What are veneers?
Veneers are wafer thin shells, made of porcelain or composite that are attached to the front of your teeth. They are usually only applied in the smile zone. Most commonly, they are placed on six to ten upper teeth which are visible when you smile.
Veneers are a great way to improve the appearance of your smile. They can be made to any colour or shape to form your ideal smile.
Veneers are suitable for patients with discoloured, crooked, worn down, widely spaced or chipped teeth.
As veneers are a purely cosmetic treatment, severe cases of the aforementioned may require alternative dental treatment. For example, severely chipped or cracked teeth may require dental crowns. Moreover, orthodontic treatment may be a more practical solution for widely spaced teeth.
At your consultation with one of our dentists, they will be able to help you choose the most suitable treatment for your case.
What is the treatment process?
Veneer treatment takes one to three appointments, spread over a week or two. In the first appointment, a small amount of enamel is taken off the teeth to make room for the veneers.
From here, impressions of your teeth will be taken and sent to our dental laboratory where your veneers will be fabricated. While your new veneers are being made, you will be given a temporary set of veneers.
Your second visit is where the temporary veneers are removed, and the more permanent veneers are bonded into place.
We recommend prior to getting porcelain or composite veneers, you consider teeth whitening treatment. The reason being, porcelain or composite restorations cannot be bleached with teeth whitening treatments.
When your veneers are placed, they are usually matched to the colour and shade of your natural teeth and can not be changed.
How long does treatment take?
Veneer treatment usually takes between 1 to 2 weeks to complete. It is a relatively quick, straightforward process.
Porcelain veneers vs composite veneers
Although both porcelain and composite veneers serve the same purpose, there are some clear differences between the two.
Porcelain veneers are made of a higher quality material, which can last around 10 to 17 years. While composite veneers have a shorter lifespan of 5 years. However, they are a much cheaper option than porcelain.
Further, composite veneers can be completed in one to two appointments. Porcelain veneers can take a little longer – one to three appointments.
In terms of quality, porcelain veneers are more durable than composite and closely match the appearance and translucency of a natural tooth.
Selecting the material your veneer is made of comes down to your preference and budget.
Looking after your veneers
You should look after your veneers as you would your natural teeth. Brushing twice daily and flossing once daily is important to make your veneers last. You should also visit the dentist every 6 months to maintain optimal oral health.
Veneers do not stop the build-up of plaque on teeth, which is why it is important to attend regular check-ups and to stick to your brushing and flossing routine.
It is also important to keep in mind that anything that can chip or crack your natural teeth can also affect your veneers. We recommend avoiding biting directly onto hard foods like carrots, ice, and nuts. Further, habits such as biting pens and opening bottles with teeth should be avoided.