Porcelain veneers provide a long-lasting way to renew your smile, especially where you have discoloured teeth and old restorations. Much like acrylic nails, porcelain veneers go over your own teeth to alter their appearance.
What is it?
Porcelain veneers are ceramic restorations which sit on top of your own natural teeth. They are secured in place by a strong cement which makes them strong and durable. They are versatile enough to allow for subtle changes like changing the colour of teeth, to more dramatic changes like making teeth which are crowded or crooked appear straight.
How does it work?
Although veneers sit on top of your own natural tooth, we do sometimes need to make adjustments to the tooth's shape and size to make space for them. The extent of the change will dictate how much tooth we need to alter in order to get your desired results. It is therefore often advisable to consider orthodontic treatment and tooth whitening alongside veneer treatment where drastic changes are planned.
Why choose porcelain veneers?
Porcelain wears a lot better over time than composite bonding and will therefore require less maintenance. If you are wanting to go for that 'Hollywood White' look, they certainly provide a predictable way of getting there.
With the new porcelains available on the market, it is possible to create incredible results whilst doing minimal damage to the natural teeth. If you have had years of traditional dentistry, veneers can bring the light and life back into your smile.
Are veneers suitable for everyone?
For veneers to work, we need good quality health tooth to bond to. If you've got lots of untreated decay on your teeth and a minimal amount of natural tooth structure left, veneers are unlikely to work, and we may need to consider bigger restorations like crowns, bridges or implants.
How long does it take?
Treatment time for veneers varies, dependant upon how many teeth are being treated. Treatment time for 4 anterior veneers would be in the region of 3.5 hours across 2 appointments. This does not include planning time and consultations.
How long does it last?
Veneers tend to last between 10-15 years before they fail. For some people this may be longer or shorter as everyone's mouth is different. Veneers do occasionally debond, and if this happens they can be stuck back on. With time, you may start to notice some staining around the margins of the veneers and choose to have them replaced.
Is there anything else I should know?
As beautiful as veneers are, it may be possible to achieve beautiful results with orthodontics, whitening and composite bonding. It is definitely worth considering this route as once a tooth has been prepared for a veneer, it will need replacing at some point. That replacement will be bigger than the original veneer.