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Why It's Nearly Impossible to Tell Dental Veneers from Natural Teeth

Why It's Nearly Impossible to Tell Dental Veneers from Natural Teeth

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In recent years, veneers have become an incredibly popular cosmetic dentistry procedure. By attaching thin porcelain shells to the front of your teeth, your dentist can cover up blemishes like stains or tiny cracks. In some cases, a dentist may even use veneers to change the shape of a tooth; a carefully crafted veneer is often the best way to repair a worn tooth or an isolated crooked tooth. Many patients are skeptical about this procedure. It would seem that placing a synthetic front on your tooth would result in an unnatural appearance. However, thanks to advanced treatment methods and technology, when veneers are placed by an experienced cosmetic dentist, they are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Careful Preplanning

Before receiving dental veneers, you will have a thorough consultation with your cosmetic dentist. Attention to detail in the early stages of the treatment is one of the best ways to ensure stunning, natural-looking results. In addition to discussing your dental health and goals for treatment, your dentist will take photos, x-rays, and impressions. This documentation ensures that your veneers will be a near-perfect match to your teeth.

Tooth Preparation

By carefully preparing your teeth to accommodate the veneers, your dentist can prevent the restorations from looking bulky and unnatural. For the traditional veneer procedure, a dentist will remove a very thin portion of enamel from your teeth. This layer is typically less than half a millimeter thick and makes room for the veneer while still preserving most of your natural tooth structure. When the veneers are completed, your dentist will lightly etch your teeth, which helps the veneers to adhere more strongly.

Newer "no-prep" or "minimal prep" veneers are much thinner. Their small size means that your dentist will have to remove very little enamel, if any. However, because they are so thin, these veneers will still look highly natural.

Advanced Digital Technology

Some dentists also use advanced CEREC® technology. This system uses ultrasound waves to scan your teeth and create an extremely detailed digital map. CEREC programs have a number of advantages. First, they enable your dentist to fabricate veneers in the office, meaning you can receive them in just one day. More importantly, the highly accurate image means that they are created to match the precise dimensions of your teeth, and your dentist can control exactly how your veneers look and fit.

Natural Light Reflection

Veneers are made from state-of-the-art dental porcelain, which is designed to mimic the way light reflects off your natural teeth. Tooth enamel is actually translucent, which means that when light strikes your teeth, it actually reflects off the underlying dentin. Dental porcelain is also translucent, meaning that light will penetrate through the veneers and your smile will retain the luster of your natural teeth.

Talk to a Dentist

To see how natural-looking dental veneers can improve your smile, find a cosmetic dentist in your area.

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