Veneers: Where They Came From, What They Do, and How They Can Help

One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry solutions around today are dental veneers. People see them as a quick fix for problems with their teeth, and dentists see them as a good solution to issues that don’t quite reach the level of more intensive procedures like dental crowns. Like anything you are considering doing to your body, you want to make sure that you have all of the information before you decide. This is just being prudent. You wouldn’t purchase a car without knowing all you could about what it could do, how safe it was, and what kind of weather conditions it could handle, so why would you let someone insert something onto your teeth without knowing where it came from (its history), what it can do (its function), and most importantly, how it can help you (its benefits)?

Dr. Betts has been using veneers as part of his cosmetic dentistry offerings for many years. He knows where veneer dentistry started and can see how it has gotten better over time. Everything you need to make a decision regarding whether dental veneers are right for you can be found here in this article. Let’s start at the beginning.


Where Veneers Came From

The first version of dental veneers was created in 1928. A dentist in California, Charles Pincus, fabricated a set of what we now know as veneers for a film. These veneers were meant to change the appearance of an actor’s smile while on camera. The early versions of veneers from Dr. Pincus were temporarily held on by denture adhesive. He submitted a paper to the California State Dental Association in 1937 that detailed the fabrication of acrylic dental veneers.

The adhesion of the early veneers was very weak. In 1959, Dr. Michael Buonocore began researching how etching the surface of the tooth might help the adhesion problem. This concept was taken further by R.J. Simonsen and John Calamia in 1982. Together, they published a paper in the Journal of Dental Research in March 1983 detailing the strength and longevity of the bond between the veneer and the tooth surface when the etching method was used. The findings of Simonsen and Calamia have been repeated many times over the years by Calamia himself and other researchers as well.

Today’s veneers are able to last anywhere between 5 and 10+ years depending on care, diet, and circumstance. This is a herculean leap from the early set of veneers from Dr. Pincus that lasted only hours or maybe days. The improvements in materials, bonding agents, and the advancement of the veneer dentistry technique are all responsible for the lifespan of the modern dental veneer.


What Veneers Do

Modern dental veneers are thin coverings that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They are considered a form of cosmetic dentistry. They are commonly made out of either composite resin or porcelain.

  • Composite resin – This type of veneer is thinner than a porcelain veneer. This means that less enamel will need to be removed to handle the veneer placement.
  • Porcelain – Porcelain does a better job than resin of resisting stains from the foods you eat. They also reflect light in a way that looks more like your real teeth. This helps your mouth look more natural.


How Veneers Can Help You

Dental veneers are a good way of addressing cosmetic problems that are not severe enough for more intensive dental methods. Those problems include:

Deep Staining – Your teeth may have bad stains that whitening isn’t able to help. If veneers were not around, you would have two options: live with the staining, or get an expensive, more invasive dental crown. Luckily, veneers are available to address this type of staining. This kind of staining can be brought on certain medications you may be taking or even from tooth decay. A dental veneer from Dr. Betts can cover this staining and give your mouth a bright white appearance.

Worn, Chipped, or Broken Teeth – Whether through injury or a habit like grinding your teeth, you may have teeth that are worn down, chipped, or even broken. Dr. Betts can use veneers to make your teeth appear full and even again. If your tooth is broken, you may need to go another route. The severity of the break will determine whether a veneer or a crown is needed. Dr. Betts will help you make that determination.

Misshapen Teeth – Some people just have teeth that are not shaped correctly. In those cases, veneers can be used to make them appear more like the teeth around them. Dr. Betts will show you what your tooth should look like and walk you through the process of getting it there.

Gaps – Small gaps that don’t require an orthodontic treatment are perfect candidates for dental veneers. Dr. Betts will be able to close the gap and have your smile looking wonderful in no time.

Dr. Betts has been practicing dentistry in Decatur, AL for more than 25 years and will be happy to discuss all of your veneer options with you. Call our office at 256-274-8680 today for a consultation.