Dental veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment used to change the way your teeth appear or to provide extra strength to teeth that are worn.
They can be used to correct a number of dental imperfections including chipped or broken teeth, discolouration, gaps between teeth, worn teeth, crooked teeth or misaligned teeth. One of the advantages of veneers over crowns is that it is far less work to create a natural looking tooth and less of your own tooth is taken away in preparation for the veneer.
There are two main types of material used to make a veneer, composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer can be directly built up in your mouth or made offsite by a dental technician and later bonded to the tooth using a resin cement.
Porcelain veneers can only be made by dental technicians and are bonded to the prepared tooth later but they are more durable and less likely to stain than veneers made of composite
What can I expect if I have dental veneers fitted?
Treatment usually involves several trips to the dentist for the initial consultation and then further visits to fit the veneers.
The treatment is split into three stages:
- Your dentist will see you to understand what you aim to achieve with the treatment and discuss the different options available to you based on your suitability for veneers. At this visit the dentist may also take measurements in the form of x-rays or moulds of your teeth.
- Once you have decided on dental veneers as a course of treatment your teeth will be prepared for the veneer. This involves stripping off a very thin piece of enamel from the tooth and making a mould of the prepared tooth to be used in preparing the veneer.
- When you return for the veneers to be fitted your tooth or teeth will be roughened to create a stronger bond with the veneer and the veneer will be shaped and coloured. It is fitted to the tooth with a special cement which is hardened with a specialist light.