We have heard a lot about them thanks to Hollywood, but what are Veneers? Veneers are very thin shells carefully crafted out of either a porcelain or composite material that are bonded to the front surface of unsightly teeth to help improve their look.
Dental veneers are excellent for treating a number of issues including:
- cover up discoloured teeth
- repair chipped teeth
- repair wear caused by grinding
- alter shape of crooked teeth
- fill gaps and improve alignment
Veneers are strong and durable. They generally last for 10 – 15 years, if you look after them with proper care, dental hygiene and maintenance. Some last much longer than 15 years, however they may eventually need to be replaced.
Dental Veneers Process
The process of placing dental veneers takes two or three visits to the dentist. After initial consultation Composite veneers can often be applied in a single visit, whereas Porcelain veneers can take two visits to the dentist.
During the initial consultation we will evaluate your oral health and discuss your ideal smile. We will take photos and x-rays of your teeth which will help us determine suitability for dental veneers. If suitable, we will recommend which option is best for you: composite or porcelain veneers. Importantly, we can show you the result to expect by sculpting some tooth coloured resin to your teeth.
During this appointment, we will take impressions (moulds) of your teeth which are sent to our dental lab where your veneers will be custom made to your exact specifications. To prepare each tooth to receive the veneers, we may need to remove a thin layer, about the thickness of a fingernail, from the tooth surface. This allows room for the veneers to align and be glued perfectly into place.
Your veneers will be manufactured in approximately two weeks and sent back to our practice. We will check on their colour and fit before firmly bonding them to your teeth with adhesive. You will walk out with a new, bright smile!
We may ask you to book a follow up appointment a few days later to check everything is going well.
Types of Dental Veneers
There are two types of veneers: porcelain veneers and composite veneers.
Composite veneers are the quickest option as they can usually be applied in one visit by your dentist. They are a more affordable option than porcelain veneers, however they may require more maintenance and are more prone to breaking or chipping as they are not as strong as porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are regarded as a short-term solution, whereas porcelain veneers are the preferred long-term solution.
Porcelain veneers are known for their strength and durability. They rarely require maintenance and are a long-lasting aesthetic solution. They are stain resistant and will not change shape over time. They are, however, a little bit more complicated for your dentist or technician to build and take a minimum of two appointments to apply.
What’s the difference between Veneers and Crowns?
Veneers attach to the outer, visible sides of your teeth. Crowns, however, are made of tough ceramic, and act like a cap, wrapping around your tooth, protecting it from damage and enhancing its look. Sometimes there is not have enough tooth left to support a veneer, in which case you might need a dental crown
Will my Veneers look unnatural?
Early versions of veneers may have looked a little unnatural in their shape, fitting or colour. However, advances in dental technology have resulted in Veneers looking very natural. If you don’t tell anyone you have them, you will just look like you were fortunate enough to have perfect, natural teeth. No one even needs to know you have them! Your smile will look amazing with your perfectly crafted teeth.
How should I care for my Veneers?
Your dentist will walk you through the specifics of proper care for your veneers when they are fitted. However, good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are recommended to increase the longevity of the veneers.