What You Didn’t Know About Veneers

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Myth: Veneers only alter the look of the teeth.

Fact: Veneers can be used to enhance the bite and build out the back teeth, making the cheeks appear fuller and the lower third of the face lifted, for a more youthful appearance overall.

Myth: All veneers are applied the same way.

Fact: There is a big difference between regular and no-prep veneers, which require no tooth removal; however only those who have pretty straight teeth without heavy stains qualify for them. “The alignment has to be pretty close to ideal,” says Glenview, IL, cosmetic dentist William Cohen, DDS. “But no-prep veneers allow you to keep the veneers really thin, and the porcelains today are so strong that you can still have a nice result.”

Myth: Veneers are a one-time procedure.

Fact: Every case is different, and veneers last from five to 12 years on average, but some dentists are reporting cases where veneers have lasted as long as 20 years. Chances are, you’ll have to have them redone at some point.

Myth: Once you get veneers, you’re stuck with them for life.

Fact: “In most cases, this is true, but in cases where only small adjustments were made such as tooth contouring, no-prep veneers can be applied, and they can be removed later on,” says The Woodlands, TX, cosmetic dentist Guy Lewis, DDS.

Myth: Most of the enamel on the teeth has to be painfully filed down, leaving you with next to no original tooth.

Fact: “There are many varying degrees of prepping a tooth for a veneer,” Dr. Guy Lewis says. “Some teeth need more adjustment than others. With traditional veneers, you’re looking at about a millimeter of enamel removal on average. No-prep veneers require a small fraction of that or less.”

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