: Sometimes, minor gaps between the teeth can be covered with veneers instead of using orthodontic procedures.
  • Lengthen or shorten: Short or long teeth can be evened out with the application of cosmetic veneers. Additionally, teeth that have been ground down may benefit from veneers to create an even appearance.
  • Cover chips or imperfections: If your tooth has been chipped, dented, or suffered another imperfection, dental veneers can cover it easily to make it look as good as new.
  • Whiten: Yellowed or stained teeth instantly benefit from bright, white porcelain veneers, which even resist future staining.

One of the other great things about veneers is that you can have one single veneer applied to a tooth, or you can get a full set to correct multiple imperfections. This versatility lets you remain in budget while creating the perfect smile.

Benefits of cosmetic veneers

There are many benefits that cosmetic veneers can offer dentistry patients, including:

  • Brighter smile: Porcelain veneers are made of a strong, stain-resistant material, meaning they won’t stain over time like your natural teeth will. Patients can enjoy a brighter, whiter smile for the entire lifespan of their veneers.
  • Natural appearance: Veneers are custom-made for your mouth for the most natural appearance possible. And the porcelain material is perfect for recreating the look of natural white teeth.
  • Long-lasting results: Because veneers can last for up to 20 years, patients should not need to have veneers replaced repeatedly every few years.
  • Improved confidence: People who have veneers applied to their teeth can instantly feel more confident in their smile. Veneers can cover up any stains, imperfections, chips or cracks, leaving you with a picture-perfect smile you can share with the world.

Are cosmetic veneers right for me?

Veneers are best suited for people with minor tooth imperfections or discoloration who are looking to perfect their smiles. They are not a good option for people with severe tooth decay, large fractures, or other major weaknesses like large fillings. This is because the veneers need a strong tooth to adhere to and will not protect the entire tooth from decay as a crown will.

If you grind your teeth, you may also want to consider another option apart from veneers. Tooth grinding can weaken the veneers and cause them to fall off. However, the ultimate decision will need to be made by your dentist. They may provide you with a retainer to protect your teeth from grinding at night if you do get veneers applied.

The best way to tell if you would benefit from cosmetic veneers is to visit your dentist and have an initial consultation. That way, your dentist can examine the state of your teeth and identify if veneers are the right choice, how many veneers you’ll need, and what type will benefit you the most.