Questions on dental veneers

How do I know if I need a veneer?

Veneers are designed to improve the shape, position, and colour of your natural teeth. Created from thin porcelain, you can select the best colour for your teeth in order to cover discolouration and staining or to lighten the colour. Veneers can also help to cover up chips and gaps and are designed to look like your natural teeth, but a much better version of them! Orthodontics aren’t always suitable for closing gaps, whereas veneers are a much better alternative.

What other options are available?

For minor repairs to front teeth, fillers can be used. These are natural-coloured filling materials – not your usual silver or gold types. These don’t work so well for broken tooth corners and there will always be a visible join between the tooth and the filler.

Crowns are often used when teeth require straightening – something which is often caused by fillings or root canal treatment.

How long will a veneer last?

Your veneers will last for many years, but they aren’t totally infallible. As they are a very realistic tooth replacement, they can chip just like real teeth. Chips can be easily repaired or replaced with a new veneer if necessary, so this shouldn’t cause undue worry.

What preparation is required for veneers?

This depends on your specific situation, but usually it is necessary to remove some of the shiny outer surface enamel from your tooth in order to ensure that the veneer can properly adhere to the tooth. The thickness of the enamel removed is very slight – the same as the thickness of the veneer, ensuring your teeth are the same thickness as they were before the treatment. Local anaesthetic is usually unnecessary, but can be given if you experience any discomfort. Impressions will also be taken to ensure that the size and shape of the veneer looks completely natural. The colour and shade of surrounding teeth is also taken into account in order to ensure the teeth look as natural as they possibly can.

How long will the procedure take?

The entire veneer procedure is completed over two visits. One visit is required in order to check the shade of your teeth and to prepare the tooth and take an impression. On the second visit, the veneer is fitted. The dentist will make sure you are happy with the veneer first of all by showing it to you and placing it over your tooth before bonding it.