I was self-conscious about my teeth for years.
It feels like my whole life, but that isn’t true. I remember clear as day the moment I realized just how crooked my teeth were (because yes, there was a point that I actually hadn’t noticed).
I was in my high school’s production of “A Chorus Line”. We needed to get headshots for the moment our characters would confidently strut down stage to take their place on “the line” holding up their head shots proudly in front of their face.
(We are all super besties now that I shared this photo with you, by the way. It still makes me cringe.)
When we received ours back– black and white, up-close and laminated– my teeth seemed to jump out at me. Out loud, in shock, I said “Oh-my-God. My teeth are so crooked!!” My friend who was standing next to me, kinda chuckled and said matter of factly “Yea. You’ve never noticed that before?”
But I knew in that moment, she had. Had everyone else noticed too?
Embarrassment swallowed me whole.
From that moment on, my open mouth smile ceased to exist in pictures as much as I possibly could control it–and I must say that throughout the years, I mastered the closed-mouth smile pretty damn well if I do say so myself.
But after countless hours of looking at celebrity teeth before and afters with veneers, I finally decided to get my own smile make-over– and that decision totally changed my life.
Several requests have been made for me to share this story, and I wanted to give a real step by step of my experience, for you guys.
So here it goes– finally…
**Updated 3/22/2017 with video and awesome 90s throwback music.
[[ FULL VIDEO HERE ]]
Veneers Vs. Braces
I know a lot of people might wonder why I chose veneers instead of braces. I actually did consider braces after I had my oldest son. I scheduled a consultation and asked all of the questions, but a variety of reasons– including the fact that I’d have to have 4 teeth pulled– I decided against it. That being said, that was just my own decision. There are lots of pros to doing a smile makeover with braces, but because I wanted it done as quickly as possible, I decided to do my smile makeover with veneers.
How Do Veneers Work?
In short, your teeth are shaved down and the porcelain veneers are placed on top of them to “rebuild” a straighter smile so-to-speak.
How many veneers are needed for a smile makeover depends on each person individually.
At my initial consultation, my dentist told me that due to the over crowding, she recommended 1 crown for my most crooked tooth and 11 veneers total for the makeover. It’s important to note that not every makeover calls for that many I just had a lot of crowding to correct.
How Much Is a Smile Makeover?
I feared seeing the total cost because I knew veneers generally came with a hefty price tag. They can generally run a few hundred dollars per tooth, however, to my surprise though, my insurance covered HALF– yes, even though its cosmetic!
I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited, I didn’t even think twice. I immediately scheduled my first appointment for the next available date.
So, if you’re reading this and considering veneers, do your homework– you’re insurance company may cover part of it too!
In total it took me 4 appointments over the course of 8 weeks to complete the make-over.
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Smile Makeover – Before & After – Step By Step
Took an impression of my “bite” for the top temporaries and veneers. Teeth were prepped for the veneers (un-glam version: Teeth were shaved and shaped for the veneers. I try not to think about it). I know the needle is usually what everyone says is the worst part, but my dentist was gentle and it truly did not bother me. The numbing was very effective so there was little to no pain.
The temporary teeth were put in place. And I scheduled my next appointment 2 weeks later when the veneers would be in.
The temporary teeth were a bit gritty feeling. I avoided biting down on anything hard with the temporaries, but in just 2-3 days I was more comfortable chewing. Gums were a little sore for a few days but nothing too bad (and I am a huge baby when it comes to pain). The dentist gave me toothpaste for sensitive gums to use and that seemed to help make brushing less painful.
Admittedly, the temps were a bit, “toothy”, but after living with crooked teeth for years, I actually felt like it was already a huge improvement.
Temporaries came out. This was over-all the worst part of the procedure for me– not because of pain but because they literally crack the temporaries off (I had no idea) and the CRACKING sound made me want to jump out of my skin. Word to the wise: Don’t forget your headphones!
Next the crown and top veneers were put in place and shaped a little.
The front left veneer didn’t fit perfectly so I had to get a new temporary in its place until next appointment, 2 wks later.
Note: The color of the veneers was something I had to think about. I didn’t want them to look fake-white, but I mean if you can get your teeth pearly white, why wouldn’t you? You know what I mean?
In the end I opted to go with ultra-white porcelain veneers that are translucent, so they’re definitely white, but they don’t look “plasticky-white”.
Last top temporary tooth taken out and new veneer put in. That temporary tooth came out with just one tug- no crack, crack (which made my day), and the fit of the new veneer was much better.
Next, the bottom impressions taken, teeth were prepped and temporaries were put in place. Veneers were ordered and my next appointment was … you guessed it, 2 weeks later.
FINAL appointment! Bottom temporaries were removed (crack, crack, crack…) Veneers put in place, Dr. Delessio spent sometime shaping them up a bit and viola!
The Final Results
I’m extremely happy with the results. It was like instant-braces.
Somethings took some getting use to once it was all complete. I was over-cautious eating, but after a few weeks they felt natural to me. Remembering I didn’t have to hide my smile in pictures took a little longer. I also noticed throughout the process I had a slight lisp– most said they didn’t notice– but I did. That also went away when my mouth adjusted.
In the end, it took a several appointments (for me anyway) and yes, nearly half my teeth are veneers (though not every smile makeover calls for that many) and yes it was an investment (there are several payment options available too) but being able to smile proudly has been life-changing and I would totally do it again if I had to!
Originally posted 11/11/2015