Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells adhered to the front of your teeth that mask stains, gaps, cracks and misalignment. Despite their multiple benefits, veneers may require filing away healthy layers of enamel. The recent development of thinner veneers has reduced the need to shave down teeth, preserving the healthy part of your teeth and making the need for anesthesia, temporary restorations, and grinding away enamel no longer necessary. For teeth with minimal to moderate wear, veneers may be all that’s needed. Resistant to stains, wear and tear, they are placed over the front surfaces of the teeth to mask any imperfections, such as misalignment, chips and gaps. Charlotte, NC, cosmetic dentist Patrick J. Broome, DMD, says, “Porcelain veneers are an excellent option, especially for teeth that are worn, chipped or have discoloration that whitening cannot remove. Because no two smiles are alike, we select the type of porcelain and tooth design based on what the patient wants to achieve. The overall goal is to create a smile that looks natural and blends seamlessly with the patient’s face.” “Once you decide on veneers and your doctor files down your teeth, there is no going back—you will always need restorations to protect them. On average, veneers last from 10 to 15 years, so expect to have them redone throughout your lifetime,” says New York City cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS.
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