Veneers are thin coverings of porcelain, custom made to improve the appearance of your teeth. Once bonded to the tooth, a porcelain veneer becomes strong, natural looking and long lasting. If you have gaps between the teeth, chips, cracks or discolouration, veneers could dramatically improve your smile.
When would I need a veneer?
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured or stained tooth or to lighten front teeth (usually the upper ones) generally. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing 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.
Which teeth should be veneered?
The dentist will help you decide which teeth might benefit from porcelain veneers. Whilst it is not uncommon to have as many as six front teeth treated, sometimes just one or two may be required. Usually it is the smile line that would most benefit, and so only those teeth that show are veneered.
How are veneers made?
Your dentist will start by removing a thin layer of enamel (usually about 1mm) from the surface of the teeth to be treated. An impression is then taken and temporary veneers fitted. A dental technician creates the veneer by hand, they are individually designed to match the shape, colour and contour of your natural teeth. At the second visit, about a week or two later, your dentist will bond the finished veneer in place. They become strong instantly and you will be able to eat with them immediately after the treatment.
How do I care for my new veneers?
Porcelain veneers need no special care. As with all aspects of oral health, good dental hygiene is important and this will help to increase the life of the veneer. As always you should avoid biting hard objects such as finger nails and pins. Regular check-ups with the dentist and hygienist are essential to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.