What is a Veneer?
Veneers are thin custom-made porcelain/composite facings that are bonded to the teeth to improve their form and appearance. They are durable and long lasting and extremely versatile.
Why would I need a veneer?
- Discoloured teeth – Sometimes teeth can have a dull or yellowish colour naturally or due to lifestyle choices such as smoking, coffee, wine etc. Tooth discolouration can also be due to medication in childhood such as high doses of antibiotics, Fluoride treatment or even trauma to the teeth which results in the greying of teeth.
- Alter the shape of teeth – teeth can be naturally too small or short causing patients to be self conscious about smiling
- Gaps – Veneers can be used to close multiple gaps between teeth where the teeth are small or where patient don’t want to have orthodontics.
- Repair chipped teeth/wear caused by bruxism – patients that have chipped or worn teeth due to grinding
- Oldrestorations – veneers can be used to improve the aesthetics of a smile where there is old and failing dentistry.
- Improve alignment – People who want straight teeth without orthodontics.
Do teeth need to be whitened before veneers are placed?
All the teeth will be whitened before the veneer process begins. If veneers are colour-matched to whitened teeth, you’ll have to keep up a regular teeth-whitening schedule. Otherwise, the natural teeth will start to look yellow in comparison.
Composite veneers are often applied in one visit. The dentist, in thin layers, gradually adds the adhesive materials shaping it and hardening it at each stage and finally polishing it.
Porcelain veneers are laboratory made and are stain resistant and translucent often closely resembling natural teeth. These take a few appointment from start to finish.
A thorough check-up is required BEFORE any cosmetic work is undertaken. Any necessary restorations, hygiene and gum disease needs to be addressed.
At The London Clinic our smile makeovers start at the consultation where we find out what patients don’t like about their teeth and what type of smile is required. Laboratory aided smile design is then used to design the smile and to fine tune the required tooth shapes and colour to fit with the patients smile, face, age and gender.
Dental porcelain veneers are then provided as planned over two main treatment appointments.
At the first appointment the teeth are prepared. Local anaesthetic will be used. This process involves ‘trimming’ a very thin layer of enamel from the front surface and biting edge to make space for the veneer. The process shouldn’t be painful but some local anaesthetic will be administered.
Impressions are taken and temporary veneers are made using a template made from the laboratory made wax-up preview model. Importantly, this gives our patients an opportunity to trial the planned smile design in their own mouths before the veneers are made. Any changes or fine adjustments can be made to the temporaries and reproduced in the final veneers.
Approximately 2 weeks later, the teeth are isolated from moisture and Porcelain veneers are then fitted at the second main treatment appointment. Our veneers are fitted with a multi-layer bonding system that bonds the veneers to the teeth with unparalleled strength. The veneers are polished and bite checked and then revealed to our patients. This may take 2 hours or more.
We also see our patients a few days later to check all is well when they’ve had some time to use them and eat with them.
How long do veneers last for?
Composite veneers are more economical and sometimes not as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain veneers. They have a shorter life span and over time if not looked after may chip and stain.
Since porcelain is stain free unlike composite resin, it appears to last longer, but this really does depend on how well you look after them. These can be expected to last up to 10 years when cared for.
Any type of dental work requires very good oral hygiene to get the best out of it. If you do not look after your mouth, then any restoration will not last very long at all, and neither will the teeth underneath.
Veneer or crowns?
Sometimes there is not enough tooth left following years of wear and tear or large restorations for the placement of veneers. If this is the case a ceramic crown may be indicated which wraps all round the tooth protecting the remaining tooth and also aesthetically enhancing it.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.