About Me – Why I had Veneers

After years and years of hating my teeth and dreaming of having a proper smile  like everyone else, I am now in the process of getting a set of veneers. I have decided to write a blog as I go through the veneers process for the benefit of other people, as I found it difficult to get accurate information or any real insight before I signed up. I didn’t really know what to expect.

I started suffering from fluorosis at the age of about 8 due to living in a high fluoride area. This left me with brilliantly white teeth in places, with patchy yellow areas and sporadic eroded enamel in others – particularly my front two teeth.  I also have a crossbite:  one of my top canines sits behind the bottom row of teeth, so the top row always had a dark gap where one of teeth was recessed.

I spent my teenage years developing a special way to talk and smile that hid my teeth as best I could. I rarely smiled in photographs unless the camera was a certain distance away which hid the discolouration. I tended to pout a lot as a disguise and always covered my teeth when I laughed. I have been convinced that  everyone is judging me based on my less than perfect teeth – which in reality, they are probably not – but you can’t always change the way you feel.

If someone even brought up teeth or smiles in conversation I was convinced it was a sly dig at me. I would become uneasy and change the subject in case anyone commented on my teeth. I have hated social situations or meeting new people ever since I can remember because I have been crippled with self-confidence over my teeth. I have masked this by being overtly loud and confrontational, so no one would dream to comment on my teeth for fear of the retribution I would unleash on them. People with perfect teeth will never understand this, but I know many people will probably relate to this.

First I tried professional teeth bleaching from my dentist. This was a 5 day treatment for about £150. It used gum shields and a syringe full of, basically, peroxide. You filled the gum shields with the peroxide and slept with them overnight. The pain from this was unbelievable. I managed about 3 days and gave up. Due to the fluorosis, it was always going to have a poor results. The white areas became neon white and the yellow areas lifted slightly, but it was still contrasting in colour. For anyone with general discolouration issues – this would be a good starting place. It is not ideal for anyone suffering from fluorosis though and is particularly painful due to the eroded enamel that we suffer from.

Example of teeth whitening kit. Not the exact one I used:

About 12 months ago I was brought to tears after seeing  a photo of myself in my company magazine with my full smile on display for everyone to see. It was like being caught naked and it was that which spurred me to actively seek professional help for my teeth.

I started by researching before and after smiles on google, people such a Cheryl Cole, Tom Cruise, Martine McCutcheon, Carol Vorderman to see what a difference it would make. I have added a gallery of celebrities with veneers in the top menu.

I spent months searching for the right dentist online and finally found one, in Haverstock Hill, London. I believed this was the right place for me after all the rave reviews and magazine articles I had read, in addition to their impressive resume. The clinic had clients such as Gordon Brown and Carol Vorderman, I thought this would be a pretty good indication of the standard I would receive.

Making the first appointment was nerve-racking and very emotional. For anyone who has truly hated their teeth, the first appointment is the hardest. It is like going to a counsellor and telling them your very darkest secret. I booked a 10 minute free consultation to discuss the feasibility of getting veneers, to see what/ how many would be required and get a quote.

The dentist was very friendly and asked me several non teeth related questions just to get me talking and view my mouth properly. The hygenist was also in the room and this made me very uncomfortable. After 28 years of hating my teeth and never talking about them,I then had to open up in front of two strangers. This felt very embarrassing and emotional. If I could go back in time, I would ask to do the first session privately with just the dentist present, to put me a little more at ease.

The dentist told me I would need 9 veneers at the top and one crown where I had previously had a root canal treatment. Then whitening on the bottom row to match up. I was quoted £1,200 per tooth plus all the extra costs taking it to about £14,000. I advised I would not be able to afford this and asked if there was room for negotiation. The dentist offered me a deal of £9,00 for all 10 teeth, the whitening, impressions and temporaries. This seemed a good deal for such a reputable dentist. I asked how he would deal with my cross-bite (a top tooth that sits behind the bottom row), he said it wouldn’t be a problem and he had dealt with them before.

Although the dentist was very friendly and professional, I felt a bit rushed. It was a case of lying on the chair, being told I needed 10 new teeth and then signing up to £9,000 finance without any real understanding, information or plan about what was going to happen. I felt uneasy. What I really wanted was someone to spend some time with me, sit down and tell me exactly what to expect. What the new teeth would be like, look like, how they would feel, exactly how they were going to deal with my cross bite etc. I sat on the decision for several months and eventually didn’t go through with it. It just didn’t sit right with me.

I began looking for a new dentist. I came across Lumineers and other ‘snap on’ teeth. I watched a video of Tina Malone on You Tube getting veneers from The Hospital Group among other videos. I thought this might be the way forward as they claimed to do minimal – if no- prep for them.

I also came across another dentist in London who seemed very thorough and got excellent feedback from the patients. I got in contact with the London clinic after reading every single article, feedback and ‘before and after’ picture I could find. I booked a consultation.

I have chronicled my experience from the initial consultation

Click here to read: My experience

Hopefully this will answer some questions for other people. At the very least it has been quite cathartic for me to write it all down!

 

 

 

 

 

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54 thoughts on “About Me – Why I had Veneers

  1. Hi

    Thankyou so much for doing the blog it was really useful.
    can you email me the actual name of the dentist who did your veeners,
    They look great.

    Also would love a update on how they are going, like have you got any sencitavity still.

    frankie00@hotmail.co.uk

    A big thank you in advance

  2. Hi,

    this is a really useful and insightful story of you getting veneers. Thank you. I have had a consultation and due to get treatment in a few weeks in the States but am now getting nervous because I am not sure I have fully explored the negative consequences of getting veneers as am so focused on ‘fixing’ the problem (which is entirely aesthetical and a true vanity project). So your story is really useful. I am certainly now thinking that given one may need follow up treatment it would be better in the long run to find a dentist in London. are you able to share the name of your dentist? word of mouth is such a helpful tool in researching dentists! my email: andreamd80@gmail.com

    Thanks a lot.

  3. Hi, your smile looks fantastic! could you please tell me which clinic in London you went for your veneers? I am trying to find a good one…but its so hard because they all look good and professional! Thanks

  4. I’m British but live in Malta and looking to get veneers for which I would fly back to the UK. Please advise which clinic performed your work as I too want to keep the natural shape of my teeth and most dentists seem to want to give me gravestones!
    I really appreciate that you took the time to create this blog – it’s always comforting to read someone else’s experience especially when dentists tend to downplay the pain/discomfort.

  5. Hello, i found your blog related with my experience of having veneers put in last year- i found the experience traumatic, and still regret it.I had my treatment at a london clinic and probably should have done more research. It probably comes down to where you had your treatment, and how the dentist treated you. One year on, and i still havn’t got used to the change in my mouth.
    I havn’t even gone back to the dentist for follow-up appointments as the trauma is too much. The veneers affected my speech and my bite, and am not looking forward to the future when they have to be redone. I’m so pleased you had a great outcome in the end, and would appreciate it if you could forward me details of where you had your treatment as i’d like some reassurance to put this matter to rest. I want to thankyou for your blog as i felt there wasn’t anyone else who could understand how each stage felt and how it can affect your life, so reading it was a consolation.

  6. oh my God i am actually suffering from this…only i have a chipped tooth ..this makes me so insecure and i have been dreaming of the day i would get veneers..hopefully when i save enough money i will get one..thank you so much for posting this! and congrats

  7. Thank you so much for this blog, I just got my two front teeth done, I had one mishapen and one was perfectly fine. I had braces done several years ago which didnt do much for one of my teeth. After straightening them one was grinded down and mishapen due to my grinding my teeth. I had spoken to two dentists about fixing the one but they pretty much dismissed any other option and suggested that I have veneers done on both teeth. I just had it done this January, I now have an infection on one of them and have to go back for a root canal. I’ve been so depressed, after all I had been insecure all my life because of my crooked front teeth and now this. I did some research before I decided but have to admit that I didnt do enough…now I am reading nothing but depressing stories which were making me regret my decision. However, after reading this blog..it’s like a ray of sunshine…things don’t always go horribly wrong. Your smile looks awesome…and it’s certainly helpful to know what to eat and what not to eat and drink. I am smiling with more confidence though and I will just have to learn to live with my new teeth and be extra careful rather than live in regret.

    • Hi. Thanks for your post, it sounds like you’ve had a rough time! Sorry about your root canal, those are never much fun. If you want the name of my dentist for some impartial advice I can PM you (although you may not be in the UK). Good luck, hope you get fixed up.

    • Hi. I think there are some quick same day turn around services so you dont need to have temp veneers, I can’t advise whether this is a good option or not as I dont know enough about it, or who specifically does them. I think from what Ive read, that these usually sit OVER the top of your existing teeth (I think one brand is called Lumineers??) – so they actually feel bigger in your mouth. You should do some good research before diving in to these and look for reviews and feedback in forums from people who’ve had them. The veneers I had were made in Italy and so my impressions were sent off and it took 2 weeks to have these made and sent back to London. I would advise going to the best place for you, which may not neccessarily be the quickest. Regards before pics, under the My Experience drop down there is a page called ‘Before and After’ which contains pics. I can’t even look at them, they make me cringe ;-) Thanks

  8. Hi, how long your dentist say it will last? I researched and found that average time is 10 years and maximum is 20 years. This freak me out because i wonder how many times i will need to replace them. I will not think twice if i am in 40′s but i am 26. I read each time it’s need to be replaced, the dentist need to file down a little part of the real teeth. Is this true? Why can’t they clean the glue without the need to file down again T_T

    • Hi Ely. As far as I am aware with my dentist anyway they last for about 15 years. I know my dentist started doing veneers about 15 ago and hasn’t had to redo anyone’s yet, but I suppose anyone getting veneers needs to factor this in: replacement or some kind of upkeep after 15 -20 years.

      Thinking about this part of the process I suppose it really depends how unhappy you are with your current teeth. I was so miserable with mine that if I had to redo them every 10 years, but they look like they do now, I would do it. But then I hated my old teeth. If your teeth aren’t that bad then maybe it would be best not to make that commitment. From my experience and speaking to others, I know those who truly hate their teeth will take the upkeep any day in order to get rid of what they have. Hopefully yours aren’t that bad and you can learn to live with them.

      With regards to the filing down, I think this process has had a lot of inaccurate press, where people think the original teeth are filed down in to pegs. This is not the case. They only file off as much thickness as the new veneer. This is less than the thickness of an eggshell.

      Personally, I have no idea about whether they would need to file down each time, but I imagine if they did it would be minimal. The filing in the first place is basically to make sure that when the new veneer is bonded on the old tooth, it is still only the same thickness as it was before. If you bond the veneers on to your existing tooth it would feel bulky.

      Maybe you should book an appointment with a veneers specialist to have a chat about your concerns so they can give you the correct info, before you look in to anything further. There are a few very good places in London or I can private message you the details of where I went if you’re struggling to find somewhere. Then you can make an informed decision – maybe you don’t need veneers at all and they can suggest something else.

  9. Hi, great blog, thank you for all the helpful advice. Having researched lots of dentists and types of veneers i’m finding it difficult to know which cosmetic dentist is good or reputable. Could you tell me the name of your dentist and where you got your treatment done? Thank you.

  10. Hi. Three years ago I had 8 upper teeth in the front veneered. My dentist said he had studied this extensively and that veneers last for life. He had been my dentist for over 20 years. He always seemed careful, cautious and I liked his work and approach. I trusted what he said. I have had 3 veneers fall off in this time. Since the first 2 fell off I haven’t bitten down on anything. That didn’t seem to matter as a front tooth veneer has fallen off. This veneer experience is an emotional and financial nightmare. Meanwhile I have moved and have found a dentist I trust. Though I don’t trust the lasting ness of veneers. The last veneer fell of on a holiday just a few hours before we were having a cookout with a lot of friends. Every day, every where I go locally and on vacation I wonder if I will lose a veneer. Needless to say I would now have preferred to keep my old smile even though I didn’t like it. Some of my friends have said they miss my old smile even though it was quite flawed.

    • Hi Tina. I’m really sorry to hear about your experience, that sounds dreadful. I think your original dentist telling you that the veneers would last forever was misleading as no dentist can predict this. They are generally thought to have a lifespan of about 15 years. People need to go in to veneers with caution but also reseearch the dentist and their work extensively before committing. The dentist I chose had masses of press write ups, hundreds of before and after pictures, written testimonials from patients and extensive medical accreditation. Without this, I wouldn’t had gone near him – or any other dentist. It just isn’t worth the risk.

      I hope you get your problem sorted and can live life without the constant dread you are feeling now. Good luck.

  11. HI. thanks so much for this blog. Ive had my temps for about 6 days and am going back this coming week for a checkup. I have some questions that im wondering if you may know the answer.
    1.)I thought it was just me, but did your temps feel thicker than what the actual veneers with be? It feels like
    2.)Were the length of your temps, the same length as your final veneers? is it too late to ask about making them slightly shorter in length? i feel as if my temps are really long, but that may be that im not used to “normal” sized teeth, however, i wish they were a millimeter shorter.

    • Hi Mike. Thanks for your comment. In response to your questions:

      1. Temps def did feel thicker. Thicker, rougher, horrid composite. Plus they are smothered in bonding agent so even if this is a hairs width, it will still feel a lot bigger in your mouth. The final veneers (mine at least) felt the same as my old teeth, but slicker, like glass.

      2. The temps were pretty much the same length as my final veneers. My final veneers look longer and more ‘aesthetically pleasing’ because I had gum reshaping at the same time as my final veneers. So more of the tooth in my gum area is visible, making them appear longer, but they are actually not physically longer in my mouth.

      You can ask for them to be adjusted in length and shape once they have been fitted. I had quite a lot off of mine to make them sit right with my bottom teeth (not in length specifically) but this can be done.

      Definitely go back to your dentist to discuss.

      Hope everything works out for you.

  12. Thanks for writing the blog! I wish I had found it a bit earlier, as I just had major work done on my uppers and had all my fronts done. (NOTE: I needed lots of work, so this wasn’t just cosmetic and some are crowns too). However, the aesthetic process started out absolutely terrible, and did not turn out at all like I thought it would. First, I chose a shade that was just too white, BL2s which are not as bright as they could have been but still too noticeable, I think. Second, the day the veneers were put on, I felt like they rushed it; they looked great with the temp glue in, but when the final was complete, two of the teeth were lower than the rest and rolled a bit. Needless to say, I was horrified that they didn’t turn out like I wanted. Overall, my teeth looked too big and too bright and totally fake. See Flickerman from the hunger games!

    Now, I will say that the shade was my choice and the dentist did try and talk me down a shade or two. I am not sure I would have listened to any dentist, b/c I wanted them white! I am just so very thankful I didn’t get the brightest color! As for the shape of the teeth, I started looking around at everyone I knew and many actors and actresses, and I noticed that most of them did not have a perfect smile (although it might appear that way until closer inspection) and that a lot of them had what I call “character” in their teeth. That said, I decided that it was an excellent opportunity for my dentist to shape my teeth and give me “character” too. FYI, he could do that b/c the teeth I chose were a bit big (Again, see Fickerman). Luckily, I know Photoshop well and was able to take a photoshopped image of myself into the office and show him how I wanted the teeth to be re-shaped. He gladly did it by shortening the eye teeth and k-9s and he added some grooves to a couple of the teeth to make them look more realistic; it looks much better! They look like real teeth that are really white. He said that he would gladly continue shaping them if I wanted more, but I think I am very happy with the final “shape” result (might have one k-9 shaved a hair more, though). It’s just the color that bothers me, but that is my fault, and I will just have to live with Simon Cowell white teeth.

    I will soon have my bottoms done to match the top, but I think I might have him overlap or roll a couple of them to make them look real…not sure yet. Also, for anyone who reads this, I forgot to mention my dentist did not add translucency into the tips of my uppers, so it is very important to me that he do that to my lowers to make them look more real. Also, by NOT adding translucency into my uppers (which make teeth look real) led to the reason I needed to get them re-shaped to have “character” in order to offset the bright white color. Not everyone is going for the “real” look, and I understand that, but people do need to know that the “toilet bowl” opaque white teeth can sometimes make one look really fake.

    The moral of the story to anyone who needs/wants work done…DO YOUR RESEARCH, find the RIGHT dentist, and know what you want and the processes to make that happen before your start this path. Reading this blog thoroughly is a great start!!!

    Again, thanks for your blog! I wish I had found it sooner, but will gladly direct anyone I know to read it before they begin this process.

    • Hi Bryan. Sounds like you’ve gone through the mill a bit. A very good point about opacity and translucency, it really does make a difference. Hope your bottom ones end up as you want them. Take care.

  13. Hi,

    Nice blog–very thorough and detailed.

    I can relate to you about hiding your smile and the sheer embarrassment that arose every time a conversation about teeth started. Ever since I was in my teens I became self-concious about my crooked teeth. I always wanted to get orthodontic work but the cost made it nigh on impossible.

    It wasn’t until 18 months ago I finally bit the bullet and had braces fitted. There is still a tiny bit of work to be done but the happiness and confidence I now have is priceless. I’m so close to getting them off and having them whitened that I can hardly wait. It is the best thing I have ever done.

    I’ve gone from liking my teeth on a scale of about 2/10 to around 8/10. I am considering some veneers later on but not sure if I really need them as my natural teeth are very healthy and now almost perfectly straight (they will never be 100% perfect naturally).

    Oh, and your teeth are beautiful! If anyone is considering fixing their teeth I think your story will appease any angst or doubt that people may have.

  14. Hello, I’m currently choosing a dentist for my veneers… Could you message me the name of your dentist. I’m in London too. As everyone’s already said your teeth look beautiful. Thanks for all the great advice.

  15. Great blog, which will help lots of people.

    Results are great. How have you been since? Can you email me the name of the dentist you used?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi. Thanks for the message. I’ve been totally fine since having them fitted, took a bit of getting used to and sometimes got a bit of sensitivity between my bottom teeth (I think because some are dual nerved – on me – unlike my top teeth which are not) but I haven’t had any pain, they’ve stayed on with no movement or speech issues and they look great! Can’t ask for much more than that I guess! I have PMd you the details you requested.

  16. Fantastic blog, thank you so much for sharing your experience !!! It has definitely motivated me as I have been thinking of getting veneers for quite some time now,
    If it’s not too much troubles I would be very grateful if you could share the practice name and the name of the dentist as well, many thanks xxx

  17. Hi! Great info. Had veneers years ago and need replacing now w discolouration. What tooth shade did you choose? They look healthy and white, without being too too white. Would love to hear as choosing the right shade is tricky.

    • Hi. I had the third whitest, i think that is b3 but not sure, basically, third from the brightest white. Sorry to hear you are having to have your redone. I hope you get the teeth you want.

  18. What an interesting blog you’ve written. Could I, too, ask for the details of your dentist? I visited one today – via a Guardian recommendation – and it’s been decided that I need teeth straightening first. I’d welcome a second opinion. Thanks for such a helpful resource.

  19. It’s brave of you to go through this process, and to share it with us. You’ve got some great insights so far, and I hope you keep it up. Our dentist in venice beach did veneers for my dad, and he was extremely happy with them.

  20. Hi – I am thinking of getting veneers but went to see a dentist and he was very off putting which has scared me off the idea. After reading your blog I feel like I know a lot more about the process and am more confident about going ahead. Please could you let me know what dentist you used? Thanks x

  21. Hello.

    Thank you so much for your blog! I had my front four veneers done 10 months ago and reading your blog has made me feel more at peace with what I experienced, before I felt like I had been invaded and maybe I hadn’t been treated correctly but reading you going through the same has made me feel better knowing that what I went through was normal… Also I have experienced popping/shifts with my veneers which at first made my whole body turn and I was nearly in tears worrying they would fall out or pop off so its a great comfort that other people have commented experiencing the same thing and again this is considered normal :) for 10 months I have had a lot of anxiety even though I love my veneers so I’m very pleased to feel comforted by this blog and the people commenting :)

    Just out of interest could you email the name of your dentist please?

    Thank you x

  22. Hi, great blog and your teeth look great. Would also love to know the name of the dentist you chose, sorry I know you’ve been asked this a million times already!

  23. Your teeth look amazing i relate to your before story so much as I am paranoid to smile. Please share who your dentist was. Many thanks

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