A veneer is a laboratory made, thin layer of tooth-coloured porcelain that fits over the front surface of a tooth to improve its aesthetics and appearance. They are designed to make teeth look natural and healthy, and because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
Why might I need a Veneer?
Veneers can be used to:
- Mask tooth discolouration
- Reshape poorly formed or mal-aligned teeth
- Close gaps between teeth where orthodontics or fillings are not suitable
- Restore the shape of chipped teeth where conventional fillings do not offer a durable alternative
What Are The Advantages of Veneers?
Because veneers are very thin and held on with a special dental adhesive, minimal tooth preparation is necessary compared to crowns or other more traditional forms of porcelain work. They therefore offer patients the opportunity to achieve long term, optimal aesthetics with minimal intervention.
How Long Will A Veneer Last?
Veneers should be considered as a long term restoration and should last for many years. If the unfortunate does happen and they chip or break they can be repaired or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
How Are Teeth Prepared For A Veneer?
A thin layer of the outer enamel surface of the tooth is removed to ensure optimal bonding and aesthetics when the veneer is fitted. The amount of enamel removed is minimal and will generally be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth remains the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but in many cases this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, an 'impression' will be taken and sent to the dental technician, along with any other information needed for him to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.
How Long Will It Take?
A veneer takes two visits, the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, we will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Will I Need A Temporary Veneer Between Visits?
Even although the preparation of the tooth is minimal, we will normally fit a temporary veneer to restore the aesthetics of the tooth and prevent sensitivity during the temporary phase whilst your veneer is being created by the laboratory.