Apa suggested veneers, I immediately thought of the opaque smiles of Bachelorette contestants and one Pete Davidson. But if you just chip one or two teeth, it's not like you're going to be going in and getting a full mouth of veneers. What most dentists will do is target those chips with a partial porcelain veneer, which is basically a tiny tooth-shaped cover that fills in the chip and protects the tooth under it, too.
Most dentists prefer veneers for these sorts of fixes because they tend to last much longer than bonding. Whereas bonding might only last a handful of years, a veneer's lifespan is closer to 10 years, and it's more resistant to staining as well — but that all depends on how you take care of it. Given all those facts, of course, they are more expensive.
Both credit the technology used to create the veneers, which can involve 3-D printing and high-quality materials like fine porcelain, for the steep price. Meet My Veneer.
In my case, Dr. Apa suggested bonding for the tiny indent in the middle of my left tooth since it was so minor and a veneer for the more substantial chip in my right tooth. And so his team got to work, taking a mold of all my teeth, which would be used to create the veneer, and then snapping what felt like hundreds of pictures to make sure they could create a veneer that matched the color of my tooth exactly. They also took X-rays to study my bite and make sure my tooth wasn't too severely damaged or cracked from the fall five years ago. Thankfully, it wasn't. Two weeks later, I was back in Dr.
Apa's office where he showed me the tiny veneer that would be going over my tooth: a piece of minuscule, delicate porcelain, which you can see above. My Veneer Experience. Sitting in a chair in his office, I wasn't sure what to expect next.
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Would there be drilling? Would there be a weird smell? Would it sound like he was grinding my teeth into nothing? Would it hurt? The short answer: not even a little bit. He didn't administer any sort of numbing, but instead passed me a pair of protective glasses so that I could watch the first 15 minutes of Oceans 8 while Dr.go to site
Apa and a dental assistant worked their magic. For the procedure, they polished the front of my right tooth, placed the veneer to make sure it was the right fit and color, and then for lack of a better term glued the veneer to my tooth with a special cement. Then, Dr. Apa placed a special light beam against my tooth and the veneer to activate the chemicals in the cement, causing it to quickly harden in place. In a matter of minutes, it was all over. As for the bonding of that indent in my left tooth, which actually grew in like that, it was also painless. He simply tacked the sticky composite material to my tooth, shaped it so it blended right in, and used a curing light to harden that as well.
For a final step, Dr. Apa made sure the veneer was as flush with my tooth as possible and that my bottom teeth weren't hitting the back of the veneer at all. Leaving the office, all I felt was some rougher residue from the bonding material on the back of my teeth, which disappeared in a matter of days.
Of course, I wasn't trying to bite right into an apple immediately after, but I did have a bagel a few hours later with no worries. Since then, I have tried to drink coffee with a straw and switch from drinking red wine to white — all to prevent staining the veneers and bonding. I've also felt more comfortable smiling wide for cameras and showing off my now nearly identical two front teeth, which is a side effect I didn't expect. Apparently, there was some subconscious insecurity about my teeth that is now gone.
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