What is a veneer?
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front of a tooth, in a similar way to how a false nail fits over your fingernail. Normally veneers will be constructed using a very thin layer of porcelain that will match the natural colour of your tooth. Veneers can be used to improve the colour of teeth, repair a chipped tooth or close a small gap between teeth where braces are not suitable.
How are veneers created?
To prepare the tooth a small amount of the outer layer of the tooth may be removed. A local anaesthetic may be used but is often not required. The dentist will then take impressions of your teeth which will be sent to the laboratory for the technician to create the veneer. This will take around two weeks. At your second appointment, the veneer will be bonded in place using a special adhesive. You will not need to wear a temporary in between visits as there is very little preparation to your tooth.
Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. Your dental team will probably want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted, and make sure that you are happy with it.
Will porcelain veneers stain?
Porcelain veneers should not stain. However, if your teeth are prone to staining it is a good idea to take extra care with your veneers by following a good oral hygiene routine and by attending for regular routine dental appointments.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just like your own teeth can. Your dental team will tell you how long each veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
Benefits of Veneers
- Veneers look natural – once in place the veneer will be indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
- Veneers are stain resistant – veneers will not pickup stains like your natural teeth will, so will retain their white finish.
- Veneers are strong – dental veneers are extremely thin but once bonded to the tooth are unbelievably strong.
- Veneers can correct multiple flaws – veneers can help to improve the shape, colour and position of teeth. Therefore, it is possible to change a range of cosmetic flaws such as spaces, discolouration, staining, chipped or fractured teeth in one go.
- Veneers are a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s colour and shape – your teeth will not require extensive preparation to support a veneer as they would with a crown.
- Veneers can dramatically change your smile – multiple veneers can be made to produce instant improvements to your smile.