That’s me in the dentist’s chair, in the selfie above. (Sans makeup, because who wears makeup to the dentist?)
I could have called this “The Visit To The Dentist That Was Actually Fun” or something to that effect. I also could have called it something like “The Time I Left The Dentist So Happy I Almost Did A Cartwheel Out Of The Chair.” Those both are achingly awful headlines, so I wouldn’t have actually used them under any circumstances, but you get what I’m saying.
Still, you’d probably still never guess that this pain-free, happy dental visit of which I speak involved installing veneers on my front teeth. And that’s because you’re probably under the impression that getting dental veneers entails a slew of visits, a slew of shots, the distinct displeasure of first getting the teeth to be worked on ground down until they’re little nubs (ouch!), and a final result that’s dramatic in a Gary Busey sort of way.
But dental veneers don’t have to be such a process. In fact, there is no reason whatsoever for them to be such a process. Mine are proof!
I’ll tell you why and how, of course, but first, a little back story: I had braces when I was a kid … when I was around 11 or 12 if I remember right. I did not get any kind of permanent retainers, just the old-fashioned kind. The kind that are stored in little plastic boxes. Two things about that. One, I used to use Alka-Seltzer to clean them. (Now, I’m still not a chemist but I have a theory that could have contributed to the erosion of my tooth enamel—but more about that in a minute.) Two, I lost that little plastic box a few months after I went away to college. Along with the contents inside. In case you didn’t know, braces are not really as permanent of a solution as orthodontists say they are. I know, because my teeth basically reverted back to their old ways years after not wearing a retainer. Oops.
So, my teeth moved back to their original positions after college. I also acquired a chip on my left front tooth somewhere along the way. (I blame the alka-seltzer, although I have been informed by the dentist that there are many other reasons things like this happen. Could have also been my overdoing it with the bleaching in my early 20s.) At first the chip was not a big deal, but over the years it became so prominent it was almost all I saw when I looked in the mirror. To say that I was self-conscious about it does not really accurately describe the way I “was.” I like, did not want to smile or laugh. And obviously that’s not a good thing.
I had been toying with the idea of veneers for a couple of years—I even went in for a few consultations with very fancy dentists in Beverly Hills—but I could not bring myself to pull the trigger on something that would require grinding my teeth down. I mean, do I need to explain? That’s a major move, and the thought of it alone is cringe-inducing for most. Right? I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Thankfully, I did some research and found out about Smile Simplicity. Smile Simplicity is the name of the procedure I got, which does utilize veneers in the traditional sense, in that they’re placed on your teeth. What sets it apart is the fact that the teeth are not ground into an oblivion. (They’re not ground at all.)
If you have researched dental veneers, you might find that hard to believe. But it’s true. The procedure is so easy-breezy that no needles are used. Not a single one. Needles aren’t necessary, because no numbing has to take place. The whole thing is 100% painless.
So I got veneers, and the dentist did not grind my teeth down to place them. They are permanent in that they should last forever, but non-permanent in that I could have them taken off and go back to my regular teeth if I wanted to. (I assure you I’ve no desire to do that.)
And I am thrilled with the way they turned out! All the issues I had with my teeth before—the mis-alignment, the chip, the coffee-induced discoloration—that’s all done. I can now wear red lipstick (even orange lipstick) without feeling as though it draws attention to something I utterly loathe. Oh, and thankfully, there’s no Gary Busey situation going on in my mouth—once these veneers are placed on your teeth, it’s easy for the dentist to shape them so that they look uber-natural. To use dentist lingo, they are also poly-chromatic. That means that they’re more than one color the way that natural teeth are. And while they’re definitely whiter than my natural front teeth were, they’re not blindingly, ridiculously white. (I don’t like that look.)
Would you have ever guessed that getting a new smile could be so easy?