Veneers come in various materials, the most common being high-strength porcelain and composite resin. You can use veneers as a long-term option to brighten and straighten your smile or cover crooked or chipped teeth.
Why might I get veneers?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent, minimally invasive option for patients whose natural teeth are damaged or discoloured. They are specially custom-made to match your natural teeth, providing a natural but enhanced appearance.
Veneers are a good option for people who want a permanent solution to improve the shape and shade of their front teeth. They maintain their colour much longer than natural teeth, and are stainless when exposed to coffee, tea, red wine and cigarette smoke.
Porcelain versus composite resin veneers
Veneers made of porcelain can be more aesthetic and long lasting. However, depending on the position of your teeth they may need to be prepared prior to bonding the veneers. Porcelain veneers are custom made in a laboratory and so can take up to 2 weeks to fabricate. For this reason, they are also more costly than composite veneers.
Composite veneers are made a composite resin material and created directly by the dentist whilst you are in the dental chair, during one visit. Usually very little or no preparation is needed on the tooth surface, making these veneers very preservative to your teeth compared to porcelain veneers. They can also be adjusted after they have been placed and are less costly than porcelain veneers. However, these veneers are not as aesthetic as porcelain veneers and may also need to be replaced more regularly.
How long do veneers take to fit?
Porcelain veneers are custom made by a dental laboratory and can take at least two weeks to fabricate. At your second visit your dentist will bond your veneers to your teeth with a special adhesive. The appointment time for this can vary depending on the number of veneers that need to be bonded.
Composite veneers are created by the dentist directly onto your teeth within one appointment. You may be asked to come in for a second appointment to make some small adjustments and to polish your veneers.
How are teeth prepared for veneers?
Before your dentist fits your porcelain veneers, they will reduce your natural tooth within enamel to ensure the veneers fit naturally in the mouth without adding bulk, but also restoring the function of the natural tooth while improving its appearance. This procedure also aids the bonding of the veneers.
Your dentist may use a local anaesthetic during tooth preparation to help ease any discomfort or sensitivity. Next, they will take an impression or scan of your prepared teeth, which is then used to make your veneers. They will also choose a shade with you to match your surrounding teeth so your veneers look as natural as possible in your mouth.
How do I maintain my veneers?
Brush and floss your veneers just like you would your natural teeth. You should also maintain a schedule of regular visits to your dentist and hygienist to have professional maintenance carried out.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost of veneers can vary depending on the number of veneers you need and the material used. They typically start at around £350per tooth.
How long will veneers last?
Porcelain and composite veneers can last up to 10 years. However, just like your natural teeth, they can be damaged. The longevity of veneers depends on several factors such as quality of the underlying teeth, diet, hygiene and habits (teeth grinding and clenching). The edges of composite veneers may stain more easily with time.
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