What are dental veneers?
Veneers are wafer-thin laminates or shells of tooth-coloured material. Usually made of porcelain dental Veneers can also be made of a composite bonding material. They are cemented with dental cement to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic appearance.
What treatments or problems are veneers used for?
Stained teeth - badly stained teeth that cannot be improved by teeth whitening can be greatly improved by dental veneers, which cover any existing stains on your teeth.
Damaged teeth - Crooked teeth are often best treated with orthodontics or braces. However, such treatments can take up to a year or more. However for only slightly mal-aligned teeth veneers placed over their front surface will give a straight and perfect looking smile.
What is the process in having dental veneers?
1. An initial consultation and examination needs to be carried out in order that the dentist can get a feel for what you want and understand your needs and concerns. The dentist should explain the treatment procedure to you and give you an accurate guide to the estimate of your treatment.
2. When you are happy to proceed with the treatment an appointment is scheduled to prepare the teeth for veneers. The first stage is to numb the teeth and gums with a local anaesthetic so that you do not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Before your veneers are designed by the dental laboratory, your dentist will need to reshape and prepare the front surfaces of your teeth so that they can accommodate the veneers. The same thickness as the veneer needs to be removed from the tooth.
3. Next, an impression or mould of your teeth is taken and is sent to the dental laboratory.
4. While you're waiting for your veneers to be constructed, your dentist will fit temporary veneers to protect your prepared teeth.
5. On your second visit the dentist will fit your new veneers to your teeth with special dental cement and bonding agents. Before fitting them you will have an opportunity to have a look at them in your mouth to ensure you are happy with them.
How long can I expect my dental veneers to last for?
Porcelain veneers will typically last for about ten to fifteen years, while composite veneers last for only two or three years. Eventually your veneers will need to be replaced.
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