Dental veneers, also known as dental porcelain laminates or porcelain veneers, are thin, tooth-coloured materials made to cover the tooth’s front surface. These custom-made shells can be bonded to the teeth to help improve their appearance by changing theteeth’ size, length, or shape.
Types of dental veneers
The material used to make dental veneers can be resin composite or porcelain. These materials differ slightly; porcelain veneers are more stain-resistant than resin veneers. Porcelain veneers also have a light-reflecting property of the natural teeth.
Before getting dental veneers, you will discuss your preferred veneer material with your dentist.
What dental issues do dental veneers fix?
Dental veneers can fix many dental issues, including the following;
- Worn-down teeth
- Gaps between the teeth
- Misaligned, irregularly shaped or uneven teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth discolouration resulting from large resin fillings, root canal treatment, tetracycline, and other drugs with excessive fluoride
Dental veneers procedure
A dental veneer procedure usually requires three visits to the dentist. The first visit is for a consultation, and the others are for making and applying the dental veneer. You can place a dental veneer on one or several teeth at the same time.
Diagnosis and treatment planning
This involves informing your dentist what you want to achieve with the treatment. Your dentist will examine your teeth during the appointment to ensure you are suitable for getting veneers and discuss the procedure, its benefits and limitations.
After the examination, the dentist will take x-rays of your teeth and possibly make impressions of your teeth.
The dentist will reshape your tooth surface, which is an amount equal to the thickness of the veneer. During this procedure, the dentist may administer a numbing agent.
After reshaping the affected tooth, the dentist will take its impression or model and send it to the dental lab to make the veneer. Making a dental veneer usually takes 2 – 4 weeks, but the dentist will fit a temporary veneer on your teeth while you wait for the permanent veneer.
The dentist will place the custom-made veneer on your tooth to check if it fits and if the colour matches your teeth shape. If it doesn’t fit, the dentist will trim and remove the areas that do not fit before cementing the veneer to your tooth.
Your dentist can adjust the veneer colour to fit your existing teeth shade using the cement material. Then, your dentist will prepare the tooth to receive the veneer by cleaning, polishing and etching the tooth.
Etching makes the tooth surface rough to enable the veneerto bond properly to the tooth. After placing the veneer and cementing it, the dentist will use a special light beam to activate the chemicals present in the cement to make the hardening process faster.
The last step involves removing excess cement and checking if the veneer fits your bite before making the necessary adjustments.
Your dentist may schedule a follow-up adjustment after a few weeks to check the veneer and your gum.
Benefits of dental veneers
Dental veneers offer several benefits such as:
- Improving the natural tooth appearance
- They are stronger and look better
- They improve the teeth shade
Other advantages of veneers include:
- Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant
- Porcelain veneers are compatible with the gum
Downsides of dental veneers
- You cannot repair veneers if they crack or chip
- The process requires the removal of the enamel, making the teeth more sensitive to hot or cold foods
- Veneers cost more than composite resin bonding
- Porcelain veneers are unsuitable for people who grind and clench their teeth
- Veneered teeth can get decayed
- The veneer may not match your teeth shade, and you can’t change the colour of veneers after placement. If you want to have a teeth whitening treatment, you will have to undergo teeth whitening before placing veneers.
- Although this happens rarely, veneers can fall off. To reduce the risk of your veneers dislodging and falling off, avoid chewing your nails, ice, pencils and other hard objects that can apply excess pressure on your teeth.
The lifespan of dental veneers
Dental veneers can last for 7 – 15 years with proper care. After this period, you have to replace your veneers.
Your dental veneers do not require special care. A good dental hygiene routine that includes flossing, brushing, visiting your dentist and rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash is sufficient to care for your veneered teeth.
Although porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, you still need to avoid stain-causing beverages and food like red wine, tea, coffee, and berries.
Cost of dental veneers
Dental veneer cost in Londonvaries depending on several factors, such as the amount of work needed and your location. Generally, a dental veneer for a tooth cost between £700 – £1400. Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans do not cover dental veneer costs, so you may have to pay out-of-pocket for your dental veneers.
Alternatives to a dental veneer
Some alternatives to fitting dental veneers include crowns and bonding. However, veneers are usually the most suitable option for most people as they can help achieve advanced tooth shape changes, which may not be possible with bonding.
Dental veneers are perfect for fixing different dental issues. If you want to improve your teeth appearance with veneers, visit Smile Works Dental today or call us on 020 7183 4091 to schedule an appointment with our dentist.