Part IV - Enhancing Your Beauty With Veneers
By Dr. Ivan Valcarenghi
Published on January 13, 2011
A Smile Makeover IS Conservative Dentistry!
As discussed in the previous installments of this article, "drilling away healthy teeth" is what keeps so many patients from enjoying the benefits of a healthy, more youthful, and attractive smile.
The idea that cosmetic dentists drill away large amounts of healthy teeth is mostly a myth!
Cosmetic dentistry, or a smile makeover, with veneers is a conservative approach to dentistry. In most cases, the treatment is less painful than the traditional dental treatments that patients associate with the family dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry is designed to conserve all healthy parts of the tooth's structure. For example, the placement of white fillings in your molars requires less removal of the tooth than the mercury fillings treatment that patients have had in the past. There is no need to drill away significant portions of healthy tooth structure to fill a tooth with a cosmetic filling as there is with traditional fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are also stronger and last long longer than silver fillings. Cosmetic white fillings are bonded to teeth, while metal fillings plug up holes.
Cosmetic dentistry is not only an art, it takes skill to successfully perform smile makeovers. Advances in the technique, tools, and materials used in cosmetic dentistry require dentists to remain updated on the latest treatment approaches. Unfortunately, many of the dentists that perform smile makeovers are not well trained enough to perform certain treatments. This has led to a common complaint about cosmetic dentistry, which is...well...the cosmetics! Finding a qualified, highly experienced cosmetic dentist may take some homework, but is strongly advised in order to achieve a successful outcome.
Finally, in most cases, the amount of drilling done on teeth for veneers is very conservative, sometimes as little as three tenths of a millimeter! The veneers treatment, when done properly, is a conservative dental treatment. The very thin veneer layers replace the small amount of removed tooth structure. In almost all cases, veneers actually strengthen teeth that are aged and worn. Patients cannot always see all the crazing (tiny cracks) and fractures that we dentists see in teeth that have been wearing out for decades.