A dental expert on why veneers are just one of many useful options available to people looking to enhance their smile

Having confidence in your teeth’s appearance can give you confidence in your daily life.

While veneers can help you smile with confidence it is important to find out what having a veneer entails before rushing into seeking the procedure.

Traditional veneers are thin pieces of porcelain which are bonded to the front surface of existing teeth to improve teeth’s cosmetic appearance.

Dental practice manager Sarah D’Alessandro said: “Veneers are absolutely wonderful, but they are not the only option available when it comes to gaining the perfect smile.”

Sarah works for Ethicare Dental which offers veneer procedures at its surgery in London. Dental care, she believes, should always be provided ethically – by giving patients clear information about the different types of treatment available.

So, what are the advantages of veneers, what are the disadvantages and what are the other options?

Advantages of veneers

  • Appearance – they look natural
  • Colour – a white veneer put over a dark tooth can naturally make your smile seem brighter!
  • Stain resistance – porcelain veneers are difficult to stain
  • Reliability – cosmetic dentists widely acknowledge that, for patients with misshapen, crooked and discoloured teeth, they are the best and most predictable way of achieving that longed-for perfect smile.
  • Improvements in technology –veneers are becoming thinner and less obtrusive than ever; reducing the need to remove teeth tissue.
  • New products – veneers such as Lumineers have recently come on the market. These are as thin as a contact lens and can be positioned over existing teeth without patients having to endure the pain of having tooth structure removed.  Lumineers guarantee a painless procedure, sensitivity-free results and a permanent whitening effect.

Veneers: some things you should know

Sarah  D’Alessandro said: “There is perhaps a tendency among many practitioners to in some cases disregard the integrity of the tooth and opt for veneers as the first choice for a smile enhancement.”

She believes that veneers can be amazingly beneficial but points out that traditional veneer procedure can involve unnecessarily removing healthy tooth tissue. Is it worth risking your dental health just to improve your appearance?

Other issues to consider include

  • Maintenance issues – once veneers are fitted, life-long maintenance of them is required. Eventually, the veneers will have to be replaced; they often a lifespan of about a decade.
  • Permanence – the process is often not reversible.
  • Colour co-ordination – does the veneer match the colour of your other teeth? It might be worth undergoing teeth whitening on all your teeth before you have a veneer fitted as the veneer’s colour cannot be changed after the procedure.
  • Suitability – patients with unhealthy or weakened teeth might not be appropriate for veneer treatment.
Alternatives to veneers
If you or your dentist have decided that veneers aren’t the best way to give you the perfect smile, don’t despair as there are plenty of other alternatives!

Your dentist can talk you through the merits of alternatives such as aligners, conventional treatment and composite bonding.

Sarah D’Alessandro our practice manager also points out: “Straightening and bleaching techniques are now so advanced; they give astounding results, and most importantly involve no drilling or damage to the tooth structure.”

With dental technology constantly improving it seems that the choice of cosmetic treatments – including veneers – is becoming better every year.

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