If you have discoloured, badly shaped or worn-down teeth, perhaps you’ve considered fixing them. But how can you visualize what the makeover will look like before you decide?
The answer is a ‘Dental Mock-Up’, which builds temporary tooth surfaces that have the same ‘look and feel’ as permanent dental restorations.
To understand about Mock-ups, let’s start with the analogy of building a house. An architect’s 3-D model will give you far deeper insight into what you’re buying than a 2-D plan. So too with cosmetic dentistry.
The Dental Mock-Up allows the dentist to build new temporary surfaces on your existing teeth, for a personal evaluation period that can last several weeks or more.
The procedure is totally reversible.
Broadening your smile and even enlarging or lengthening your teeth
Restoring your teeth to their natural size and shape after excessive wear or tooth grinding. You will see an immediate rejuvenating effect
Correcting crooked or gappy teeth, without waiting months to see the effect of braces (orthodontics). Perhaps visualizing an alternative to braces
Considering a full month reconstruction, where the bite may need to be ‘opened’
The teeth being ‘mocked up’ are the ones that are candidates for porcelain veneering or crowning. These teeth are temporarily bonded with a tooth-coloured composite material. This is a soft putty-like substance, hardened with a special light, shaped and then polished until it looks like natural tooth enamel. It can be easily modified – reduced or augmented – to achieve an optimal result.
Your new tooth surfaces can be left in place for several weeks, or even a few months, while you evaluate their comfort, aesthetics, looks and feel. We give you ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos to help you reach the best decision.
If you’re satisfied with how you look and feel at the end of the evaluation period, we’ll then make an impression (a mould) of the result. This is used as a blueprint for building porcelain veneers. The composite material is removed and replaced with the much harder, stronger and more durable porcelain material. These permanent teeth will look even better and more natural than the mock- up teeth.
Should you decide not to proceed with treatment, no harm is done. We will gently remove the composite material without harming the underlying enamel and polish up your natural teeth to their original state.
Visualize and test the feel of proposed treatment before making a commitment. Consider it as an insurance policy for success.
Consult with friends and relatives about their opinions as to the visual effect.
Have changes made easily until you are comfortable with the final result.
The Veneers Preparation Procedure
During the initial visit, the patient and dentist discuss the process of placing veneers and the options available (e.g. types and shades of veneers). On your next visit, the dentist removes a very small layer of each tooth’s outer enamel. A local anesthesia may be used, but is typically not necessary. The dentist makes a mold of the teeth and then sends it to a dental lab where they create customized veneers for the teeth. The lab prepares the veneers in roughly seven to ten days. During this time, the teeth have a slightly different appearance because of the removal of the outer layer of enamel. Some patients choose to have temporary restorations placed on their teeth, but this step is usually not necessary. Once the veneers have returned from the lab, the patient makes their final dental visit. The dentist applies the veneer to the tooth using a bonding material. When exposed to light, this bonding material dries and hardens.
Following the Veneers Fitting Procedure
Patients may experience some sensitivity in the teeth, especially with contact to hot or cold substances. This sensitivity should lessen within two weeks. If you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard to protect the teeth. Veneers are quite strong and can withstand considerable force when a patient bites down, but they may fracture or break if twisted. Patients should therefore avoid hard or sharp foods such as ice or pistachios that may cause undue stress. Veneers should be cared for in much the same way as normal teeth, this includes daily brushing, flossing, and periodic check-ups with a dentist. Given the proper care, veneers can keep you smiling for decades to come.