Taking A Veneer Test Drive

SPOKANE — If you’re bothered by gaps or chips in your teeth or think they’re too short or too long you can now change that with just a couple of trips to the dentist.

Porcelain veneers are as thin as a fingernail and cover the entire tooth to change the shape or whiten it. The implant is bonded right onto the existing tooth.

Spokane’s Dr. David Baird was one of the first to use porcelain veneers because he says they don’t stain like tooth enamel does. “They’re not made from nature where they have the little pores like the tooth structure. [The veneer] is just solid porcelain,” Baird said.

Veneers cost between $1,000 and $1,500 each, which is why Baird has his patients take their new teeth for a â??test drive.’

“It’s just like buying a new outfit, you probably wouldn’t buy it without trying it on so that’s why the trial smiles or mock up is so important for me and the patient,” Baird said.

Devona McKelvey is a recent patient of Baird and is buying veneers as a birthday treat.

“I don’t like my smile at all,” McKelvey said.

Once McKelvey had her trial veneers on she noticed that they made a drastic change to her image.

She now has the choice of making her new smile permanent or sticking with her own teeth.

“I like it, it’s a big change, but I like it. I tended to smile more when I had them on,” McKelvey said.

Most patients choose to have eight to ten veneers added to their upper teeth, which usually takes about six hours between two appointments.

Baird says it’s important to do your homework before you get porcelain veneers because some dentists are more skilled than others.