I hated my gap as a kid. I had braces, and a few months before they were to be taken off, my orthodontist pulled my mother and me aside to let us know that my upper lateral incisors were too small, and she recommended veneers. Its been 6 years since then, all of my upper teeth have shifted again and I'm planning on getting 4 veneers on my front teeth. My dentist told me that I couldn't get lumineers. Is it reasonable for me to get veneers at 23 and lose so much of my natural tooth structure?
Age 23 and Was Recommended Veneers; Is This a Good Idea? (photo)
Doctor Answers (8)
Closing spaces with veneers
Veneers are certainly one option to close the space, however it should be the last resort. If you have not already looked into orthodontic movement of the teeth with Invisalign, I would recommend doing that first. Even if the spaces can't be fully closed that way, the teeth can be moved into a position where the minimum loss of enamel is required for veneers. It may also be possible to leave the spaces in select areas where bonding tooth colored filling material can close the spaces left and still yield a very esthetic result. The concern about the loss of tooth structure is real given that you will need the veneers replaced several times over your life and each time a little more tooth goes with them.
No-Prep Veneers May Work for 23 Year Old's Smile Enhancement
You MIGHT have the option of No-Prep Veneers (I would need to see a direct profile shot with you smiling really big to know for sure). We do cases like this all the time and get great results -- but you have to go to someone who has some very recent continuing education. I personally recommend someone who is DURAthins certified (has taken the course from Dr. Dennis Wells in Nashville) -- If your case is done correctly it will achieve your goals, look gorgeous, and last a long time. DON'T let a dentist prep your teeth down using the traditional veneers tooth-preparation...my honest opinion.
Porcelain veneers at 23
The option of closing the gaps with porcelain veneers is valid. However, if the space exists only due to the size of the lateral incisors, it can be corrected with Invisalign. Probably in such situation I would recommend to my patient to have composite bonding to close the spaces and save her virgin healthy teeth for another couple of years. Porcelain veneers in order to be aesthetically pleasing will require preparation of enamel. And most likely they will need to be redone in the next 10-15 years. So, during your lifetime you will have multiple preparations of enamel on anterior teeth. Try to postpone this pleasure for a couple of years.
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Are Veneers at 23 a Good Idea
You could certainly have veneers that require minimal preparation and get a great result. The no prep veneers like Lumineers would probably look too bulky from seeing your photographs. If your primary concern is the gap between the front teeth and the small size of the laterals and you like the general appearance of your teeth, bonding would be a great option. Its lifespan would be less than veneers most lilkely but no tooth structure would be removed and you could still have the smile correction you desire.
Porcelain veneers at a young age
We have patients with the same situation all the time, even youunger than you. You do not have to do veneers , you can try Invisalign to fix the shifting. Now, if you are unhappy with the small lateral incisors then you need to consider some cosmetic work. The most aesthetic result will be with some sort of porcelain veneers, the have different ones available that you can have a conservative approach and look great, they are called Crystal Veneers, The preparation of this is less agressive like traditional veneers. We had a patient that got 4 of them at age 20 and was selected as a model because of her smile. You can also consider composite veneers.
Teeth bonding is done with a composite resin that can restore both aesthetics and function to your smile. Placed on both the front and back of teeth, the composite resin used in teeth bonding provides a strong, long-lasting, and seamless appearance to smiles impacted by decay or marred by cosmetic imperfections such as:
- Chipped teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Gapped teeth
- Severe discoloration
Teeth bonding also requires very little of your natural tooth to be removed for these procedures, allowing more of your natural tooth to be preserved. Moreover, teeth bonding is done in one office visit, making it a much simpler and faster procedure than other forms.The material used in teeth bonding is not as strong as other restorative options, and may discolor, chip, or break over time. but they can last a long time too.
Porcelain Veneers are a great choice for adult teeth that are too small
With lateral incisors that are too small, porcelain veneers are a great choice having long lasting properties to correct the poor proportion between your central incisors (front teeth) and the much smaller lateral incisors (side of the front teeth). The orthodontic issues (relapse "all your teeth shifting again") should be addressed prior to preparation of your teeth as teeth that are malpositioned would require additional prepping (filing) of your healthy tooth structure.
Bondings are a good option instead of veneers at 23 yrs old
Your concern is very valid. Veneers can be conservative in the amount of tooth structure that is removed. They can also last a long time if done properly and you take good care of your teeth. However, if done improperly they can deteriorate your teeth. and they will have to be re-done at some point. Average 10-15 yrs. This means about 3-4 times of re-doing and each time slighly more tooth structure is removed. (and cost)
Lumineers are not a good option because they are bulky and dead looking. They also cause gum problems. And you still have to grind some tooth structure.
Looking at your pics and your age, I would recommend to do direct bondings. I agree that your lateral incisors are a bit small in relation to your centrals. The BEST thing would be to close the space in the front teeth and open spaces in the laterals (between the laterals and canines). Then you fill that space with bonding to make the laterals bigger. I have done this many times and it looks great. The best thing is that there is NO removal of tooth structure. As you get older you always have the option of doing veneers if you want to improve the looks of all 4 front teeth.
If you cannot close the space in the front, you can still do this but you will have to have bonding to close the middle space as well which will make the front teeth slightly wider. I do a quick trial bonding (10min) also called a mock-up, to show the patient what it may look like before committing to the real bonding.
Hope this helps
Veneers are OK to do at 23 years of age
There is not much tooth reduction with veneers. Just like anything else in life there is always a Price for every Prize. Think of it this way. If you had a very large nose at 23 would you not have already done something about it? and when you do , do you tell the surgeon not to remove healthy tissue or would you have him/her take as much necessary to give you great result? Veneers last many years and can be done over and over again. Just find a great dentist each time.