How can I avoid fake-looking veneers? (photo)Cosmetic Dentistry
My mom had veneers done, and it’s pretty obvious that her front teeth are fake and unnatural looking (as per photo). I want a smile that people will think is real. How can I avoid fake looking veneers, and what steps do dentists take to prevent an unnatural looking result?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many aspects to an aesthetic smile makeover other than just colour. Your dentist will have to correct the shape and the inclination of the teeth, and ensure that the natural spaces between each tooth is either preserved or enhanced, not encroached.
Our eyes can pick up imbalances and appearance that do not harmonise like nature do. In this picture, the teeth looked too bulky and the angle of the inclination is wrong. The white is too stark and opaque. It's too monotone and not three-dimensional enough. The shape of the teeth are also too rounded at all corners.
In order for us to achieve a beautiful smile, we must analyse all aspects of the current smile that we can enhance. All the smile parameters should be analysed, for example: the length of the teeth, the colour, the angulation of the teeth in general, the shape as well as the level of the gums.
We also look into the fullness of the smile to see if there is anything we can improve. Essentially, we look into the ABC - A (Alignment), B (Brightness) and C (Contours) of the smile. All these enhancement of the smile need to be balanced with the biological cost of trimming the teeth.
A lot of times, we move the teeth before doing veneers trimming so that we can trim less to get the desired smile.
I hope this gives you an insight to how we analyse a person's smile before we recommend the smile makeover procedures required.
I note that you think that its pretty obvious that her front teeth are fake and unnatural looking and you would like to know what can be done to avoid fake looking veneers.
This is not an easy question to answer simply, but I will do my very best to give you the information that you need, based on my own practice and opinions, so that if your mum should decide to redo her veneers, she may be more well informed when trying to find a dentist that would be able to achieve the result that she is looking for.
Let me first start with which type of dentist to look out for.
An experienced, skilled, reputable and meticulous dental surgeon with a special interest in Aesthetic Dentistry could arguably do a better job than a dental surgeon with no further postgraduate training or interest in the subject matter.
When looking for the right dentist for your Mom, you can consider to find out more about his or her credentials in postgraduate training and courses in Aesthetic Dentistry and you could also consider to ask to see Before and After pictures of successful veneer cases that he or she has done, to give you an indication of his or her experience and expertise. The Aesthetic Dentistry Society of Singapore (http://adss.org.sg) is a good place to start looking , as all its Dentist Members have a special interest in Aesthetic Dentistry.
Futhermore, having a good dentist is just solving one piece of the puzzle. Porcelain veneers are made by very talented dental technicians and usually not by the dental surgeons themselves. These dental technicians are highly skilled and are like porcelain artists.
The dental surgeon will design the smile, and after completing the design the dental surgeon will then work closely with the porcelain artist to create the veneers in the dental laboratory, before fitting them onto the patient's prepared teeth. The whole process involves digital technology as well has a high level of human craftsmanship.
Here are some of the factors that would contribute to making a very natural looking veneer result ( in no order of importance)
1. Colour of the veneers.
2. Level of translucency of the veneers.
3. Surface texture of the veneers.
4. Length, width and shape of the veneers.
5. Whether or not single or multiple veneers are needed to achieve the desired result in the desired alignment and contours.
6. The colour of the underlying natural tooth.
7. How all of the above factors fit in harmony with the patients face, lips, personality, age as well as gender.
8. Whether or not custom colouring of the veneers is required.
9. The patient's expectations as well as cultural background.
In my practice, what has worked well for me is that i employ a sophisticated software called DIGITAL SMILE DESIGN . This software allows me to digitally design the proposed smile/veneers so that my patients can see the final result before even touching any teeth. I then transfer this virtual design into temporary plastic mock ups in the patient's mouth. So that they can see a preview of the smile design, just like how an architect shows a 3D model preview of a house before actually building it.
This has helped me greatly in matching my patients expectations and to minimise or eliminate results that are sub-optimal. From my experience, i have realised that very often, when considering a smile makeover, patients have a poor understanding of how the proposed veneers would look like against their lips and face, and they place alot of trust in the skill of the dental surgeon to create a result that they like , and that is natural.
Digital Smile Design takes away much of this guesswork and has worked well for my practice.
I hope my short answer has given you enough information to make an educated decision on how to solve your concern over your Mom's veneers.
And i wish you all the best in finding a good dental surgeon that your mum can trust and have rapport with!
Dr Gerald Tan
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