Kate Middleton’s royal smile prompts renewed interest in cosmetic dentistry and dental veneers
By Melissa Lipat, DDS
Even before her marriage to Prince William, Kate Middleton – now the Duchess of Cambridge – was a media darling in her own right. Fashion commentators and fans alike can’t get enough of Middleton’s elegant style; and now, it would seem that her role as a tastemaker may even extend to cosmetic dentistry and a new wave of popular interest in dental veneers. According to reports from Vanity Fair magazine, Middleton’s perfect smile is the result of what French dentist Dr. Didier Fillion calls “harmonious asymmetry” – a blend of invisible braces, surface polishing and veneers. The price tag for Kate Middleton’s designer smile runs around $15,000; but fortunately for the rest of us, affordable veneers can help correct broken, chipped or otherwise imperfect teeth for a smile to rival that of Britain’s favorite fairytale fashion icon.
People get veneers for any number of reasons, from the simple desire for a smile upgrade to corrective needs due to traumatic injury, chipped or broken teeth, discoloration or misalignment. The procedure requires less preparation and tooth removal than that required for crowns, and carries a number of other advantages including:
- Improved smile appearance
- Same-day results (in the case of resin veneers)
- Protection for damaged or chipped teeth
- Prevention of further, more extensive treatment due to damage or injury
There are two types of veneers: resin veneers (also known as “bonding”) and porcelain veneers. Resin veneers are created by your dentist and applied directly to the teeth using a resin composite; and while they carry the advantage of being more affordable than porcelain veneers as well as the perk of same-day results, such veneers are also prone to staining with the passage of time and may subsequently need to be re-done down the road. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are custom made in the laboratory using a thin shell of porcelain to be placed over the teeth. They are not as susceptible to staining as resin veneers and, with frequent and proper hygienic care, can be a long-lasting solution for straighter, whiter-looking teeth. For those patients who opt for porcelain veneers, a first appointment usually consists of preparing the tooth surfaces and taking impressions. The second appointment will then give the patient the chance to see and approve the customized veneers before they are cemented into place.
For a great smile that lasts, consult an experienced dental professional about your cosmetic dentistry options
As with any other cosmetic dentistry procedure, it is important for patients to consult a dentist about veneers and discuss their expectations and desires before moving forward with the treatment. Regardless of the reason behind the patient’s interest in veneers, a dentist must first examine the teeth to determine whether or not that patient is a candidate for the procedure. Depending on the patient’s bite and the structure of her teeth, a dentist may need to perform other corrective work (such as Invisalign or other restorative treatments) before applying veneers; and in some cases, if a patient’s bite is too deep, full coverage porcelain crowns may be a safer and more effective alternative to veneers all together.
At Oak Tree Dental, our friendly staff makes it a priority to customize each and every cosmetic dentistry patient’s experience – and that begins with the initial consultation. We start by taking digital pictures of the patient’s teeth, and then go over the pictures with the patient to discuss possible treatment plans. We also encourage patients to bring in photos reflecting their desired results in order to manage expectations and guarantee satisfaction to the best of our ability. In some cases, we may have our lab perform a smile design wax-up, allowing you to see your new smile before we begin. Once the procedure is completed, we also engage in patient education to help veneers stay in good condition for years to come. By avoiding biting into hard foods (such as apples, carrots or peanuts) with their veneers, wearing a mouth guard at night and committing to regular oral hygiene habits, our patients report long-lasting cosmetic dentistry success and better, brighter, healthier smiles. To learn more about our practice or schedule an appointment, visit us online: www.oaktreedentalpoway.com.
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