What Are Veneers?
Veneers are restorations added to the front surface of the tooth in order to correct gaps between teeth, discolouration, minor misalignment, chips or cracks. Dental veneers change the colour, size, shape, and/ or length of your teeth, improving your appearance. There are two types of veneers – porcelain and composite resin. Your dentist will help you decide on the best veneer material based on your circumstances, preferences, and budget.
Porcelain Veneers and Composite Resin Veneers
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of veneers. Porcelain veneers are very durable and they look very life-like and natural, and are resistant to staining. However if they crack or chip, the whole veneer must be replaced. Porcelain veneers can last 12-25 years and rarely require maintenance.
Composite resin veneers are usually placed on the tooth in just one appointment. Once the tooth has been reshaped for the veneer, the dentist bonds and shapes the composite material to best match your teeth. While these are a more affordable option than porcelain veneers, they last 4-8 years and require more maintenance as they are more prone to chipping.
Can I Get Veneers
Most people are suitable candidates for dental veneers but it must be remembered that it’s a cosmetic process, not an orthodontic solution. Veneers will not correct badly misaligned teeth, overbites or under bites. If you suffer from teeth grinding, called bruxism, then veneers are not a suitable option. Veneers need healthy teeth on which to attach. Any decay or gum disease must be treated prior to the attachment of veneers.
How Are Veneers Applied
Firstly, your dentist will start by preparing the tooth. When preparing a veneer, the dentist will buff some of the enamel surface, to allow the veneer to sit even on the surface of the tooth making it look natural. Local anaesthetic is used during the process.
Composite resin veneers are placed in a single appointment. After reshaping the tooth for the veneer, the dentist shapes and bonds the composite material to best fit your teeth. Using a special light, the material is hardened before the veneer is smoothed to resemble a natural tooth.
To make your porcelain veneers, the dentist will make an impression of your teeth. This will be sent to a laboratory, where they can reproduce the shape for your veneers. The dentist will also check the shade of your teeth (or the shade you will like your veneers to be) and send that to the laboratory as well with the impressions. After ensuring everything is correct, the tooth is cleaned with chemicals and the veneer is cemented into place.