Avoiding the Fake: A Guide to Natural-Looking Veneers
Cosmetic Dentistry

Avoiding the Fake: A Guide to Natural-Looking Veneers

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High quality veneers are indistinguishable from natural teeth

3 minute read

If you’re not satisfied with the appearance of your teeth and are thinking about making a change, one cosmetic option might be dental veneers. These are thin layers of porcelain, resin or other materials that cover the front surfaces of teeth to present the smile you want.

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry treatment, offering longer term results than teeth whitening and masking flaws like crookedness without the lengthy treatment time or discomfort of appliances or braces. However, not all veneers are made equal, some veneers will appear more natural than others. If you’re wearing sunglasses to take in someone’s smile, chances are that those pearly whites are fake. To avoid fake-looking veneers, it’s important to do your research.

The quality of veneers is dependent on the materials they’re made from and the practitioners involved in creating and fitting them. At EVP Dental, our experienced dentist and ceramicist in Perth provide high-quality porcelain veneers that look and feel natural. Call us on (08) 9470 3944 or book a consultation today.

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How to spot fake veneers

Many people who are considering veneers have understandable concerns that their new smile will look fake. You might have seen examples of celebrities with overly bright, cookie-cutter shaped or bulky teeth and be worried about the same thing happening to you. That’s why it’s important to find a dentist who has experience designing and placing veneers, and to ask to see examples of their work for yourself.

 

Veneers that are made from lower-quality materials or by an inexperienced dentist may be:

 

  • Too bright for your complexion, making them look unnatural
  • Dull or flat in appearance, without the translucent quality of tooth enamel
  • Lacking in any surface texture
  • Unnaturally shaped or proportioned for your teeth or face
  • Too bulky, which can happen if the teeth haven’t been properly prepared
  • Placed too close to the gumline, causing gum inflammation
  • Unnaturally spaced, whether too close together or too far apart

 

What makes natural-looking veneers?

When they’re designed and placed by experts, veneers shouldn’t shock or draw attention to themselves and can be indistinguishable from natural teeth. Here’s what to expect from professional quality veneers.

 

Custom designed

Veneers should be unique for every individual, with a high level of customisation. Not only to ensure they are the correct size and shape to fit comfortably in your mouth, but also to complement your face and enhance your overall appearance. This requires a dentist who is experienced in aesthetic as well as functional improvements, and who uses the latest digital technologies and tools to design precise restorations.

During your initial consultation with our Perth dentist, we’ll review your medical history and examine your teeth and bite to determine whether you’re eligible for veneers. We can then design your virtual smile to test-drive to decide whether veneers are the right option for you. To book an initial consultation for veneers, contact our team today.

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Shaped well

There are two main types of veneers – porcelain veneers, which are made outside the mouth and fitted into place, and composite veneers, which dentists build up directly on the teeth. Both must be well designed to ensure they fit comfortably and have the right shape, size and proportions to enhance your smile.

When preparing your teeth for porcelain veneers, your dentist will need to remove a thin layer of the enamel first. This is to ensure that your veneers will fit comfortably and not stick out. Porcelain veneers at EVP Dental require minimal preparation to preserve more of your enamel and help prevent problems such as sensitivity. Typically between 0.2mm – 0.5mm of enamel is removed.

 

Naturally white

While many people desire a whiter smile, free from stains and discolouration, overly white teeth are a dead giveaway that make veneers look completely fake. Just as veneers need to be designed for your unique teeth shape and size, they should also complement your complexion and appearance, to make sure they blend in while making the changes you want.

A universal tooth shade guide was developed back in 1956 for cosmetic dentists. This guide charts 16 shades varying in depth. The whitest natural tooth shade is B1, followed by A1, where “B” indicates a reddish yellow hue, and “1” refers to the colour depth ranging from most white to least white:

 

  • A—reddish brown: A1, A2, A3, A3.5, A4
  • B—reddish yellow: B1, B2, B3, B4
  • C—gray colours: C1, C2, C3, C4
  • D—reddish-gray: D1, D2, D3

 

As Hollywood celebrity culture surges, so has the desire for whiter teeth, prompting the development of three distinct "bleached" shades of whiteness: OM1, OM2, and OM3. Similar to the classic tooth shades, these hues begin with the brightest white and gradually transition to deeper tones.

For a natural looking result, your dentist will recommend avoiding the whitest shades on the chart. One technique that dentists use is balancing the whiteness of veneers against the whiteness of your eyes. Another technique is to go for a shade two to three shades lighter than your current shade of teeth. Your dentist will also consider aspects such as your skin tone and whether your veneers need to blend in with other visible teeth.

 

Natural effects

The material your veneers are made from will also affect how natural they look. Porcelain veneers are the gold standard for lifelike restorations, as the material has a similar surface texture and translucent quality to tooth enamel. Light passes through and reflects from porcelain veneers in the same way as natural teeth.

These effects can diminish with other types of ceramics, and veneers made from composite resin have a more flat and opaque finish. If you want your smile to look as natural as possible, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers.

There are a couple of options when choosing porcelain veneers. These options are usually influenced by the expertise of the dental lab and ceramist involved, impacting both quality and cost. Among the top choices for aesthetics are feldspathic porcelain veneers and IPS e.max® lithium disilicate veneers.

Feldspathic porcelain, resembling thin glass, boasts twice the strength of natural enamel and offers extensive customisation in pigment and opacity. These ultra-thin veneers often require minimal enamel removal (approximately 0.2mm – 0.3mm). On the other hand, IPS e.max® lithium disilicate ceramics produce remarkably robust veneers, four times stronger than feldspathic porcelain, with enhanced wear resistance. They can be fabricated through pressed layers with a wax technique or CAD-CAM milling. These veneers exhibit a high success rate and can be layered with feldspathic porcelain for a more natural appearance.

Well placed

Veneers should cover the visible areas of teeth, but they should end before the gumline to avoid causing gum inflammation. A skilled dentist can achieve the optimal balance for a seamless finish.

Another way veneers mimic natural teeth is by being well spaced. Veneers can be used to close wide gaps between teeth, but small spaces should still be maintained for a natural look and to allow for flossing between teeth. If veneers are placed too close together they can appear fake.

You and your dentist will plan the number of veneers to place, according to your needs. This can range from four to eight veneers and will usually be placed in the visible front upper arch.

 

Long lasting

Veneers made from high-quality porcelain are stronger and tend to last much longer than other materials like composite resin. Although not quite as strong as natural enamel, porcelain is durable and resistant to stains. With proper care, your veneers could last 10–15 years or even longer before they need to be replaced.

You can help your veneers to look good for longer by avoiding common sources of stains, not smoking and maintaining good oral hygiene. Problems like tooth decay in the underlying tooth and gum disease can affect veneers, and they could also be damaged by habits such as grinding your teeth. Your dentist can offer advice or discuss treatments such as a custom mouthguard to prevent your veneers from damage and to help them stay in optimal condition.

 

Book a veneers consultation in East Victoria Park

If you’re considering veneers or other cosmetic options to enhance your natural smile, get in touch with EVP Dental to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled and experienced dentists in Perth. Call us on (08) 9470 3944 or use our online booking portal to get started today.

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