Digital smile makeovers

- Two cases illustrating applications for porcelain veneers.

Dentists can use porcelain veneers in a variety of applications. This page's digital smile makeovers feature two of them.

One shows how they can be used to close spaces between teeth. The other illustrates how a set of porcelain veneers can enhance a smile's overall appearance and evenness.

Case #1: Using porcelain veneers to close spaces between teeth.

Dental history and concerns:

1) This person has a number of spaces between their teeth. (These gaps are termed "diastemata.")

While from a dental-health standpoint their presence is of no concern, they do detract somewhat from the appearance of this person's smile.

Cosmetic dentistry solutions:

1) Placing veneers. - Our after picture illustrates how placing porcelain veneers could give this person's teeth a more pleasant and even look.

The idea is that the veneers are used to increase the shape and size (primarily the width) of the teeth, thus filling in the spaces between them. They also idealize the overall appearance of the smile.

2) Another approach. - Some dentists might feel that dental crowns would make the better choice for making the types of changes we've illustrated. Obviously, the dentist treating this case would be the one who would need to make this decision.

Placing crowns is a more invasive process than porcelain veneers. But if greater restoration strength is needed, then they make the better choice. (More information: What is the difference between porcelain veneers and dental crowns?)

3) Treating the lower arch. - Our "after" picture also illustrates how placing just one dental crown on the patient's lower right could help to create a more uniform look for their lower teeth. It might be possible to make this same type of change using dental bonding. Once again, it would be up to the treating dentist to decide. (Dental crowns are typically considered to be a longer-lasting type of restoration than bonding.)

4) Teeth whitening. - The "before" picture possibly shows that there is a color discrepancy between this person's upper and lower teeth. If so, this person might choose to use an at-home teeth whitening system to lighten them. This should be completed some weeks before the porcelain veneer work is performed.

5) The consequences of closing tooth gaps. - While closing tooth spaces is strictly a cosmetic issue, doing so has the potential to place the patient at some risk.

When gaps like these are left open, it's relatively difficult for dental plaque to accumulate and persist. Any plaque that does form can be removed easily with just a toothbrush (as opposed to requiring the use of dental floss).

But if these spaces closed, and if this person is lax with their oral home care (doesn't floss), then as months and years pass, the dental plaque that accumulates (and is allowed to persist) will place this person at greater risk for developing gum disease and cavities.

We're not saying we're for or against closing spaces between teeth. But it's important to understand that there are responsibilities that come along with doing so.

Case #2: Using porcelain veneers to give a smile a more even appearance.

This case is similar to the one above, in the sense that it involves the placement of a number of porcelain veneers across a patient's upper teeth so to give them a more regular and even appearance.

Dental history and concerns:

1) When this person submitted their picture they had noting in particular on their mind. They were simply interested in seeing what type of improvement we could illustrate for their smile.

Cosmetic dentistry solutions:

Placing veneers. - Our "after" picture shows how things might be changed by placing porcelain veneers on her six center upper teeth. Porcelain veneers are one way to give a smile the illusion of a more perfect alignment.

Her lower teeth are more crowded than her upper ones. And because of this, it would be harder to make a (dentally appropriate) change for these teeth by way of placing porcelain veneers.

2) Another approach. - Since the general contours of her teeth (as shown in the "before" picture) seem to be reasonably attractive, an alternate approach could be to utilize orthodontic treatment (braces) as a means of idealizing the alignment of her teeth (instead of placing porcelain veneers). If so, the lower teeth could be treated at the same time, thus resolving that issue.

3) Teeth whitening. - We did illustrate a color change for this person's teeth in our "after" picture. One that might be achieved by either at-home or professional teeth bleaching treatments.

This process could be performed either before or after the orthodontic treatment. In the case that porcelain veneers (or crowns) will be placed, the whitening treatments should be completed some weeks before the veneering process is started.

Whitening treatments are not always predictable. And if a satisfactory color change cannot be made using them, placing porcelain veneers may be the only way to create an improvement for this smile.

Smile makeover cases illustrating uses for porcelain veneers.

Stepping up to porcelain veneers from dental bonding.

When this person submitted a photo of their smile for a virtual makeover, it wasn't so clear to us what...

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a) Porcelain veneers - This virtual makeover gives an idea of how placing a set of veneers can be used to create an overall improvement for a smile. b) Vs. dental bonding - It also explains why (for this case) porcelain restorations make a better choice than bonding.

Using porcelain veneers to make a smile look more even and uniform.

Porcelain veneers have become a very popular dental procedure. That's because they offer a...

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Porcelain veneers - This case demonstrates how placing a set of veneers can improve a smile by idealizing tooth shape. It also explains why veneers, as opposed to dental bonding, would make the best choice for this transformation.

Using porcelain veneers to improve tooth shape and fill in tooth gaps.

Dentists often use porcelain veneer placement as a way of filling in tooth gaps. This...

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This makeover shows two common uses for porcelain veneers: a) Closing tooth gaps. b) Changing the shape of teeth. The result is the perfect smile.



View more makeovers -

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