What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are very thin pieces of ceramic that are fixed to the forward facing surfaces of the teeth to mask defects e.g. cracks, excessive staining and breakages. It is reasonable to think of a dental veneer as being similar to a false nail but for the teeth!
Veneers are a great way to improve our smile.
Veneers are made of ceramic materials, to ensure that precision construction and fantastic colours are achieved. We aim to integrate veneers for our patients, so you get the most natural smile possible.
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. 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.
Sometimes referred to as "instant orthodontics" dental veneers provide a rapid way to achieve a great looking smile, relatively cost effectively. Veneers can be used on their own or in conjunction with other restorative dentistry treatments to create full smile reconstructions.
Veneers are normally fitted over two visits to our dentists. During the first visit, the teeth are profiled to remove a very small surface layer on which the veneer fits. This is so that the thin ceramic layer sits comfortably and does not protrude above the natural tooth line. Following the profiling, the restorative dentist will take a digital scan of the teeth which will be used by the dental laboratory to match the veneers as closely as possible to the rest of your teeth. Temporary veneers may then be fitted whilst you await a second appointment.
During the second visit, the profiled teeth will be cleaned and prepared and the dental veneers glued in place using a special dental adhesive. The smile transformation is complete!
If a tooth is damaged, cracked or broken such that a simple filling or restorative bonding is insufficient to repair it, then a dental crown can be employed. This is a protective cover or cap that fits over the damaged tooth, effectively replacing the natural outer layer so restoring the tooth to full use. Up until quite recently, dental crowns were made from porcelain but now the modern material of choice is the stronger and more aesthetically pleasing dental ceramic. Old style porcelain crowns were built on top of a supporting metal base which formed the unsightly black line often seen at the gum line. Stronger modern ceramics avoid this and give an overall better aesthetic result.
The tooth is first prepared for the crown, this will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner core. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown.
The dentist will then take a mould of the prepared tooth, one of the opposing jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together. Two visits are required to complete the treatment.