A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, very much like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural colour composite material is used instead of porcelain. Veneers can improve the colours, shape, position and fix any gaps in your teeth.
A precise shape and shade of porcelain can be chosen to lighten the upper front teeth or to reshape them.It can make a chipped tooth look intact again- the porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth replacing the broken part. Veneers are often used to close small gaps, when orthodontics is not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can be fitted to bring it into line with the rest of the teeth. Veneers can protect teeth from further damage caused by acid in foods and drinks or from acids in the stomach that cause the teeth to wear away. The teeth become thin and weak and can be protected by veneers.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer
Some of the outer enamel surface of the tooth will be removed, to ensure that the veneer can be bonded to the tooth permanently. The amount of enamel to be removed is minimal. The tooth is prepared in two stages. The first stage will involve removing a small amount of enamel and taking an impression of the tooth. The impression is sent to the laboratory where they will reproduce a veneer to fit the tooth. We will place a temporary veneer on the tooth to protect it against sensitivity. A visit to the laboratory is essential to make sure the colour is matching the adjoining teeth and will look natural. The second stage will involve placing the veneers on the required teeth with a bonding material.
How long will a veneer last
Veneers can last for some years but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. People who grind their teeth or clench put more stress on the teeth and the veneers and the life span will be shorter.
What happens after a veneer is fitted?
Some minor adjustments might be needed to make sure that you bite is correct. We would like to recall you one month after to make sure you are happy with the fit and function well with the new veneer.