A smile makeover: My experience with getting veneers on my teeth
I didn't always used to smile with confidence. I grew up with an underbite made worse by a botched dental job when I was a kid. I assumed that my parents wouldn’t spend on another dental procedure so I made peace with the possibility that I'd spend the rest of my life with bad-looking teeth.
But when I started working, I decided to get braces again to at least improve my bite. Doc Enna, my dentist, considered my case to be one of the most difficult she'd had to deal with. It’s bad enough that she had to fix an underbite, she had to correct botched braces as well. I didn't have much expectations but I was very satisfied with how my teeth looked after my braces were taken off, especially compared to several years back. My teeth were far from perfect, but look, no more underbite!
My dentist, being the perfectionist that she is, encouraged me to look into veneers to further perfect my smile. I wasn’t really interested in getting them at first but after googling about veneers and seeing a million and one before-and-after photos, I reconsidered.
What exactly are dental veneers?
If you've ever wondered how celebrities always seem to have perfect teeth, this is their secret! Dental veneers are super-thin materials that are molded and bonded over the front of the teeth to improve their appearance. It’s a lot like gluing acrylic nails over real nails. When you get veneers, you’re essentially getting artificial enamel.
Veneers can change how the teeth look in terms of size, length, shape, or color. You can get them done to close gaps and to fix chipped and worn down teeth like I did. Veneers can also help make teeth look more aligned.
Veneers can either be made of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain has the translucency of real teeth, doesn’t stain, is less prone to chipping, and can last up to 15 years or more. On the other hand, composite can get stained, is not chip-resistant, and only lasts for around three to five years. But, the latter is significantly cheaper! With composite veneers, you can recreate your smile at a relatively low cost.
I decided to get composite veneers mostly because my dentist DID IT ON HERSELF and it looked completely natural! All the while, I thought I was seeing her natural teeth! That gave me comfort because I was worried that I’d end up looking like I’m wearing false teeth.
I also thought that composite was the best option for me because I wasn’t fully committed to the idea. Composite veneers can be easily removed and re-done if you end up not liking the results, and I wasn’t sure what teeth size and shape to go for. Your dentist can make recommendations but you get to decide what size and shape your veneers will be, so it suits and flatters your face.
Unlike porcelain veneers that are made in a lab, composite veneers are done in the clinic and molded directly on the teeth in bespoke fashion. My dentist sculpted each veneer on my teeth like a master sculptor so if you decide to get veneers, make sure to go to a dentist who is a true dental “artist”.
Getting my new smile
Aside from finding a skilled dentist, it is also very important to find someone you can easily communicate with. In my case, my dentist made sure I knew everything I needed to know. She answered all my questions, and we exchanged a lot of pictures and Youtube videos to make sure we were on the same page on what I want done and what I should expect.
We planned on doing veneers only on four of my upper front teeth. So before the procedure, my dentist took my tooth shade to make sure that the composite she’ll use would closely match the rest of my teeth.
Before the composite is bonded onto the tooth, it is cleaned and an etching solution is applied to help the “glue” to stick. The whole prep and the procedure itself was easy-breezy. I didn’t feel any pain, but there was a slight discomfort from having my mouth open wide for a little over two hours.
As soon as the composite was bonded and sculpted, I was handed a mirror to check how I liked my new teeth. I requested for a few adjustments, and my dentist used a polishing tool to reshape the teeth to my preference. After I okayed the final look, she buffed my teeth to sparkling shininess! Here’s the final look:
My two front teeth were lengthened and my upper teeth curve downwards now. I’m often asked if I could feel it on. The answer is nope! It just feels like my regular teeth.
Since composite veneers can stain, it’s advised to avoid dark-colored food and beverage. I can’t quit coffee though so I make sure to rinse well after drinking or follow my dentist’s recommendation to wipe my teeth with a table napkin. I know it sounds weird but it works. It’s been over two months and my veneers still match well with the rest of my natural teeth.
I chipped a tooth though because I grind my teeth at night so I now make sure to always wear my night guard to sleep. The chipped tooth was easily fixed, but I realized that I have to keep a record of what shade my teeth are and the type/brand of composite to use in case my dentist is not around and I need an emergency fix.
I also avoid biting into hard food like chicharon or tearing apart through tough meat with my teeth. Other than that, there’s no special care needed. I brush and floss as normal.
I hope this helps anyone else who’s interested in getting the procedure done. Getting veneers was one of the best decisions I've made, and my improved smile makes it even more fun to play with my favorite lippies!
If you’re interested for a consult with my dentist, you may reach her through 0925 750 1982 and look for Dr. Enna Neria-Balauitan.