An increasing number of teenagers are self-conscious about their smile, even to the point of their investigating porcelain veneers for a smile makeover. In previous years, orthodontics was the primary concern for youths and their teeth, but in today’s world, many kids want more than just straight teeth—they want a celebrity smile. Peer pressure and concerns about their personal image are causing many teens to become interested in cosmetic dentistry. But are porcelain veneers a good option for teenagers?
Porcelain Veneers for Teenagers?
Porcelain veneers provide a beautiful smile makeover. Porcelain has a lifelike beauty that mimics natural teeth. But before you choose this treatment for yourself or your teenager, consider three factors that might make porcelain veneers a less-than-ideal choice for teenagers:
- Physical development – Any brand of porcelain veneers is ideally placed after a child’s teeth and mouth have fully developed. If a child is still growing while the veneers are placed, they may fit well at first. But as teeth lengthen and the jawbone further develops, the gumline develops too. Eventually, there will be a visible gap between the gums and the edge of the veneers, and they won’t look natural. The veneers will need to be removed and replaced.
- Permanence – Porcelain veneers are permanent. In most cases, before you receive them, a small amount of your tooth structure needs to be shaved to ensure the veneers fit closely to your gumline without irritating it. The preparation of your teeth also prevents the veneers from looking bulky. But after your teeth are prepared, the veneers can’t be removed if you change your mind and just want to go back to your natural teeth. You will either need new porcelain veneers or some other type of cosmetic treatment to cover and protect your teeth.
- Cost – The cost of porcelain veneers is per tooth. If you want veneers to cover all of the upper teeth that show when you smile, you’ll need at least eight of them. Depending on where you live in the U.S., a single veneer can cost $1000-$1800 or more. Although veneers are permanent, if you’re only perhaps 16 years old, they will probably need to be replaced at least three more times throughout your life. Although cost isn’t a concern for everyone, most patients have a budget.
An Alternative to Porcelain Veneers
If you’re a teenager and have teeth that need cosmetic work, dental bonding might be the best choice for you. In the hands of a skilled cosmetic dentist, bonding can be manipulated to match the color and characteristics of your natural teeth. Bonding can enhance teeth in several ways:
- Close gaps
- Conceal chips
- Conceal discoloration
- Change the shape
Although bonding will wear and eventually need to be replaced, it is significantly less expensive than porcelain veneers. It is best to find an accredited cosmetic dentist to examine your teeth and recommend treatment that makes the most sense based on your age, the condition of your teeth, and your goals for your smile. When your growth is complete, porcelain veneers might be a good option to help you achieve the smile you want.
This post is sponsored by Lowell accredited cosmetic dentist, Dr. Michael Szarek.