Dental veneers

A veneer is a thin tooth-coloured shell fixed to the front of a tooth to mask discolouration, an irregular shape, damage or small gaps. They are usually fitted to the front upper and lower teeth and are made from ceramic, porcelain or a composite material. They can be used to enhance your smile and help to protect an affected tooth from further damage.

Veneers offer a minimally invasive way to transform a tooth as only a very thin layer of enamel is removed (if any) prior to fitting.

Benefits

  • More of the healthy tooth can be retained
  • Natural-looking
  • Durable
  • Colour matched to your natural teeth
  • Can correct a number of flaws
  • Stain resistant

Treatment steps

  • If necessary, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth to accommodate the veneer.
  • Once prepared, impressions are taken so a customised veneer can be produced in a laboratory. The colour of your teeth is also noted so it will blend in perfectly.
  • When ready, the veneer is bonded to the tooth using a strong dental adhesive.

Aftercare

After fitting, it is important to keep your veneer well-maintained with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist and hygienist will show you how to keep on top of your dental hygiene and keep a close eye on the health of your teeth and gums.

Although veneers are resilient, it is important to treat them with care, so try not to bite your fingernails or chew pen tops, or use your teeth to open anything. Also, it is probably best to steer clear of very hard foods that could cause damage to the veneer.

Chipped or damaged teeth, discolourations and gaps between your teeth can change the way you feel. If your self-confidence is affected by the appearance of your teeth, you may be considering dental veneers. Dental veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry that cover your existing teeth to hide common problems with a new, whiter and brighter finish. At Care Dental in Crieff we can offer advice on whether dental veneers are a suitable solution and the options available to you.

You might be interested in dental veneers if:

  • You have chipped or broken teeth.
  • Your teeth are discoloured.
  • You have gaps between your teeth.
  • Your teeth have become worn down.
  • You have misaligned or irregularly shaped teeth.  

There are two kinds of dental veneers

Porcelain veneers are long-lasting, natural looking teeth that are crafted in the finest detail to look just like natural teeth by specialist technicians in a dental laboratory. These are usually fitted in two or three appointments and require some preparation to your existing teeth, for example a small amount of your existing enamel needs to be removed in order to adhere the veneers directly to your teeth.

Composite veneers can be applied in one visit. Layers of resin are applied directly to the tooth, masking any damaged enamel, which is then sculpted to the correct shape and size to look just like natural teeth. Composite veneers are a good option if you have stained or slightly damaged teeth, such as a chipped or cracked tooth.

What are dental veneers made from?

Porcelain is a type of glass, which means that this method of teeth coating is not as susceptible to stains as composite veneers, and their overall appearance is also brighter and shinier.

Composite veneers are made from a tooth coloured resin (similar to that used for tooth fillings) and are close to plastic in nature. As resin is porous, it is sensitive to stains. If you have composite veneers fitted is advised that you regularly have them professionally polished at your local Crieff practice.  

How long do dental veneers last?

Dental veneers are a durable way to improve your smile. The lifetime of your veneers is subject to your dental care routine, your lifestyle and the kind of veneer you have had fitted. Well-cared for porcelain veneers will last between 10-20 years, while composite veneers should last between four to eight years. Make sure that you continue to see your dentist regularly. Good communication between you and your dentist will ensure that your veneers last as long as possible and that your natural teeth and gums remain healthy.  

How do I get dental veneers?

Porcelain veneers are an irreversible dental procedure, so it’s important that you speak to your Care Dental dentist. They will discuss all your options and thoroughly examine your teeth and gums. If you are having porcelain veneers fitted then this will usually take two appointments, as the veneers are created to your unique specification in a dental laboratory.

During your first visit, your dentist will clean your teeth (or tooth) and note the correct shade for your veneers. A small amount of enamel is removed at this stage in order to adhere your veneers to your natural teeth. An impression of your teeth is then made to send to the laboratory while a temporary veneer is provided. Once your custom-made porcelain veneers arrive at your Crieff practice you are ready to have them permanently fitted. Teeth are cleaned and polished and the new, porcelain veneers are fitted using a special adhesive which requires light-curing for at least 60 seconds. After this, any excess material is removed and your teeth are tidied and polished to ensure the perfect, natural finish.

As composite veneers are moulded directly onto your teeth, these can be applied in one visit, so you can walk away with a new smile the same day. After your teeth have been prepared, a resin is applied and moulded to your teeth. You can trust that your Care Dental dentist is highly skilled in the art of sculpting the resin to look at natural as possible.   

How do I care for my dental veneers?

About one to two weeks after your dental veneers have been fitted, your dentist will see you for a review to make sure that you are happy with the look and feel of them, examine your gums and answer any queries you may have.

Treat your dental veneers as you would your own teeth, by brushing with a non-abrasive toothpaste and flossing twice a day. Dental veneers, just like your enamel, can become stained. You can keep them looking pearly white by limiting the amount of black coffee you drink, giving up smoking and avoiding foods that may stain. Porcelain veneers are less likely to stain, but you should be careful when eating particularly hard foods – porcelain is a kind of glass, so while strong it is also brittle.

Dental veneers will usually need to be replaced at some point, but by keeping up a good oral hygiene routine you can ensure that they last for as long as possible. By visiting your dentist for a check up at least once a year, and booking regular appointments with your Care Dental hygienist, you will ensure that your veneers stay in the best possible condition.

If you think that dental veneers are for you, make an appointment today with Care Dental on 01764 652607 for a consultation to further discuss your options.

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