When people want a truly stunning smile, porcelain veneers are the quintessential answer. These thin ceramic shells are applied purely for cosmetic reasons and are carefully designed to match the color and translucency of natural teeth. It’s difficult to tell the difference between them and natural teeth. Porcelain veneers cover only the front of a tooth and “hug” it around the sides a bit to provide a seamless look. At times, a veneer is applied to a single tooth that has defects, such as discolorations or chips. When they are used as part of a smile design to provide a red-carpet appearance, veneers will often be placed over several front teeth.
If you’ve been researching porcelain veneers as a method to enhance your smile, you likely have found information on both the traditional and ultra-thin varieties. It’s not always easy to notice the differences or gauge which option is best for a particular situation, so we’ll discuss both.
Traditional Porcelain Veneers
The traditional variety is fairly thin—about a one-half millimeter or about half the thickness of a dime. These porcelain veneers are ideal for a wide variety of circumstances and provide great coverage.
In recent years, ultra-thin varieties have emerged. One popular name brand is Lumineers, although there are many brands. Dr. King uses Pearls, her own brand of ultra-thin porcelain veneers. The ultra-thin varieties are roughly half as thick as the traditional ones, which means that less tooth structure has to be removed when they are placed. Dr. King achieves amazing results with Pearls. In addition to viewing the photos below, visit her smile gallery to see more examples of this treatment.
Pearls ultra-thin veneers
Certain brands are marketed as no-prep options and claim to be so thin that they can be directly adhered to a tooth without removing, or preparing, any of its structure. Pause for a moment and think about that claim. If something even as thin as a slip of paper was attached to your tooth, you would notice it, just as you might notice a piece of spinach stuck to a tooth after a meal. There is added bulk, and that feels unnatural to you. The ultra-thin varieties are the same way if no preparation is done at all, and they will sometimes look bulky too.
Although there really isn’t a no-prep option that looks and feels amazing, an ultra-thin variety is a more conservative approach, which is generally best. However, there are times when no-prep porcelain veneers may not be ideal, including:
- The need for an exact match to neighboring teeth that won’t have the same coverage
- Large gaps between teeth need to be closed
- A large portion of the tooth structure is already missing
Which Option Is Right for You?
It’s best to defer to an expert. The cosmetic dentists at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry are familiar with both traditional and ultra-thin veneers. Let us know specifically what changes you want to see in your smile, and we will let you know the results you can expect from each option.
Schedule a Smile Consultation
If you’re looking for porcelain veneers in Atlanta, Dr. King and her team will be happy to discuss your options. Dr. King is an accredited fellow of the American Academy of cosmetic dentistry.
Call us at 404-994-4509 to schedule a consultation or complete our Request an Appointment form.