Are you unhappy with your smile but don’t want to have surgery to correct the problem? The answer is simple: have veneers fitted. In this article, we’re going to tell you everything that you need to know.
What are veneers?
A veneer is a thin shell made out of porcelain (or composite material). It is bonded over the surface of the tooth to protect it or improve its appearance by changing the tooth’s colour, shape, length or size, giving you a mouth full of pearly whites that you’ll love.
Procedure for getting veneers
There are three steps for veneer application: Diagnosis and planning the treatment; preparation and bonding.
Step one: Diagnosis and planning
During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to check whether veneers are appropriate for you. If so, he/she will discuss the procedure; he/she may also make impressions and/or take X-rays of your mouth and teeth.
Step Two: Preparation
Your dentist will then prepare the tooth surface by reshaping it to the approximate thickness of the veneer. He/she will then trim the tooth enamel and take an impression or digitally scan the prepared tooth. Next, the veneer will need to be constructed at a dental lab. It generally takes two to four weeks for them to be sent to the dentist.
Step three: Bonding
Once received, the veneer is placed on your tooth, and it will be examined to make sure it fits correctly and is the right colour; the colour can be changed should it not match exactly – this is achieved by the particular shade of bonding cement that is used
Your tooth will be cleaned, polished and etched; then, the veneer will be applied. Once in place, he/she shines a beam onto the veneer which activates the bonding agents in the cement. When complete, final adjustments may be made.
You may be asked to come back for a follow-up visit in two weeks so that your dentist can check whether the veneer has remained in place.
Would you benefit from getting veneers?
The majority of people who want to have a white, bright smile can benefit from having veneers applied; and they are particularly helpful for people who:
- Want to disguise chipped, cracked or broken teeth
- Have tooth discolouration – there are numerous causes which include drinks that are high in chromogens such as coffee with a dark tint that sticks to the enamel. Please read our full article, causes of tooth discolouration, and how to fix it for more information.
- Have slightly crooked or unevenly spaced teeth and would prefer not to have orthodontic treatment.
- Want larger, better-shaped teeth
- Want to fix teeth that have been worn down
Tips for veneer care
To ensure you keep your new smile, it’s essential that you
- still practise good oral hygiene – brush and floss your teeth twice a day and make sure that you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. It’s also a good idea to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Don’t bite your nails, chew ice or other hard, sticky, sugar-rich foods. This will minimise the very slim chance of dislodging the veneers.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
Veneers usually last between seven to 15 years. After this time, the veneers should be replaced.