I was never able to get braces while growing up. Because of that, my two front teeth overlap a little. I’m 41 years old and do not want to wear metal wires and brackets. Someone told me that porcelain veneers can make your teeth look straight. Is this true? Is there anything I need to know?
Dear Laurie Anne,
Depending on the severity of the misalignment and in the hands of a skilled cosmetic dentist, porcelain veneers can definitely make your teeth look straight. Bear in mind that I have not examined you but based on your description, you sound like the perfect candidate for this. You asked if there are things you need to know. Yes, there definitely are.
First, you will want to find the right dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty, nor are smile makeovers taught in dental school. In order to develop the skill and artistry necessary to do beautiful cosmetic work, dentists have to invest in post-doctoral training. Unfortunately, because it is not a recognized specialty, any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount of training they have invested (or not invested) in getting.
It is tricky for patients to know who has this training and artistry and who does not. My suggestion is to look for a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. In order for dentists to reach accreditation, they have to pass stringent exams as well as demonstrate their artistry to an examination board with a large number of cosmetic procedures they have done themselves. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.
One other thing to be aware of is that it will be cheaper for your to whiten your teeth first and then get porcelain veneers only on the top teeth that are visible when you smile. The teeth whitening will make sure the smile looks uniform even though you will not have a porcelain veneer on every tooth.
If it turns out your bite is so severely off that you need orthodontics, do not despair. You still will not have to resort to metal wires and brackets. These days, most adults are candidates for Invisalign. This uses clear aligners to shift your teeth into their proper position. Even at a conversational distance, no one will know that you are wearing orthodontics.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.