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playa vista cosmetic dentist

Composite Veneers

Composite Veneers

I commonly get asked by patients-- I want to change the shape and color of my teeth but I don't want my teeth shaved down or I'm on a budget.  In the past, dentistry may have been a bit more black and white, but there is a new grey area...maybe grey is the new black? 

Dental composites have been around since the 70's.  Prior to that, silver amalgam filings (and arguably up to recently) have been consider the gold standard.  Today, dental composites are much stronger, esthetic, and economical than before.  Dental composites when used correctly with the right situations, can be a very long lasting, esthetic, highly functional alternative to more costly materials.  In the following link, see how our practice is able to provide dental composites as an alternative to traditional porcelain veneers.  

Less Is More

Less Is More

“Wearing a veneer of perfection never did me any good.” -Liz Phair

I frequently get asked by friends and patients what I think about veneers. Before I go into my answer, let me define what a veneer is. A veneer is a thin shell of medical-grade ceramic (or resin) that is traditionally attached to the front surface of a tooth. Veneers are individually crafted by a skilled lab technician who uses man-made materials to mimic a natural tooth. Dentists use veneers for a variety of dental issues including  color correction and orthodontic adjustments.

Due to Hollywood, veneers are synonymous with cosmetic dentistry. (Literally, in the 1920’s, Hollywood actors and actresses were known to get false front teeth.) Generally, when a patient comes to my office inquiring on how to improve their smile, they always ask about veneers. But are veneers really the best choice for everyone in every situation?

Honestly, it depends on the situation. If it's a color modification you seek, a simple course of teeth whitening may be all that is needed. If the goal is to correct the alignment of your teeth, a visit to your orthodontist is a much more conservative option. Although veneers are a conservative alternative compared to crowns, in most cases you still need to give up some tooth structure for the veneer to properly bond.

In summary, more is not always better. Ask your dentist to explore less invasive options before you begin an irreversible procedure. Keep in mind that in some cases, ultimate results can be achieved with a blend of the veneer alternative treatments discussed above. There are instances where good intra-professional collaboration of teeth whitening, orthodontics, and good planning can yield optimal cosmetic results as conservatively as possible.