Porcelain veneers are most commonly used as a method of teeth whitening and as a way to cover chipped or broken teeth. However, porcelain veneers can be used for other tricks, such as covering up a gap in your teeth or broadening a narrow smile.
Dentists call a narrow smile one where most of the teeth point downward or inward, while the two front teeth angle out or appear to be more prominent. Narrow smiles often shadow the other teeth, causing them to appear darker than they really are.
Orthodontics are often recommended to correct this, but porcelain veneers are a great option for those who don’t need braces for other reasons. Veneers can be bonded to only the teeth you need to broaden, thereby exposing more teeth in your smile and reducing the prominence of your front two teeth.
Getting porcelain veneers is actually a very simple process, more-so than getting braces. Your dentist will remove a very small amount of the enamel from the front of your teeth so that the veneers will not stick out beyond your other teeth that are not getting them. Once that is complete, an impression of your mouth will be taken so the porcelain veneers can be created and customized to fit your teeth. Once the veneers have been made, you will come in one more time for some polishing and perhaps some additional etching just before the veneers are bonded to your teeth. After that, you’re done!
Unlike braces, veneers require very little extra maintenance outside of a normal, healthy dental hygiene routine. In other words, brush twice a day, floss daily, and see your hygienist twice a year. If you have a narrow smile that you would like corrected, talk to your dentist at your next visit. You may be surprised to learn that porcelain veneers are far less costly than braces as well.