What is a Dental Veneer?
A dental veneer is a thin, custom-made covering that is placed over the front of the tooth. Veneers can be applied in a simple procedure that only requires a few visits. Dental veneers are popular for restoring the strength and appearance of teeth that may be:
- Poorly shaped
- Chipped or worn
- Cracked or broken
Generally used as a cosmetic dental treatment, veneers are perfect for patients whose teeth are naturally yellow or have a grey cast and can’t achieve a white smile with bleaching. They are also a solution for patients suffering from a chip or crack in their tooth to repair the shape and protect the tooth from further problems.
Types of Dental Veneers
There are two main types of dental veneers available. The material you choose to use for your veneers is dependent on your individual desires and budget.
Composite Resin Veneers
Composite resin veneers are usually placed on the tooth in just one appointment. Once the tooth has been reshaped for the veneer, the dentist bonds and shapes the composite material to best match your teeth. A special light is then used to harden the material and the veneer is smoothed to look like a natural tooth. While these are a more affordable option than porcelain veneers, they last 4-8 years and require more maintenance as they are more prone to chipping.
A more durable and longer-lasting option, porcelain veneers can last 12-25 years and rarely require maintenance. The dentist will make an impression of your prepared teeth and send them to a laboratory, where they can replicate the shape for your veneers. Once they have been made, the dentist will ask you back to the practice so they can ensure the veneers are the perfect shape, fit and colour-match for your teeth. Dental cement is then used to bond the veneers to the teeth.
Why Choose Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are a popular choice due to their low maintenance and the need for relatively little changes to be made to the existing teeth. They generally require less removal of the tooth enamel than dental crowns, and good oral hygiene is the only maintenance required (unless chipping occurs) once they have been bonded to the teeth.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Once the enamel of the tooth has been reshaped and prepared for a dental veneer, this is irreversible. For this reason, some patients may like to consider alternative, less permanent treatments, such as teeth whitening.
If you are simply experiencing discolouration and you would like to brighten your smile, you may like to consider teeth whitening. In-chair teeth whitening products that are applied by a dental professional can give you fast results for a beaming smile.