A gap between the front teeth, a browned tooth or a chipped one can make a smile seem a little less perfect. Veneers can resolve all of these problems. Its application is non-intrusive and relatively quick, so you can have a strong new-looking tooth in just a matter of weeks.
What are veneers?
Veneers are custom-made hardened materials that are cemented to the front surfaces of your tooth. Veneers are either made of porcelain or a resin composition. These veneers are thin, yet are extremely hardy to withstand the wear and tear of biting and grinding. Because veneers are customized, they look extremely natural to fit in with the rest of your teeth.
Porcelain veneers are sturdy thin shells of porcelain that are cemented to the tooth’s outer surface.
In the first visit, your dentist will assess if veneers will indeed achieve the results you want. An x-ray may be taken for further evaluation. If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the veneer application, by grinding off a thin layer of the tooth’s enamel to make space for the veneer to adhere to. This process may take place under local anaesthesia, so you won’t feel any discomfort. The dentist then makes a mould of your prepared tooth so that the dental lab can prepare your veneer. The dentist may attach a temporary veneer to your tooth until your veneer is ready in 2-4 weeks’ time.
In your next visit, the dentist will clean, polish and etch your tooth before testing the fit of the veneer. Etching is the process of roughening the tooth’s surface for the veneer to stick better. Once the veneer is deemed to match well in terms of fit and colour, the dentist will then cement the veneer onto your tooth, and quickly harden the cement with the use of special light beams. After some final touches to remove excessive cement and checking that your veneer doesn’t affect your bite, you are now ready to step out of the dentist’s office with a gleaming tooth.
Composite veneers are made of a resin mix that are added onto your teeth, hardened and then polished. The resin is integrated to become part of your tooth, unlike porcelain veneers which are added onto the tooth.
Porcelain or composite veneers – which is better?
Porcelain veneers are tough, stain-resistant and can last 10-15 years. Porcelain veneers also have a natural look that is very similar to your teeth. Getting porcelain veneers requires 2 visits to the dentist.
Composite veneers are also hardy but they can chip, although they can be easily repaired unlike porcelain veneers which would require a total replacement. Composite resin veneers can discolour over time just as your natural teeth do, and can last up to 8 years. Composite veneers can be affixed quicker on the same day.
Both types of veneers have its pros and cons, which your dentist will advise you with further details for you to make your decision.
After application of both types of veneer, your dentist may schedule a follow-up visit after a month to check on the veneer’s placement and how you are coping with it.
Caring for your veneers
You don’t need to pay special care to your veneers; just clean the tooth with the veneer like how you would with other teeth. In fact, you would be glad to know that porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, so if you had opted for veneers as a treatment for a discoloured or stain tooth, you can rest assured that the problem will not recur.
Just like how you should with other teeth, avoid biting on hard objects like ice and fingernails. Although unlikely, there is a still a possibility that the veneer can detach.
Remember that a tooth affix with a veneer can still decay like any other tooth. A veneer only protects the outer surface of the tooth, leaving the tooth still susceptible to plaque and bacteria all around.
Take the first step towards veneers
Simply book an appointment with one of our dentists at Natasha Beverly. With a minimum experience of 10 years in aesthetic dentistry, all our dentists are experts in fitting the best veneers that will restore your bite, look and confidence.