What are veneers?
Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain or composite material that your dentist makes to fit over one surface of a tooth (usually the front).
Why would I need a veneer?
Dentists use veneers to improve the colour or shape of teeth, usually at the very front of the mouth. This might be necessary where a tooth is discoloured or chipped or where there are gaps between your teeth (orthodontic treatment to close the gaps is very difficult in adults).
Veneers are normally recommended for cosmetic reasons but can also be used to reduce the wear on your teeth in appropriate cases. They can produce dramatic improvements in appearance with a minimal amount of preparation. Very little tooth is removed and your dentist can normally prepare a tooth for a veneer without the need to use anaesthetic.
What different types of veneer are there?
There are two basic types of dental veneer your dentist might make for you: composite and porcelain. We strongly recommend porcelain as the best material for veneers: it generally gives the best results.
How long does a veneer last?
A veneer should last for many years. However, the life expectancy of any veneer isn't entirely down to your dentist - it is greatly influenced by factors under your own control, such as your diet and how well you look after your teeth Ė veneers can chip or break just like the real tooth
How does the dentist prepare a tooth for a veneer?
Your dentist will remove a little of the outer enamel of the tooth so that the veneer will bond securely in place.
Once the tooth has been prepared in this way, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and record the shade of the adjacent teeth so that the veneer is an exact match.
Only a very small amount of tooth is removed in the preparation process, so a temporary veneer probably wonít be needed while the permanent veneer is being made.
Will the dentist use anaesthetic?
For most people, it isnít necessary to use anaesthetic when preparing the tooth for a veneer. If it is, your dentist will tell you beforehand and will anaesthetise the tooth before working on it so that you donít feel anything. We also use special topical dental anaesthetics so that you donít feel the injection either.
Who makes the veneer?
The impression and shade information are passed to a skilled dental technician at
a specialist dental laboratory. Using this information, the veneer will be carefully constructed to ensure that it fits in perfectly.
What does the dentist do next?
The veneer is returned to the surgery for fitting. You will need a second appointment for this. Your dentist checks the veneer to ensure that it is a good fit and that the shade is a good match for your other teeth. The veneer is then fixed in place using a special bonding agent.
Sometimes it may be necessary for the dentist to make tiny adjustments after the veneer has been fitted, but it is best to wait a little while and get used to the veneer before any adjustments are made.