Took 2 Dentists To Give Me The Perfect Porcelain Veneers, but it Was Worth it!
I was born with permanently discolored teeth. If you divided my teeth in half with a perfect horizontal line, you would notice that the top and bottom halves of my teeth were not the same color. I tried everything to whiten my teeth too. I tried strips, professional whitening at the dentist, mouthwashes and so on, but nothing worked. After each treatment, I was always left with white teeth on the bottom half and yellowish teeth on the top half. To make things even worse, I had crooked teeth. My front two two teeth were especially crooked, to the point that even my own brother nicknamed me 'crooked.' To say I hated my teeth would be an understatement. I would almost never smile in any picture. It also didn't help that social media was getting big while I was in high-school and everyone was posting pictures. Looking back, thank god the quality of pictures was so poor you couldn't tell my teeth were discolored.
My crooked teeth were fixed with braces when I was in elementary school, but my discoloration issues remained until I was in college. When I was a freshman in college, I joined a sorority. All of the girls in my sorority had beautiful smiles and were very attractive. It made me feel like the ugly duckling of the group. I really felt bad about myself and decided to do something about it.
The winter break of my freshman year, I told my parents I couldn't live with my teeth anymore. Realizing how serious I was, my parents told me to meet with my dentist, so I did. I met with my dentist, who had been cleaning my teeth and fixing cavities for years, and told her I was interested in veneers (Which we had spoken about many times before, but they were very expensive and my parents didn't want to spend the money). Knowing that money was a big issue, my dentist recommended doing 4 veneers on my top teeth. Each tooth would cost $1200 and my parents agreed to foot the bill.
Jumping ahead a month, I had my veneers placed and long story short, while my teeth were finally all white, my veneers looked terrible. I hated them! My dentist did a terrible job. She did not shave down enough of my teeth, so my veneers stuck out more than they should have. It was very obvious to most people that I didn't have real teeth. I was mortified. I told my dentist how I felt and she tried to fix them, but she was not a skilled enough dentist. I knew I would need new veneers but didn't have the money, so I lived with them for 5 years, before making enough money to have them done by a good dentist in NYC. I also never went back to this dentist ever again. I was that pissed at her.
The dentist that finally fixed my teeth was Dr. John Calamia in NYC. I had 8 porcelain veneers placed on my upper teeth at a cost of $1500 per tooth ($12,000 total - painful, I know).
The process of getting veneers involved picking the color I wanted my veneers to be, removing my old veneers and prepping my teeth for my new veneers. The first time I got veneers, I was a bit scared that my teeth had to be shaved down but I knew what to expect the second time around and wasn't scared. My gums were numbed during the entire process and I didn't feel a thing.
Once your teeth have been prepped, molds need to be made for your permanent veneers and then temporary veneers are created. Both processes are pretty similar and involve dental impression gels, sanding, blue lights for the adhesive glue to cure, jets of water and suction (like they use for general dental procedures). Your temporary veneers are made of acrylic and are much weaker than permanent veneers. You wear them for around two weeks while your permanent veneers are being made and they're also used to see how you like the shape and fitting of veneers, so that your permanent veneers are the right fit. While wearing temporary veneers, you need to be careful not eat any hard food while wearing them and because they're prone to staining, you should avoid ketchup, red wine, etc. Your temporary veneers will also feel a bit rougher than your permanent veneers, but you're only wearing them for a short period of time, so it doesn't really matter.
When I returned to Dr. Calamia for my final veneers, my treatment went pretty much the same way as my first appointment. He shaved off my temporary veneers, which came off much easier than my old permanent veneers, and started prepping my teeth for my new veneers. The veneers are inserted tooth-by-tooth and adjustments are made to line them up perfectly as they go on. After a good amount of time at his office, I was done! As soon as I saw my new teeth in the mirror, I could immediately tell Dr. Calamia did much much better dental work than my previous dentist. Wow! I love my new teeth. For the first time in my life, I felt like a million bucks. I had the so-called 'hollywood smile.'
Although my ordeal in getting dental veneers was not as simple as I would have liked it to be, it was still one of my best decisions. My journey wasn't cheap but it changed my life for the better. The difference between my veneers and my real teeth are night and day. I finally have all-white, straight and evenly sized teeth. In my eyes, I now have perfect teeth that still have a very natural look. I'm no longer afraid to smile and overall I feel much better about myself. In 10-20 years I'll likely need to get my veneers replaced again (they don't last forever) and I will definitely be going back to Dr. Calamia. He's a very skilled cosmetic dentist and even though I think he's a bit full of himself, he's still a nice guy. Good luck to anyone reading my review and I hope you have a more straightforward journey than I did.