Have you ever had one of those moments where you’ve looked in the mirror and thought, ‘My teeth just aren’t what they could be.’ Maybe they have become stained or chipped, perhaps they are a bit crooked or some gaps might have appeared. But, what can you do to fix this? Whitening can only improve the colour of your teeth, and orthodontic treatments can be a long process.
If you’ve asked yourself ‘What can I do to transform my smile without undertaking major dental treatment?’
Veneers might be just the option you’ve been searching for!
Veneers are thin, yet strong and durable coverings made from pieces of porcelain that have been shaped with beautiful detail to fit over the front surface of the tooth. We could liken a veneer to a ‘false nail’ in the way that it covers the tooth.
Porcelain veneers have a more ‘naturally tooth like’ appearance than composite veneers, they are generally brighter and shinier and also more resistant to staining due to the material they are made from.
Depending on how they are looked after, porcelain veneers can last for between 10-20 years.
Composite veneers are made by adding a tooth-coloured resin to the natural tooth and moulding into the desired shape before hardening and polishing.
Composite veneers can have a similar look to porcelain veneers; however, they are usually less detailed in their appearance. As composite veneers are moulded directly on the tooth surface this treatment can usually be completed in just one visit.
As composite is more susceptible to staining and chipping than porcelain, it is recommended that this is replaced approximately every 6-10 years.
Veneers are a wonderful option to improve the smile and are suitable for most people. Those who have chipped, misshapen or very discoloured teeth that will not whiten make great candidates for veneers.
Veneers work very well for those who possess severely discoloured or stained teeth who have previously attempted to improve the shade of their teeth with whitening treatments. Whitening treatments tend to provide the best result for those with only mild to moderate discolouration, those with severe discolouration are generally less satisfied with their results. As veneers cover the existing tooth surface, they are able to provide a whitened, brightened, and consistent look to the teeth, while still remaining very natural.
Veneers can provide an improved contour, especially where the teeth are cracked, chipped, worn, or differing in lengths. Veneers can even help to improve the visible alignment of the teeth, making crooked teeth look straighter.
Veneers do not fix any underlying health issues with the teeth however, so are not suitable for everyone. There are a few important factors that your dentist will consider before suggesting veneers.
Dental issues, such as decay, excess cavities or gum disease are all factors that will impair the tooths ability to act as a great foundation for a veneer. Dental issues such as these do not automatically rule a patient out as being unsuitable for veneers, you may just need to undergo some restorative work to fix the issue before veneers are placed.
It is also important that the patient has an appropriate level of alignment, veneers are not suitable for those with very crooked teeth. This is because those with misaligned teeth tend to have a ‘bad bite,’ this, coupled with clenching or grinding the teeth at night, will add excess strain to the veneers. Although porcelain veneers are very durable, they are not intended to be used in this way and the excessive force may cause them to crack.
To be a suitable candidate for veneers your dentist will check that you have enough tooth enamel, as the tooth must be prepared for a veneer by removing a small layer of enamel, if there are not sufficient enamel levels to begin with then this would mean that the veneer may not successfully adhere to the tooth.
Lastly, those who wish to have veneers placed must practice excellent oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice daily, using an interdental cleaning method such as flossing or interdental brushes, visiting your dentist for regular check-up appointments, and attending the hygienist on a regular basis.
Once the teeth have been prepared for porcelain veneers, the procedure is not reversible. For veneers to be placed, some of the tooth enamel needs to be filed away to allow the veneer to be placed. At Belmore Dental we will always be as conservative as possible, however, unfortunately this step is a necessity and means that we cannot reverse the procedure in the future. This is not the case however for composite veneers.
Veneers need to be looked after just as carefully as natural teeth; dental hygiene must be a priority as your gums need to be healthy to have veneers placed. Veneers do not provide any protection from decay, so daily brushing and flossing is vital to maintaining the health of not only your veneers, but your whole mouth.
If you have been made aware of clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep, you should consider wearing a bite guard at night, this can help to prolong the life of your veneers, protecting them from extra wear and tear and stopping them from cracking or dislodging from the force of clenching or grinding.
There are a number of factors which can cause a porcelain veneer to debond from the underlying tooth such as biting into a hard food, clenching etc, if this happens - don’t panic. As long as you have the veneer intact your dentist will be able to re-cement it back on for you.