Are There Any True Alternatives To Porcelain Veneers?
Whatever your reason for wanting veneers, it's important that you take time to seriously consider them. Porcelain veneers are not a cure-all, and they won't magically make it so you don't have to worry about your teeth ever again. They are only a cosmetic aid. Additionally, adding porcelain veneers requires a permanent, non-reversible change to your teeth. So you have to make sure that they're what you want.
Porcelain Veneers and Other Cosmetic Procedures
For most people, porcelain veneers are not the only option for dealing with the cosmetic aspects of a smile. So it's less about determining if you want veneers or not. It's more about deciding why you should choose veneers over other options.
So why should you? And just what are those other options? Well, it all depends on what you want to achieve with veneers.
To show whiter teeth – Porcelain veneers can give you a brighter smile. They can also help with the occasional discolored teeth. However, you can also consider tooth whitening products and procedures. There are also solutions like microabrasion which attempts to erode away the blemishes of your teeth and let the cleaner, whiter enamel underneath come out.
In both of these cases, there's no guarantee that you will achieve the color that you want. They're cheaper alternatives, but may not work as expected if you have sufficiently darkened teeth to start with.
To hide crooked teeth or gaps – Just as the name implies, a veneer can easily hide crooked or misaligned teeth. An alternative is a consultation with an orthodontist. It's possible that braces or some kind of straightening alternative can straighten out your teeth. Of course, there's the caveat that these solutions can take a long time to show any effect.
Orthodontic treatments are generally more expensive depending on how much work your teeth require, but they can create permanent results using your natural teeth. Another way to go about crooked teeth is by having a dentist shave and contour the teeth. This process is known as recontouring or enamelplasty.
To hide broken or chipped teeth - Bonding involves the use of resin to fill in gaps and fill out broken teeth. The resin can come in a color that matches your teeth. The resin also needs an occasional touch up as it can stain or erode over time. Bonding also doesn't require much preparation, and it's usually cheaper than a porcelain veneer.
Of all of these options, a porcelain veneer still can represent the superior choice. In fact, if you want to do all the things mentioned, then a porcelain veneer can certainly do them all in one shot. If you only have one issue, then you may want to consider one of the alternatives. You can also ask about veneer types other than porcelain veneers as well.
Make sure that you speak with your dentist about any cosmetic changes you want to make. You can also speak to a cosmetic dentist about which options will work best for your unique needs and budget.