what are veneers
Dr Chris Darby

Dr Chris Darby

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are a common and effective cosmetic dental procedure that can be used to address a range of aesthetic issues, including:

  • Stained or discoloured teeth
  • Chipped, cracked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Gappy teeth

Veneers are most commonly made from porcelain and composite resin. This material is then shaped into thin slivers that mimic the look of natural teeth. In fact, they are very similar to false nails, in that these slivers are affixed to existing teeth to create a new, more perfect aesthetic.

The Procedure for Placing Veneers?

Most veneer procedures will require two appointments as veneers are custom made to suit your needs and your teeth.

During the first appointment, your teeth will be examined and prepared for the veneers. This involves cleaning the tooth, creating a shade match and removing some of the enamel to make room for the veneers (for porcelain veneers). A local anaesthetic will be used, so the entire procedure is painless.

Once your teeth have been prepared:

  • An impression will be made and sent off to the laboratory (for porcelain veneers)
  • A temporary veneer will be affixed with spot etching made for a perfect fit
  • Once the veneers have arrived, the temporary veneers are removed, and the tooth is cleaned using pumice and water
  • The veneer is then placed on the tooth and shaped, before being rinsed with water and air dried
  • Cement is used for adhesion, and the veneer is contoured to find the perfect fit
  • Laser light is used to cure the veneer, and any excess material is removed before the margins of the veneer are polished

A follow-up visit will usually be scheduled to ensure everything is functioning as it should.

How to Care for Your Veneers

Whether you have opted for composite or porcelain veneers, you can look after them exactly the same way, and that means treating them like regular teeth. Looking after your new veneers involves brushing twice a day, flossing daily, seeing your dentist at least twice a year and limiting sugary and acidic foods.

Your veneers will be naturally stain-resistant, although excessive consumption of staining foods and beverages could create problems.

Looking after your veneers will keep them in perfect condition for as long as possible; however, veneers are not a permanent cosmetic treatment. With proper care, you can expect them to last between five and twenty years, but they will need to be replaced at some point.

The Difference Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are more durable and will last longer than composite veneers with proper care. The other advantage of porcelain is that it matches the nature of dental enamel meaning it requires less maintenance and preservation work over its lifetime.

However, the porcelain option is more expensive than composite resin because each veneer needs to be custom-designed. Porcelain veneers will need to be replaced over your lifetime to counteract the removal of dental enamel.

Composite veneers, also known as direct laminate veneers are cheaper. This is because they are quicker to make and don’t need to be sent to a laboratory. Unlike porcelain, there is no need to remove dental enamel from the teeth either. This makes composite veneers much easier to apply and remove.

Both offer effective cosmetic dental treatments, so it’s usually a case of your budget and what you want to achieve from your treatment.

Important Note on Veneers

Veneers are a purely cosmetic dental treatment. They are not an effective means of treating severe oral and dental health issues like gum diseases and tooth decay. It is essential your dentist checks for dental or gum diseases,  damage to tooth structure, enamel and alignment before proceeding with a veneer treatment.

So, Why Opt for Veneers?

The link between inner confidence and physical health is undeniable. If you aren’t happy with your smile, it can affect your entire outlook on life. It can cause you to withdraw from social situations both of which have a devastating impact on health.

While veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment, they are also an investment in your health. If you feel 100% satisfied with your smile, you’ll notice a difference in your sense of self and life enjoyment.

You won’t have to hide from photos, cover your mouth when you speak or dread looking in the mirror. Everyone deserves a smile they feel proud of. Veneers are a quick, easy and non-invasive way to attain your dream smile.

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