We have seen an increased demand for cosmetic dental treatments and a greater awareness by our patients for this important branch of health, seen as a decisive factor for improving their self-esteem and well-being.
There is an almost infinite variety of dental treatments nowadays, which together and in an integrated fashion, can contribute towards developing and improving the aesthetics of the smile. This integration of different techniques and sub-specialties has resulted in a positive change to our teeth and our smiles.
Cosmetic dental treatments achieve stunning results to a person’s general appearance, self-esteem and desire to smile more. With the modern developments in this field, cosmetic treatments include anything from a simple colour correction (through teeth whitening) to the perfect substitution of missing teeth.
However, we are going to focus exclusively on the paradigm, or the current state of the art in aesthetic dentistry: porcelain veneers.
Despite the recent increase in the demand for veneers, they have a long history. The first ones, made of ceramic, were first used nearly 100 years ago by the North American dentist Charles Pincus, who originally developed them to improve smiles of Hollywood stars. At that time, they were temporary solutions, used only for filming, but as the symbol of the “famous Hollywood smile”, they quickly gained prestige.
However, it was only in the 60s that another dentist, Dr Michael Bunocore, developed the techniques and necessary knowledge to develop adhesive dentistry, a procedure for applying porcelain veneers that became widespread and accessible to everyone from 1982.
From that point until today, in just under 40 years, technology has developed exponentially, so that we can now produce nearly imperceptible, natural-looking porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are designed and produced individually for each patient, and it is virtually impossible to detect the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth.
Veneers can be personalised in such a way that they replicate the colour of the adjacent teeth, or are used to improve the aesthetics of a smile, the so-called Makeover Smile.
Several types of materials can be used to make veneers, but porcelain is the preferred material as it reflects light in the same way as a natural tooth and, when applied, acts exactly like a normal, healthy tooth.
Its semi-translucence unequivocally contributes to its perfect and natural integration for a beautiful, winning smile. Because veneers are long-lasting and attractive, they are actually a work of art in the creation of smiles, giving patients a sense of pride in sharing those smiles with those around them.
Veneers also have the advantage of requiring only a few consultations until they are ready, as opposed to crowns, allowing patients to maintain nearly all of their dental integrity (minimally invasive), with only a short preparation.
Consequently, by removing less dental structure, veneers also help to support the stability of the natural teeth and the bite.
However, there are situations in which there is no necessity for any preparation. In these cases, the veneers can be called “contact lenses” (alluding to the nearly-microscopic thickness) or ceramic fragments, when only a small increase of ceramic is necessary, such as in the case of closing diastemas (spaces between the teeth).
For many patients, veneers can be used to solve small dental imperfections and fractures or to correct slight misalignments and abnormalities of size and/or shape.
Contrary to natural teeth, porcelain veneers do not suffer from pigmentation or discolouration from coffee, tea or tobacco. With correct maintenance (regular visits to the dentist or oral hygienist), it is a very long-lasting and stable treatment.
For teeth that are resistant to whitening, or too discoloured (due to a past trauma, previous treatments or use of medication), veneers can transform dark teeth into a luminous smile.
People with beautiful white teeth smile more and are more confident.
You can count on us to give you the smile you have always wanted and deserve. We have the know-how, the equipment and, above all, the passion to achieve incredible results.
Dr. Hugo Nascimento
Dentist and Oral Rehabilitation and Endodontics Specialist.