New Smile With Direct Veneers 

One Patient’s View of This Cosmetic Procedure 

I know the world has much bigger issues. But a significant source of discontent for me, over the last few years, was the appearance of my front teeth. I’d had braces as a teenager (some four decades ago), along with a few whitening treatments more recently, but I still noticed problems with my smile. One of my front teeth was stained, especially in a vertical crevice my dentist called a craze line. The other had a small chip on the bottom. And while those long-ago orthodontic treatments were successful, both front teeth had now moved forward and rotated out of alignment. Unfortunately, this made them even more noticeable—and it didn’t make me feel like smiling. What could I do about my smile problems? 

I pondered the question for a few years. One suggestion was to go for orthodontics again. This method would require perhaps 18 months of active treatment, either with braces or clear aligners. (I’d had friends who went both routes, and I heard pluses and minuses about each.) Following that, my teeth would need additional whitening treatments. Ultimately, though, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through lengthy dental treatments at this point in my life; I couldn’t help recalling Danny Glover’s line from Lethal Weapon: “I’m too old for this [sort of thing].” 

So when my dentist mentioned an alternative during a routine exam, I was intrigued. He said that tooth reshaping and cosmetic bonding, also called direct veneers, would only require two appointments to get results. In his opinion, this treatment would be effective and appropriate for the problems with my teeth. It would involve removing a couple of millimeters of enamel from certain areas on the affected teeth, and then covering the front surfaces with a tooth-colored composite resin. Composite material would also be added to nearby teeth to give the smile a pleasing arc, and to make the teeth evenly light in color. 

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