Dental veneers are a popular option for improving your smile without time-consuming orthodontics or other treatments. This article is written for anyone who is thinking about getting dental veneers to improve the appearance of their smile.
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded onto the front surfaces of your teeth to help improve the appearance of your teeth when you smile. With veneers, you can alter the size, shape, colour, and alignment of teeth.
What are veneers made from?
They are handmade from high quality porcelain by a dental technician in a laboratory.
Composite veneers can be made directly by the dentist. This is much quicker, easier, and cheaper to do which has increased their popularity in recent years but, they will not look as good or last as long as porcelain dental veneers.
How long do veneers last?
This depends on many factors but, you can expect them to last 10-15 years if done correctly.
They will not last that long if your enamel has been lost or if your bite is poor. To protect the veneers, you will also need healthy back teeth to withstand the bite force.
Will veneers ruin my teeth?
In the past, the porcelain on veneers was not very strong, so it was necessary to make the veneer quite thick to provide strength to the veneer. The thickness needed was generally one millimetre. If you stuck these onto teeth directly, they would look too bulky and therefore, one millimetre of tooth structure needed to be removed to fit the veneer and avoid the tooth looking bulky. This was not good for your teeth for two reasons; firstly, you would be losing tooth structure unnecessarily. Secondly, you would be removing the enamel, which is needed for a high bond strength. There are still many dentists out there who use this old material, as they are not up to date with new techniques!
Nowadays, a high strength porcelain called emax is available. This is our go-to material for veneers at Sensational Smiles, as it is strong and looks great too. You can make veneers as thin as 0.3mm with this material. So, in essence, you can bond the veneer onto the tooth without having to drill the tooth! This is one of the biggest advancements in dentistry and has the added benefit of less veneer pain.
Do you need to grind teeth down to fit veneers?
The only times you need to grind the teeth away to fit veneers is when:
- Teeth are crooked and they stick out – obviously, you do not want your new teeth to stick out too, so you will need to cut these back a bit.
- The colour is poor and we are unable to adjust this with tooth whitening. As 0.3mm is very thin, you cannot leave teeth discolouration and make the veneers look good too. You can mask the colour by using an opaque paint that blocks out everything underneath it, but then you need to build beauty and translucency in the veneer (so it mimics the aesthetics of a natural tooth). You cannot do this with 0.3mm. So, you need to make it thicker, which means you need to grind away more tooth.
Generally, there are ways around grinding away much of the enamel, and this will depend on the situation. Tooth whitening can help with discolouration and even resin infiltration works well. For crooked teeth, tooth straightening is best, although it takes much longer than veneers. Veneers can still be used to correct teeth if they are crooked.
How long does it take to get veneers?
The length of a veneer’s procedure depends on how many veneers are needed. If it is just one, it is usually quick and easy. You come in for a scan (and preparation of the tooth if needed), and then on your next visit, we fit it. So, from start to finish, it takes about two weeks.
If you are getting several veneers and they are complex, then the best way to proceed is to take a scan first, then on the next visit, adjust your teeth and place some high-quality temporary veneers. Then, we wait to check the cosmetics and bite. Once we are happy, we take another scan and ask the laboratory technician to make the permanent veneers. So, from start to finish, it takes around a month. We can expedite this process, but at Sensational Smiles we never like to rush veneers as we are particular about the results!
Does teeth whitening work on veneers?
No, if you use teeth whitening products, your teeth will whiten but your veneers will not. If you want your teeth whiter, then it is best to whiten them first and then veneer them.
How much do veneers cost?
The cost of each veneer is £725. If we need a wax up, the fee is £500.
How many teeth can you get veneers for?
You can get anywhere from one to 16 teeth. It depends upon what look you are hoping to achieve.
Can you put veneers on bad teeth?
You can, but this would be pointless. A veneer on a healthy tooth will have a good long-term outcome. When you stick it on a bad tooth, the underlying tooth will cause problems, which will lead to a poor long-term outcome.
How are veneers fitted?
Veneers are fitted to teeth by resin cement, which nowadays has very good bond strength.
How Do I Learn More?
If you are interested in dental veneers and want to learn more, please contact Sensational Smiles in Carshalton, Sutton today on 020 8643 5365.