Everything You Need To Know About Getting Veneers

A dentist gives us the lowdown on celebrity-worthy smiles.
PHOTO: istockphoto

ICYDK, the perfect smiles of celebs are (usually) thanks to veneers, not just braces and teeth-whitening strips. What are veneers? They are custom-made shells that are bonded to each tooth to change their shape, color, and size. It's what makes a smile red carpet-worthy!

Before you make an appointment with your dentist, we spoke with Dr. Relyn Reambonanza, the Vice President for Clinical Operations for Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC), to learn everything we need to know about getting veneers.

Veneers can fix a number of problems.

They aren't just for getting the smile you've always wanted—they also help correct problems like stains and chips. "Most patients nowadays are very aesthetically-conscious, they want to look good in every possible way, and this means having the perfect smile," says Dr. Reambonanza. "We usually recommend veneers for discolored teeth and teeth that are small and need enhancement.”

The cost of getting them is on the pricey side.

At GAOC, veneers usually start at P35,000 per tooth, although they do offer different packages for flexible payment plans. Since veneers are semi-permanent, it makes sense you'd need to shell out a lot of money for an important (and noticeable) investment.

It's pretty much plastic surgery for your teeth.

When you go to get veneers, you may have certain expectations of what they're going to look like, especially if you're looking to cop your favorite celeb's smile. But that's not always the case. Dr. Reambonanza explains, "The patients and I need to meet halfway to achieve their desired aesthetics. Some may want a smile of this specific celebrity, but they have a different face shape and smile profile, so of course, it won't work out. However, we see to it that this will be properly communicated with the patient."

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Dental professionals determine the shape, size, and color of the veneers through ~*facial profiling and color matching*~ the porcelain to the patient's actual teeth. This will ensure sure that your new smile will still look as natural as possible!

There's a lot of prep work done before the actual installation.

During your first appointment, your dentist will take the time to discuss the process of getting veneers. "We value our patient's education, so we want to ensure that we address their concerns and expectations," says Dr. Reambonanza. It's also during the first appointment when your dentist will take dental impressions, radiographs, and photos.

On the second appointment, the dentist will present a wax mock-up of what the veneers will look like, and if you're satisfied, it will act as a guide for their provisionals. The dentist will also start prepping your teeth for the installation by removing about "0.5 to one-millimeter of enamel from the tooth's surface." On the third appointment, the dentist will fit and install the veneers, and if needed, a fourth appointment will be for check-ups.

It could take a while, depending on how many you're getting.

The installation of one veneer could take up to 30 minutes. If you're having your whole smile revamped, be prepared for a multi-hour application. Fortunately, it's not a painful procedure, and at GAOC, the dentist will make sure that you're comfortable throughout the whole process.

There shouldn't be any side effects.

"There should not be any complications when getting veneers," says Dr. Reambonanza. "However, if the patient was not evaluated properly and the treatment was not performed correctly, complications like gum swelling may arise." If this happens, it's best to see your dentist for a consultation.

They're permanent (sort of).

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"Porcelain veneers are bonded to the teeth with dual-cure luting cement (a low-solubility adhesive)," so they're pretty much there for life. According to Dr. Reambonanza, veneers may be replaced after five to eight years. "However," she adds, "if the veneers still look good and function properly, there's no need for them to be replaced for the time being." So brush twice a day, floss every day, and visit your dentist every six months to make sure that your new smile will look good for a really long time.

GAOC Dental is located at The Residences, Greenbelt, Trinoma, Medical Plaza, Makati, St. Luke's Medical Center, BGC, S Maison, Robinsons Magnolia, SM Megamall, Filinvest Alabang, and Ayala Malls Vertis North. 

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