A dental veneer is a thin piece of tooth-coloured material that is fitted to the front surfaces of your natural teeth in an effort to enhance their appearance. Porcelain veneers can be used for several purposes including altering the size and shape of the tooth.
When would I need veneers?
Porcelain veneers are extremely efficient for treating damaged front teeth. You can benefit from veneers if you have discoloured, chipped or crooked teeth. This is due to the porcelain's natural ability to make damaged teeth look whole again. Veneers can also be used to close gaps and fix fillings that are too noticeable.
Why should I choose porcelain material?
Porcelain has a close resemblance to the enamel of the tooth, making it an ideal choice for achieving a natural appearance. Porcelain is also very strong and durable, unlike acrylic and plastic shells. Porcelain veneers hardly stain or discolour and although this is advantageous, you still have to brush and floss at least twice daily. Another benefit of getting a porcelain veneer is that there's no need to trim away a large portion of the tooth during instalment due to its thin nature.
How long does it take to get a veneer?
A veneer takes at least two visits. Your dentist will make sure that the veneer looks completely natural before your appointments conclude.
How is a tooth prepared for a veneer?
- Your dentist will remove a part of the outer enamel surface to leave space for bonding later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and won’t make much difference to your day to day activities. Note that you may or may not need a temporary veneer between visits.
- Your teeth will feel slightly less smooth but will look much the same after preparation. Once the enamel has been removed, an impression will be taken and a mould will be made. The veneer will then be made and on your next appointment, you can gladly lie back on the dentist's chair and receive a healthy and natural look. A special strong adhesive will be used for bonding while a local anaesthetic may also be used to relieve any discomfort.
What happens after the veneer is fitted?
You might experience some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after the final fitting. However, this is temporary and will pass soon after. You can manage tooth sensitivity by using toothpaste that will help relieve any pain associated with sensitivity. Your dentist might also want to check and polish it a week after fitting to make sure you’re comfortable with the adjustment.
How much will it cost?
The price of veneers depends on several things. Your location and the expertise of your dentist will be of great significance while discussing treatment. The number of teeth you want to restore also matters. However, porcelain veneers are often more expensive than plastic or acrylic ones. So, make sure you've exhausted your options before proceeding with any type of treatment.
Taking care of veneers?
Veneers are strong and durable but you still need to take care of them. Although eating might not affect them, it is advised to avoid chewing or biting hard on hard foods such as sweets, ice and bones.
Are there any alternatives?
Dental fillings are excellent for back teeth but may not work well for front teeth. Crowns are also well suited for the job. Your dentist can advise you on all the treatments available.