What are veneers?
A veneer is a very thin layer of either composite or porcelain resin that is placed over the tooth to help improve the aesthetics of your teeth. Veneers can help to improve the appearance of teeth that are misaligned, discoloured, chipped or cracked. Not only do veneers improve a tooth’s aesthetics, it also protects the tooth’s surface from additional damage.
How are veneers applied?
The dentist will firstly prepare the natural tooth, which may have to be resized by grounding down the tooth’s surface (tooth enamel) to allow the veneer to sit flush amid the rest of your arch of teeth. Depending on the degree of resizing, a local anaesthetic may be required during this part of the veneer’s construction.
If a porcelain veneer is recommended, it will be custom-fit to the damaged tooth. Once made, the veneer is temporarily put in place so the predetermined shape, size and colour are checked. The damaged tooth is then cleaned with appropriate conditioner and the veneer is then cemented into place.
If however, a composite resin veneer is decided instead, it will be sculpted onto the damaged tooth, after being cleaned and resized and then beamed with light to consolidate each layer. When the ideal shape determined by you and your dentist is achieved the surface is then polished to make the veneer appear like a natural tooth.
Should I choose porcelain or composite veneers?
Ultimately, it will be up to your dentist to choose which type of veneer will be right for you and is important to note that both types have its advantages and disadvantages.
Porcelain veneers take more of a natural aesthetic and will endeavour to blend in with the rest of your teeth. Advantages of porcelain veneers include being durable and quite resistant to staining. However, if they are chipped or cracked, the entire veneer must be replaced. Porcelain veneers are most commonly made off-site, as they need to be custom-made which can take a couple of weeks to complete.
On the other hand, composite resin veneers can be fitted in just one visit as they are created by the dentist on the day of your appointment. Also, chips and cracks in veneers can be amended in just the one visit to your dentist. Additionally, composite resin veneers are (more often than not) more economical than porcelain veneers, as they do not need to be sent to third-party suppliers to be made.
Am I a suitable candidate for veneers?
Fortunately, a majority of patients are suitable candidates for veneers. It is however, imperative to note that dental veneers are a cosmetic solution and not an orthodontic or corrective solution. Veneers will not adjust badly aligned teeth or jaw alignment issues. If you suffer from
If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), veneers will not be a suitable option for you, as consequent grinding may cause your veneers to chip or completely loosen from the natural tooth. It will ultimately be your dentist that will assess your suitability for veneers.
How long will my veneers last?
Veneers will last betwwen eight to ten years approximately. To promote the longevity of your veneers, it's important to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Regular check-ups should be maintained twice yearly. Take care when eating or drinking stain-prone foods and drinks. Avoid chewing pens, crunching ice or ripping open plastic bags with your teeth.