Hewett’s Guide to Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are ultra-thin shells of porcelain, bonded to the front surface of your teeth. They can be used to restore damaged, discoloured, misshapen or chipped teeth. Brighter smiles, straighter looking teeth, and narrowed gaps are easily achieved with the use of dental veneers.
When would I need a veneer?
Veneers can improve the colour, shape, and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain is chosen to give the right colour to a single discoloured tooth, or to lighten front teeth. A veneer can also make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, replacing the broken part. Veneers can be used to close small gaps when orthodontic treatment (braces) is not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to the tooth to bring it into line with the others.
What are the advantages of veneers?
Veneers are extremely thin, but tremendously strong porcelain covers for your teeth. Veneers require very little preparation, and create a healthy and natural-looking smile.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
Preparation for dental veneers is minimal. Some of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed. The amount of enamel removed is tiny, and will be the same thickness as the veneer being fitted, so the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure there is no discomfort, but this is often not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an impression (mould). This will be given to the technician at the dental lab, along with a shade of your existing teeth.
How long will it take?
A veneer takes at least two visits: the first to prepare the tooth, and the second to fit your veneer. Before it is bonded in place, the dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with the result.
Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?
The preparation is so slight, you may not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very similar after the preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth. You may experience some slight sensitivity.
How should I look after my veneer?
- Brush and floss normally – this is important to keep the underlying tooth and gums healthy.
- Avoid chewing things that may damage the veneers e.g. biting a pencil. A normal diet should be fine.
- If you grind your teeth, it may be necessary to make a mouth guard.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers can last for many years but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can (10 years is a reasonable average). Veneers can last a lot longer, but factors such as hygiene, diet, bite, and grinding can limit this.
What about alternatives?
Composite filling material can be used to improve the aesthetics of the teeth. The dentist shapes the composite material freehand, Composite bonding is a good first step before considering veneers, as often no tooth surface has to be removed, only one visit is required and is more cost effective then veneers although may need replacing and polishing more often
Crowns are better options if a tooth is heavily filled, and orthodontic treatment (braces) may be suggested as an alternative for tooth alignment.
Please contact the practice on 01484 714717 to speak to our treatment coordinator about your options, Or to arrange your consultation
01484 714717 / 01484 716246
46-48 Bradford Road,