Can I go to a dental school for porcelain veneers?

I have always hated the stain on my teeth from the antibiotic tetracycline. I have hidden my teeth when I smile for as long as I remember. We just retired and all the kids are gone, so I’m ready to do something for me and fix my smile. I think I want to get porcelain veneers. My daughter mentioned that they took my granddaughter to a dental school for orthodontics and it saved her a lot of money. I am wondering if I can go to a dental school for porcelain veneers? What are the drawbacks?

Ann, Birmingham, AL

Dear Ann,

Porcelain veneers are a great way to cover tetracycline stains since teeth whitening isn’t effective. They can help you get a beautiful smile–if it is done by the right dentist.

Dentists who create a smile that you would be proud to show off have completed extensive training after dentistry school to learn the artistic aspect of veneers. They learn coloration, shaping, size, and opacity. These cosmetic dentists listen to what you want your smile to look like, what you want to change. They will often create a “mock up” so you can see what your veneers will look like on your teeth before they bond on your permanent veneers. This ensures that you are happy with the final product.

Unfortunately, a dental school is not the place to get porcelain veneers. Students there are learning the fundamentals of dentistry. They are learning how to fix your teeth. That is the priority, not aesthetics. Likely, if you went to a dental school for porcelain veneers, you would have a student doing it for the first time and you would get what you paid for.

If you want porcelain veneers, a better option would be to save your money and do it right the first time with a cosmetic dentist rather than spending the money and having to still pay the greater amount later to have them fixed.

This post is sponsored by Baton Rouge Family Dentist.

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