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What It’s Really Like To Get Veneers, According To 4 Women Who Did It

Teeth are big business. $9.5 billion dollars was spent on dental services in Australia in 2019 and 2020, increasing by 2% each year. But no longer are people just forking out for root canals and fillings — changing the aesthetics of your smile is also booming. 
One treatment many are choosing at the moment? Veneers. Made of porcelain or resin, veneers are designed to permanently cover and correct teeth issues such as discolouration, cracks, chips, crookedness, teeth positioning and more.

Composite veneers (made of resin) last from five to seven years on average. In comparison, well-maintained porcelain veneers can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
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While the perfectly white, Hollywood-esque veneers may have a reputation of being every reality TV star's makeover of choice, there are also ways to achieve a more natural look that don’t blind innocent people in the street. Cosmetic dentists like Dr. Shawn Rama from The Dental Room are working with individuals to craft a natural smile that actually suits their needs. Veneers that they say are "perfectly imperfect".
To learn more about the process, Refinery29 Australia spoke to four people who’ve taken the pearly white plunge of veneers.

Chloe Bisognin, 23, she/her

What made you decide to get veneers?
I had a missing baby tooth and after having braces, I felt that my overall smile didn’t look as good. I’ve also had composite veneers [less expensive veneers made from tooth-coloured engineered resin] in the past, but they stained very easily, and I had to get them reshaped all the time. That’s why I’ve decided to get porcelain veneers once and for all to improve my smile.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did it hurt?
A six for discomfort — not so much hurting or ‘pain’.
What should more people know about veneers?
How much they can change your overall appearance. Especially going from composite to porcelain veneers in my case. They look very natural and unnoticeable.
Did anything about the process surprise you?
The whole process was quicker than expected! I also wasn’t aware of temporary veneers. But everything else was within my expectations.
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What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of getting veneers?
Look at Instagram accounts of dentists' previous work. Also, be prepared for the upkeep and get a good understanding of the general costs associated. Most importantly, find a dentist that you trust, because it’s such a major procedure.
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Sarah Waterman, 34, she/her

What made you decide to get veneers?
I originally wanted to whiten and straighten my teeth. After having veneers put in elsewhere, I was unhappy with the result. They were bulky and unnatural veneers that didn't sit well in my mouth. My teeth and gums had become quite unhealthy and they needed to be replaced.
What was the experience like?
My experience was amazing. Dr Shawn Rama and the master ceramist took the time to explain the process and were always available to answer any questions.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did it hurt?
The process itself didn't hurt as local anaesthetic is used and the team makes sure you're comfortable. There can be mild discomfort when the anaesthetic wears off if gum recontouring is involved. I'd say a one, in my case.
What should more people know about veneers?
There are so many styles available! You're able to fully customise veneers to suit you. I was surprised to be so involved in the process this time around. Having the master ceramist onsite makes a world of difference.
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of getting veneers?
Do your research and ensure you're given all information required in order to make your decision. Being part of the process is a huge benefit.
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Carly Dainton, 27, she/her

What made you decide to get veneers?
I wasn’t sure I wanted veneers when I first started the process, I knew I needed a lot of work done but after researching and seeing how natural they can be, it definitely convinced me it was the right path to take and I’m so glad I did.
What was the experience like?
My experience getting veneers felt seamless and my smile makeover was complete in six months. From my first consultation to my last appointment I felt comfortable and informed throughout the whole process which made the experience a lot more enjoyable.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did it hurt?
Zero – I didn’t feel a thing!
What should more people know about veneers?
They're an investment.
Did anything about the process surprise you?
Honestly, how pain-free the whole process was pleasantly surprised me.
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of getting veneers?
It can be a big decision so look around and be fully informed and ask plenty of questions!
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Nevena Tepic, she/her

What made you decide to get veneers?
It was something that I had thought about for probably 10 years. I wanted to improve the aesthetic of my smile. I had minor chips in my front teeth which could only be improved with porcelain veneers or composite bonding. I decided on veneers because they are made from a stronger material, require less maintenance and last longer!
What was the experience like?
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Initially, I was so scared and almost talked myself out of it 100 times, but as soon as I started the process I felt so sure of my decision. The team helped me through each step, giving their advice and listening to all of my requests and concerns so patiently. The whole experience was so smooth and easy.
On a scale of 1-10, how much did it hurt?
I would say a pain level of one. I basically didn't feel any pain in the process. I even fell asleep in the chair while they were working on me because I couldn't feel anything!
What should more people know about veneers?
When you first go in they will put in a set of temporary veneers. This step is amazing in helping you figure out how you feel about the shape, size and aesthetic of your smile, making it so much easier to decide when it comes to designing your permanent veneers. This part really helped me.
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of getting veneers?
If you've been wanting veneers but are scared to go through with the process I would say, don't be scared. For me, it was the best decision I ever made.
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