Dental Veneers

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Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or laminates), are ultra-thin shells created from porcelain which are bonded to the front of your teeth in order to improve the aesthetics of your teeth. Veneers are an increasingly popular method to quickly improve the appearance of teeth which have become damaged through a range of issues. Veneers are commonly used to treat chipped or damaged teeth, teeth which are worn down, and stained or discoloured teeth. Your teeth are prone to becoming discoloured if you ingest certain substances such as red wine, coffee, tea or cigarette smoke. In cases such as this teeth whitening is not always enough to restore their natural colour so dental veneers provide a great alternative to covering up discolouration and stains. Veneers can also be used to help with slightly crooked teeth, by giving them a much straighter appearance and closing up any obvious gaps.

Fitting Procedure of Dental Veneers

Before having your dental veneer fitted, you will first be given a thorough oral examination to make sure you are suitable for veneers. In most cases your dentist will need to shave some of your teeth off to accommodate the veneers. The procedure itself is carried out under local anaesthetic which minimises any discomfort in the area through numbing the target area. During previous visits you will have had a mould taken of your teeth and this will be used to design your new veneer. This may take a couple of weeks as the mould will be sent off to a specialised laboratory. In the meantime it is common to be fitted with temporary veneers until you are ready to have the custom made ones fitted.

Once your veneers are ready for fitting, any final checks will be made to ensure that no further alterations are required. During the fitting procedure your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and the fronts of your teeth will be coated in a special gel which will increase the effectiveness of the bonding. A specialised dental cement will be used to fix your veneers in place and a high-tech bonding light will activate the process. This usually takes only a few minutes then any excess cement will be trimmed off and the veneer polished. Porcelain veneers usually last between five and ten years, provided you maintain a decent level of oral hygiene. Dental veneers are also highly resistant to discolouration or staining even in the face of excessive amounts of coffee, tea, smoke and red wine. The life of a porcelain veneer can be extended if you take good care of it. It is advised that you have regular check-ups with your dentist and brush and floss your teeth as you would normally.

Types of Dental Veneers

Along with the conventional porcelain veneers, many clinics are now offering a range of different veneers. Together with your dentist, choose the veneer that is right for you. Amongst the most popular types of dental veneer are;

  • Lumineers - An incredibly thin cerinate procelain which is very strong. As Lumineers are so slim, most patients do not require any tooth surface removal which makes the fitting procedure faster and more comfortable.
  • Da Vinci Veneers-Another type of slim veneer which is an especially popular choice for patients undergoing a smile makeover.
  • MAC Veneers-A type of veneer made from a pressed ceramic, giving the veneer a great deal of strength. MAC veneers also have a higher resistance to stains and discolouration than conventional veneers.

Drawbacks of Dental Veneers

Although the vast majority of veneer fittings are carried out without complications, there are some issues that can occur. It is important to note your veneers are completely non-reversible, so if you are unhappy with their appearance, this may cause a problem. If your porcelain dental veneer becomes damaged or chipped a replacement veneer will be required as they can not be restored. As well as being resistant to stains, your veneers are also highly resistant to bleaching. This means that if you whiten your natural teeth, your veneers will not be affected. So if you plan on having any bleaching done, it is highly recommended that you do it before you have your veneers fitted. In some cases patients report feeling an increased tooth sensitivity to hot or cold following the fitting due to the enamel removed in the process. Finally, if your oral hygiene is not sufficient then your veneered teeth are at an increased risk of decay or damage.

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