A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth as a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural-colour “composite” material is used instead of porcelain.
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 your front teeth. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look whole 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 adhesive, very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
What is the Procedure?
With porcelain veneers, your dentist may give you a local anaesthetic (freezing). Your dentist then removes a thin layer of the enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. Then your dentist makes a mould of your teeth. This mould is used to custom-make your porcelain veneers. In the meantime, your dentist may place temporary veneers to replace the portion of the tooth that was removed. These are worn until your porcelain veneers are ready. The temporary veneers are very fragile and need to be treated gently during eating and cleaning as they come to loose very easily
On your next visit, your dentist removes the temporary veneers and puts a mild chemical on your teeth to make them a little rough. This helps the porcelain veneers stick to your teeth better. The porcelain veneers are then glued to your teeth one by one, using composite resin cement
Can I Have Veneers?
Not everyone is a good candidate for veneers. Here are some reasons why your dentist may suggest treatments other than veneers:
- If a tooth has decay or is in an area that has periodontal disease (gum disease). These problems must be treated first.
- If a tooth has little enamel left, a veneer will not stick to it properly.
- If too much of the tooth is missing, a crown may be another option.
- If a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth. This habit is called bruxism and can chip or break porcelain veneers.
How Long Will a Veneer Last?
Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just like your own teeth can. Our dental team will tell you how long each veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.