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If your front teeth are stained, chipped, or malaligned, veneers will give you a good life-like appearance with minimum tooth adjustment. A veneer is a porcelain facing on the front of your teeth usually your top teeth, it is just like a false fingernail. Veneers are made out of porcelain and are used mainly for aesthetic reasons. Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy, and 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.
Porcelain veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of teeth.
A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured or stained tooth or to lighten front teeth (usually the upper ones) generally.
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 dental veneers?
Veneers are thin durable shells made of tooth colored materials that are bonded to the surface of a tooth to enhance its appearance.
What are the types of veneers?
Porcelain and composite bonding are the most common veneer materials. Composite veneers are made of a resin that is shaped and bonded to a tooth to enhance the appearance. Porcelain veneers are usually made in a lab and are more resistant to staining, compared to other materials.
Should I choose composite bonding or porcelain veneers?
You will undergo a comprehensive consultation with the dentist at the practice including scans and X-rays before a treatment plan is advised. If the needed changes are minor and the teeth function properly, cosmetic bonding is an appropriate choice. If teeth are spaced, broken, dark, and/or the patient clenches or grinds their teeth, then porcelain veneers may be the preferred option.
Why do I need dental veneers?
Dental veneers are a great solution for people with discolored, worn down, chipped, misaligned, spaced, uneven or irregularly shaped front teeth.
What is involved in getting a dental veneer?
Getting a porcelain veneer is usually a multi-step process. The first step is to get a consultation with a prosthodontist. At this visit, you can outline your goals and concerns, and a prosthodontist will explain how veneers will work for you. X-rays or impressions of your teeth may be needed. The second step is to prepare the tooth for the veneer. A small amount of tooth structure is removed and an impression is made. The prosthodontist will then place temporary veneers. At the next appointment, temporaries are removed, and the final veneer is bonded to your tooth.
In the case of veneers made from tooth colored filling material, or composite bonding, this is a one appointment process in which the prosthodontist will remove a small amount of tooth structure and bond filling material to your teeth. This type of veneer is not as long lasting and doesn’t resist staining as well as a porcelain veneer.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
The preparation of veneers preserves the most amount of tooth structure, as very little needs to be removed. They can improve the appearance of your teeth, and gum tissues respond well to dental veneers. The color can be custom selected, and in the case of porcelain veneers they are stain resistant.
What are the drawbacks of dental veneers?
Once you have had your tooth prepared for the veneer, the process is not reversible. In the case that a veneer cracks, it is difficult to repair without having to replace the entire veneer. It is important to not have habits like pen-chewing or nail-biting as these can crack the veneer. Veneers are not a good option for people with poor gum health. In addition, people who grind or clench their teeth are at risk for chipping or cracking their veneers. Lastly, veneers are still susceptible to decay so it is important that you maintain optimal oral health and visit your dentist regularly.
Who is a good candidate for porcelain veneers?
If you have stained or chipped teeth, you might be interested in veneers as they will cover up your existing teeth. They are also a popular treatment for smile makeovers or for individuals who want their dream smile.
Who is not a good candidate for porcelain veneers?
If you have extensive tooth decay, it’s not wise to simply cover it up with veneers. Talk to your prosthodontist about removing the decay before getting started. If you grind your teeth, this could also be a problem but your prosthodontist may offer you a solution to help guard against damaging your veneers, such as a mouth night guard.
How long do dental veneers last?
Typically, a veneer lasts approximately 5-10 years. They do not require any special care other than regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the prosthodontist. If they are properly cared for then they can last much longer. Professional cleanings every 6 months and yearly exams are highly recommended.
How many veneers do I need?
A prosthodontic consultation is needed to determine how many veneers are required or if veneers are the best option. It is a good idea to have an even number of veneers. Two, four, eight, ten or twelve veneers give the best aesthetic results.
How do I care for my veneers?
Brushing two times each day for two minutes, flossing daily, and wearing a bite guard at night are great ways to protect the veneers. It is also beneficial to avoid eating very hard foods like almonds, or cracking shells with the front veneers.
What is the most common reason to have veneers replaced?
The porcelain veneer is very strong and should not break under normal circumstances. If gum recession occurs the root of the tooth may become exposed. Patients may want new veneers to cover the roots. The integrity of veneered teeth is marginally compromised, and the veneer is bonded to the existing teeth. There is no higher incidence of decay provided that the veneers are properly cared for as detailed above, regular brushing with toothpaste, and flossing.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost of porcelain veneers starts from £695 per tooth.
Can I preview my veneers and smile before they are finally fitted?
A digital smile test drive will be done before you actually go in for porcelain veneers. This will give you an idea and feel of how the new smile will look after the actual veneers are fitted. You can use these temporary test drive for a few days to show your loved ones and get a feel of the new smile.
Does the process hurt?
Typically, patients are numb for the veneering process. There should be no pain during the procedure once numbness takes effect. With smaller cases (two or four veneers) there will be very little or no discomfort after the numbness subsides. Patients should expect some soreness of the gums and possibly the jaw in cases that involve eight or more veneers. The soreness can typically be alleviated with over the counter medications.
Will I need gum contouring?
In some veneer cases, contouring the gums will give a better cosmetic outcome. It is done to create symmetry and lengthen short teeth. Most gum contouring causes no additional discomfort during or after treatment. On rare occasions surgical contouring must be done if the teeth are very short. Patients are referred to a periodontist for this procedure.
What can I eat and what foods should I avoid?
You can eat most foods but each patient has a different bite. Therefore, we recommend eating softer foods the first few days until the patient gets used to the new bite position. After several weeks there is no limitation unless your case has specific needs. The most common foods to avoid are: ice, hard biscuits, hard candy, caramel apples, hard nuts, pumpkin seeds, and popcorn
What habits should I avoid or stop?
Stop all bad teeth habits immediately, such as nail biting, straw chewing, fork nibbling, opening bags with teeth, pulling on clothing or gloves with teeth, and anything that will put undue stress on the veneers.
What happens if one of my veneers comes off?
Try not to panic. Sometimes this happens, although it’s rare. Please try to save the veneer. Do NOT use crazy glue. Please call the practice and we should try to get you in as soon as possible. Your tooth may be sensitive to cold foods or liquids when the veneer is off.
Can I brush and floss my teeth after veneers, and do I still have to come for professional hygiene appointments?
Yes! You can brush all your teeth the same way. You can floss all the veneered teeth and you should continue your regular hygiene appointments as you have in the past.
What are some alternatives to veneers?
In the event that you are not a candidate for veneers, our dentists may recommend other options for reaching your cosmetic goals. These might include:
Teeth whitening to reduce discoloration Dental bonding for minor cracks, chips and breakage Restoration with dental crowns or bridges
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