Straighten Up Before You Get Veneers

Before you get veneers, your dentist may recommend complementary treatments to give you the best results possible. This may involve shaping teeth, closing spaces or contouring the gums to get your smile in the ideal position for veneer placement. “I would say 50 percent of the patients who come to see us need additional procedures to get the best result with veneers,” explains Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS. Tooth contouring and orthodontics are extremely common. But what are they all about?

Tooth Contouring
Good for: Evening out teeth/making them appear straighter
What it is: An hour-long procedure where certain portions of enamel on the teeth are shaved down to reduce the look of crowding or crookedness.
How it improves veneers: Reshaping certain angles and edges of the teeth makes them appear more even and straight, so your veneers look that much better.
When to do it: This can be done just before impressions are made and veneers are ordered to fit the new teeth shapes.

Orthodontics
Good for: Straightening teeth/closing spaces
What it is: Whether in the form of traditional braces with metal brackets and wires or plastic aligners such as Invisalign, orthodontic treatments shift teeth to correct everything from gaps to turned teeth.
How it improves veneers “I sometimes recommend orthodontic work before veneers so I don't have to remove all the enamel. I can prep the teeth much more conservatively, keeping more of the natural tooth intact,” says New York cosmetic dentist, Timothy Chase, DMD. “This gives a more aesthetic result because you're not faking it as much.”

To read more on veneers, pick up the new issue of NewBeauty magazine on newsstands September 27.

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