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Dental Veneers

What is a veneer?

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain (roughly 0.5 -1.0mm in thickness) which is custom made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail would fit over a nail. Sometimes a natural colour 'composite' material is used instead of porcelain.

When would I need a veneer?

Veneers are used to improve the colour, shape and alignment of your teeth.

A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten the front teeth.

A veneer can make a chipped tooth look perfect again.

The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section, which replaces the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.

What are the advantages of veneers?

Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy. Because they are very thin and are held in place with a special strong bond (similar to super-glue), very little preparation of the tooth is needed. Some types of veneers don't need any preparation at all.

How are teeth prepared for a veneer?

Some of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted. This is so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic injection may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an 'impression' (mould). This will be given to the dental laboratory, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.

How long will it take?

A veneer takes at least two visits: the first is to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it.

Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.

Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?

Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth.

What happens after the veneer is fitted?

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 dentist will probably want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted to ensure that you are happy with it.

Follow On Care

Maintaining porcelain veneers involves the same amount of effort as taking care of your own teeth. With regular check-ups and good oral hygiene, your porcelain veneers should last you for years. They are designed to resist staining and discolouration. However, your dentist will give you some advice as to which food and drinks you should avoid which could stain your teeth.

How much will it cost?

The costs for this treatment can vary from practice to practice so it is important to discuss charges and treatment options with your dentist before starting treatment.

For further information, ask your dentist about Dental Veneers or speak to the receptionist by calling us on 01902 763200.