Choosing the Perfect Shaped Porcelain Veneers
While there are plenty of cosmetic dental treatments available that can bring out the natural sparkle in one’s smile, nothing can come close to the effectiveness of porcelain veneers for the perfect smile. When it comes shopping and asking around for a top cosmetic dentist, make sure you choose the right porcelain veneer tooth shape for your face.
The composition of the teeth is much like bone. Dentists look at the teeth as an extension of the skeletal system where it is connected to the bones of the jaw. The teeth are covered in a very tough outer layer of enamel that protects the dentin for everyday wear. However, bad eating habits, nutritional deficiencies, and poor oral hygiene practices can adversely affect the overall health of your teeth. This is where cosmetic dentistry comes in.
Many of my patients prefer porcelain veneers to other cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening because it addresses both issues of teeth discoloration and issues of teeth malformations or defects such as cracked or chipped teeth. With teeth whitening; for example, only the shade of the teeth is changed and it will not be able to do anything about other structural problems like cracking and chipping. Porcelain veneers, however, provide a new face for the teeth so both color and structural issues are addressed.
It is like putting on a very tough mask to hide the imperfections of the teeth. And while these can be considered as masks or fronts, they are nonetheless made of only the highest quality of ADA approved porcelain veneers. This allows these cosmetic dentistry applications to withstand the rather slightly corrosive (acidic) environment of the oral cavity. Additionally, they are tough enough to withstand bite pressure from the jaws when biting, chewing, cutting, and mincing food with no problems.
Choosing the Right Veneer For Your Face
In choosing the perfect shaped porcelain veneers for your face, you need to understand that there are thousands of different ways in which your cosmetic dentist can give you the ideal smile that you deserve. Know also that in choosing the right porcelain veneer you have to consider the shape, color, and material of the veneer that you will choose. So, choosing the right shape often means you have to consider the color or shade of whiteness that you would like to have.
The shade or color of the porcelain veneer is primarily based on bleaching categories. BL1 will be considered as the super white while a BL4 will resemble four shades darker than BL1. In choosing the right color, many cosmetic dentists would recommend choosing one that is not more than two shades lighter than the whiteness of your existing teeth. This is to provide you with a more natural look.
As for the materials, it actually depends on the different brands. Some of the more recognized brands used by Beverly Hills porcelain veneers patients include Da Vinci, Lumineers, Procera, Zirconia, IPS Empress, Feldspathic porcelain, and IPS E. Max. Your cosmetic dentist can work with a ceramist lab to fabricate your very own porcelain veneers or will make them in-house.
Understanding the Fundamental Shapes of Veneers
Once you have decided on the color or shade of veneers including the materials to be used; you will have to focus more on the shape of the veneer. Choosing the right porcelain veneer tooth shape requires the use of smile libraries. You need to understand that the shaping of veneers are typically focused on the six main teeth –two central incisors (left and right), two lateral incisors, and two canines. Each set of these teeth can be shaped so that they appear boxy or squarish or even rounded at one or both corners of the tooth. The canines can also be shaped into a gentle arc or a sharp point or leveled off as a straight edge. The lateral incisors can also be lengthened or shortened relative to the length of the central incisors to give you a more dramatic look. These combinations can take on a variety of styles, the most commonly used of which is the LVI Smile Library.
Dr. William Dickerson of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies developed the 12-style LVI Smile Library, which many cosmetic dentists now use to allow their patients choose the style of porcelain veneer they would like to have for them. This is quite different from the 18 styles of the Loren Library and the 36 different smile styles of the Smile Guide by Dr. William Dorfman because Dr. Dickerson’s model is composed of 12 popular styles making it easier to choose.
According to the LVI Smile Library, porcelain veneers can be classified into 12 different styles describing the characteristic smile they wish to portray.
- Aggressive–square, round central and lateral incisors with gently curved or semi-straight canines. This is perfect for men as well as women who may want to project a rather strong personality.
- Dominant–square, round central incisors, rounded far corner of lateral incisors, and sharply pointed canines; lateral incisors are chipped a little bit higher than the central incisors.
- Enhanced–slightly rounded edges of both central and lateral incisors with the lateral incisors slightly higher or shorter than the central incisors to give it a gull-wing appearance; canines are bluntly pointed. This style of smile particularly is one of the most popular styles of porcelain veneers chosen by females those who wish to compete in beauty pageants as well as engage in photo-op sessions where a perfectly looking pearly whites is a must.
- Focused–similar to an Enhanced Style unless the central incisors are square without rounded edges.
- Functional–similar to an Enhanced Style except the canines are more pointed.
- Hollywood–similar to an Aggressive Style but with the lateral incisors slightly offset or shorter from the central incisors. This is one of the most sought after porcelain veneer styles among males as it provides an excellent show of teeth without being overly aggressive.
- Mature–similar to an Aggressive Style but with the canines slightly more pointed.
- Natural–similar to an Enhanced Style but with the canines more aggressively pointed
- Oval–similar to an Aggressive style unless all the incisors and canines take on a more rounded or oval shape.
- Softened–similar to an Oval Style but with a less pronounced curvature of the edges of the teeth.
- Vigorous–similar to an Aggressive Style unless the canines are more pronounced, is protruding well into the oral cavity like a fang.
- Youthful–similar to an Oval Style but with more pronounced and protruding canines like in a Vigorous Style.
In using the Smile Library it is often important to understand the basic meaning of the shapes of the teeth. Teeth that have rounded edges are often considered to be softer and younger and more feminine. Enhanced, Natural, Oval, Softened, and Youthful styles will be excellent choices for women. Teeth that are either flat or squarish are more masculine, aggressive, dominant, and older. This is excellent for men and Aggressive, Dominant, Hollywood, Mature, and Vigorous styles will be great choices. The Functional and Natural Styles of smiles can work well on both men and women in any culture because the styling produces both rounded edges and stronger and sharper lines of the canines.
Given the fact that choosing the right porcelain veneer tooth shape requires understanding of the different shapes in relation to your facial features as well as unique personality characteristics, it is very important to engage your cosmetic dentist in a discussion on what smile style will look best on you. With so many possible combinations, a quick appointment will save you any confusion and you will quickly see whether you and your dentist can work together to determine the best porcelain veneer procedure to give you that warm smile.