Dental veneers are an excellent way to cover up imperfections on your teeth, such as cracks, discolouration or gaps. When done well, veneers can instantly change the quality of your smile and hence are often used in smile transformation processes.
However, many patients often end up with unnatural looking veneers in their quest to achieve the perfect smile. Veneers, as with all other procedures in cosmetic dentistry, must be done not just by a dentist with a good eye but also a realistic expectation of what looks nice.
How do I choose veneers that look natural?
When you look at veneers, there are a few factors to look out for:
Colour of teeth
When designing dental veneers, something important to keep in mind is the colour. Veneers can look very natural, mimicking the colour of natural teeth or very opaque and as white as a wall. Realistically speaking, the latter is not the most ideal as the colour of your veneers should match the rest of your natural teeth as well as the whites of your eyes and skin colour. Also, keep in mind that natural teeth do not have just one colour; dentin and enamel change with age and wear. The dentin of younger teeth is lighter, while older teeth are darker and more opaque at the edges. Remember — the point of aesthetic dentistry is to present a smile that’s both pleasant and natural to look at; so how your teeth gels with the rest of your face matter a lot.
This will come down to the texture of the veneer and the skill work of the ceramist making the veneer. In general, porcelain veneers are the veneer of choice as they carry a realistic texture and are able to mimic the way natural teeth reflect light. Porcelain veneers are also slightly more expensive as they are far more stain-resistant compared to other materials.
Size and shape of teeth
The size and shape of your dental veneers should complement your face and even your body. For example, a petite woman will most likely not have the same teeth shape as a bigger sized male. You also want to make sure your veneers do not have a reverse shape when you smile. What this means is that the edges of your teeth should follow your lower lip line; they should incline upwards instead of backwards following the lower lip. That way, you actually look like you’re smiling instead of frowning.
Most faces fall into four categories: heart, square, oval and round. Each type of face shape has an optimal tooth shape and size to balance out features naturally.
- Heart shaped
Heart shaped faces work better with rounder and shorter veneers.
- Oval shaped
Oval shaped faces work better with squarer veneers. This helps to add fullness to the face.
- Round shaped
Rounder faces look better with longer and more pronounced veneers.
- Square shaped
As square shaped faces have more defined jawlines, they would do better with rounded veneers to soften features.
How do we make dental veneers look natural?
At Dental Designs, we go through the following processes to ensure you are happy with your veneers.
Digital scans allow us to understand your dental condition and create a virtual framework of how your future smile will look like. The scans will give us insight to the size, volume and shape of your teeth. We also use the Smile Design tool to aid us in your smile makeover.
Lab preparation of veneers
We create all our veneers in an in-house lab to ensure full quality control. They are also milled from a single block of feldspar using a delicate milling strategy to reduce cracks and microfractures. To bring life to your veneers, our dedicated dental lab technician introduces textures and colours to the veneers to make them look as natural as possible.
Please note that in order to make sure your veneers suit you, it is vital that we test-run your smile first. As such, we will make a temporary set of veneers or smile prototypes for you and have you wear them on for about a week. If you are satisfied, we will go ahead with bonding your permanent porcelain veneers.
- Silva, B., Stanley, K., & Gardee, J. (2020). Laminate veneers: Preplanning and treatment using digital guided tooth preparation. Journal of esthetic and restorative dentistry : official publication of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry ... [et al.], 32(2), 150–160. https://doi.org/10.1111/jerd.12571
- Bennani, V., Ibrahim, H., Al-Harthi, L., & Lyons, K. M. (2017). The periodontal restorative interface: esthetic considerations. Periodontology 2000, 74(1), 74–101. https://doi.org/10.1111/prd.12191