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Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S. Headshot

Mouth Health: The Non-Surgical Face-Lift

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Let's face it -- there are hundreds of products and procedures available to anyone who wants to turn back the hands of time. From lotions and potions to surgical procedures, there is no shortage of options available to anyone who wants to look younger/better. Some of these are good, and some aren't so good (unless, of course, you really want to look like Joan Rivers.)

Today I'm going to tell you about a fairly new "look younger / better" procedure that is simple, available to almost anyone, and will improve your appearance markedly, regardless of your age.

I'm talking about Porcelain Veneers for your teeth.

Porcelain Veneers (which are sometimes known as simply "veneers" or "porcelain laminates") are razor-thin slices of porcelain that are bonded to the front and sides of your teeth. The end result of porcelain veneers are beautiful teeth, devoid of stains, cracks, gaps, and other noticeable imperfections. It's essentially a movie star smile that's available to anyone.

Now, you may be thinking "but wait -- how much difference can nice looking teeth really make?" My answer to that is "an immense difference."

Think about something: think of every movie star / good-looking famous person out there... aren't there quite a few that have a few extra pounds? Or a few wrinkles? Or even grey hairs, etc? Sure there are. And you know, they all look just fine, even with those imperfections. The more you look, the more you realize "the stars" or good-looking famous people don't have any one defining trait... well, wait, they do have one thing in common - they all have a great smile.

It's true - your teeth / smile are one of the most important features in your looks. Young / old / skinny / heavy - a great-looking smile can overcome almost anything.

That's why I'm calling porcelain veneers "the new non-surgical facelift" in this post. It can radically alter your appearance for the better, without complicated (and expensive) surgery.


Much more than a pretty smile:

Now, let's clear up a bit of a misconception -- while many people consider porcelain veneers to hide stained teeth, porcelain veneers are more than just "whitening your smile". Yes, they will give you a natural-looking smile. But getting porcelain veneers also will help shape your smile by hiding misshapen teeth, small gaps, small chips, and other imperfections. The porcelain veneers are custom shaped to your mouth and smile, and essentially become a permanent part of you -- assuming proper care and normal tooth life, your smile should look great for years to come.

In fact, an increasing number of people are considering porcelain veneers to accomplish what I just mentioned -- they already have a white smile, but for one reason or another, their teeth are just a bit misshapen -- maybe there are some noticeable chips, gaps, etc, and they are embarrassed to let loose with a full, wide grin. A trip (or two) to your dentist can fix that.


The why and how of Porcelain Veneers


People often ask me "why do Porcelain Veneers work so well?" My answer is twofold:

First, when bonded to something, porcelain is an extremely strong material that is absolutely perfect for the rigors that your teeth must go through. Yet, it can be worked with and shaped to perfection, while still maintaining its strength. It is also highly stain-resistant, and stays looking great for years. This makes it the ideal cosmetic component for your teeth.

Now, add in the fact that like your natural tooth enamel, porcelain is a semi-translucent substance. This allows light to pass through, and reflect off your natural tooth dentin. The end result is a clean, healthy, "natural looking" smile, and not an artificial "overly-white" one. Yes, we all want a white smile, but we want a natural-looking white smile, not one that causes people to reach for their sunglasses. That's what porcelain veneers offers -- that perfect natural looking smile.

Now, let's talk about what you will need to do to get porcelain veneers. First, find a reputable cosmetic dentist in your area that works with porcelain veneers. Most highly regarded, state-of-the-art dental offices are quite experienced with porcelain veneers, and can perform the procedure with minimal (if any) discomfort.

Then, figure on at least two to three visits. After a planning visit, your teeth will be prepared -- roughened to accept the porcelain bonding, and also shaped to allow the veneers to fill any gaps or similar. Then, your veneers will be bonded to your teeth, and viola, you'll be astounded at how good your entire face looks.


Wrapping Up


Porcelain Veneers are increasing in popularity because of their accessibility, affordability, and the fact that they can so radically change one's appearance for the better. If you've been considering doing "something" for your looks but would rather avoid surgery, take a look at porcelain veneers. It just might change your life.

Until next time, keep smiling!

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