Here at A D Hewett, our cosmetic dentistry experience, using the best quality dental materials and state of the art technology enables us to create your ideal smile.
The best 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. Dazzling smiles, straighter looking teeth and narrowed gaps are easily achieved by the use of dental veneers in cosmetic dentistry.
Fitting dental veneers requires only minimal preparation to the front of the tooth before it is bonded onto the tooth surface.
When would I need a veneer?
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten front teeth. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again.
The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section, replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
What are the advantages of veneers?
Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy. Because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond (rather like super-glue) very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
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 as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an ‘impression’ (mould). This will be given to the dental technician, 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 to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it.
Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?
Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight, you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth. Expect some sensitivity (may also be the case for a few weeks after fitting).
How should I look after the veneer?
1. Brush and floss normally- this is important to keep the underlying tooth and gums healthy.
2. Avoid chewing things that may twist the veneers e.g. biting a pencil, a normal diet should be fine.
3. If you grind your teeth it may be necessary to make a mouthguard.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. 10 years is a reasonable average.
They can last a lot longer but factors such as hygiene, diet, bite, and grinding etc can limit this.
What about alternatives?
A composite filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth but its use is limited. Crowns are better options if the tooth is heavily filled. Orthodontics (braces) can be used to align the teeth.
Other infrequent occurrences?
Veneers are usually not easily repairable should they chip. It may be necessary to replace chipped veneers with a crown.
Your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
Veneers may not exactly match the colour of your other teeth, although at an additional cost, a more accurate shade can be taken at the lab.
The veneer’s colour cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.
Though not likely, veneers can dislodge and fall off. To minimize the chance of this occurring, do not bite your nails chew on pencils, ice, or other hard objects, or put unnecessary pressure on your teeth. Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip. Veneers can, in the long-term, stain at the edges.
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