- Conscious of your teeth being discoloured, chipped or crooked? Dental veneers may be a sufficient and affordable way to improve your smile. Designed to be minimally invasive dental veneers offer what is sometimes called instant orthodontics.
Dental veneers sometimes called tooth veneers, porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to correct both colour and shape problems.
Veneers are an important tool for the cosmetic dentist. A dentist may use one veneer to restore a single tooth that may have been fractured or discolored, or multiple teeth to create a “Hollywood” type of makeover.
Many people have small teeth resulting in spaces that may not be easily closed by orthodontics. Some people have worn away the edges of their teeth resulting in a prematurely aged appearance, while others may have malpositioned teeth that appear crooked. Multiple veneers can close these spaces, lengthen teeth that have been shortened by wear, provide a uniform color, shape, and symmetry, and make the teeth appear straight.
Assessment. Your dentist will take x-rays and check the alignment of the teeth/bite. Your dentist may also take dental impressions (dental moulds) from which they will make a plaster cast of your mouth and produce a 3D wax up. During the examination appointment you will need to convey to your dentist the types of changes you are interested in obtaining.
Teeth preparation. Before the process of making your veneers is begun, your dentist will anaesthetize your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. When preparing a tooth for a porcelain veneer the enamel on the front side of the tooth, the side where the porcelain veneer will be bonded, must be trimmed back Veneers are thin like contact lenses, and will usually only need tooth reduction of 0.5mm to 1.0mm. If a drastic change is being made for the result you want, reduction may be 1.0mm to 2.0mm.
Impression taking. Your dentist will use impression paste or putty to make the impressions of the prepared teeth. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the veneers will be manufactured. The veneers are usually returned to your dentist’s office in 5 -14 days (5 in Budapest and 14 in London). Your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the colour of the neighbouring teeth.
Temporaries. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary veneer to cover and protect the prepared teeth while the veneers are being made. Temporary veneers usually are made of acrylic and are held in place by temporary cement.
Receiving the permanent dental veneers. At your second visit, your dentist will remove your temporary veneers and check the fit and colour of the permanent veneers. If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the enamel surface of your tooth will be etched with a mild etching gel. This etching, on a microscopic level, roughens the surface of the tooth, just like glass that has been etched has a “frosted” texture. This enamel roughness aids in the cement’s ability to form a tenacious bond with the tooth, and it is a hallmark of dental bonding technique. Cement will now be placed into the veneer and the veneer will then in turn be placed on your tooth. The cement will be cured by shining a special light. This light (which is often blue) passes through the translucent veneer to the cement which lies underneath. The light activates a catalyst in the cement, causing it to cure in just a few moments.
Some degree of sensitivity is common after veneers and using a tooth paste such as Sensodine could help the nerves settle down quicker. It usually takes a few weeks for the teeth to fully settle down.
On average, dental veneers last between 8 and 12 years. The life span of a veneer depends on the amount of “wear and tear” it is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packaging).
Porcelain veneers, because they are glass-like, have a great advantage over other types of cosmetic dental bonding by the fact that they are translucent. When they are bonded onto a tooth’s surface they mimic the light handling characteristics of enamel. Light striking a porcelain veneer will penetrate its thickness, and then subsequently be reflected back out once it has reached the opaque cement and tooth structure lying underneath the veneer. This translucency effect provides a sense of depth, and thus a very life-like appearance.
Julie was only 12 years old when a riding accident left her with terrible dental problems that troubled her for years to come. “I was walking my pony on Camber Sands when a storm broke, she was spooked by the bad weather and she bolted, I tried to hold on but tripped and as I fell she kicked out and her hoof caught me on the mouth.” Julie recalls. She was rushed to hospital where doctors thought Julie’s teeth had been lost, but an X-ray soon revealed they had actually been forced up, and were embedded in her top jaw.So began years of problems for Julie. An operation to pull down the teeth resulted in them turning grey and dying.