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Dental veneers, in vast majority of the cases, are a cosmetic treatment with the aim of improving the colour, shape or position of the teeth. It can help the functionality of a tooth where the tooth is broken or chipped.
A Dental veneer can be made from different materials. Some are made from porcelain, referred to as porcelain dental veneers. Others can be made from composite resin based materials (similar to white filling materials), generally referred to as composite veneers or composite bondings, as is widely named in North America.
Once Dental veneers are fitted, they can last for many years, but like natural teeth they go through wear and tear and they can be broken or chipped.
Porcelain veneers usually last between 7-10 years and with composite veneers it is 3-5 years, although with good maintenance and care they can last for much longer.
What is the procedure for getting dental veneers ?
The first steps in having any form of Dental veneers is diagnosis and treatment planning to see if the veneer options are the best solution for the patients or alternative possibilities are a better treatment. This may require doing mock ups of the veneers on a model of the teeth known as wax ups or trial smiles.
Modern porcelain dental veneers are very strong, allowing them to be made in a very thin layer by the laboratory dental technicians. These type of veneers are otherwise knows as no preparation or minimal preparation veneers such as E-max veneers or Lumineers. This group of porcelain veneers can have no or very little tooth drilling in the majority of the cases. Specially when one has small sized teeth and wish to have more expressive teeth.
Based on the trial smile, then teeth are prepared and impressions are taken which can be with conventional materials or in the form of digital impressions with scanners. Where possible and necessary a copy of the veneers based on the trial smile, known as provisional veneers, can be placed on the teeth in the mean time till final veneers arrive from the dental laboratory. Once happy with the shape, the colour , the looks and the fit of the final veneers, then are cemented in place.
Composite veneers or bondings on the other hand is more of a direct approach. After assessments, planning and the trial smile, the composite resin material is directly cemented on to the teeth by the dentist, shaped, contoured, smoothened and finally polished. They need less appointments than porcelain veneers and in one visit the final result is achieved.
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
They can have the following advantages:
- Good aesthetic result and natural tooth appearance.
- When multiple porcelain veneers are done, whiter colours can be used.
- To compare with crowns, they are a more conservative option as have less drilling
- They are compatible with gum tissues and are tolerated well.
- Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.
What are the disadvantages of Dental veneers?
They can have the following disadvantages:
- Porcelain veneers can come off or break or chip.
- If teeth have been drilled, the veneers are irreversible.
- They do not change colour with whitening.
- Colour matching can be difficult if only 1 or 2 veneers are done.
- Need for better oral hygiene is more crucial.
- They will need replacing after some years.
- Age and trauma related gum recession can affect appearance.
- People with clenching, grinding and other chewing habits are not the best candidates.
- They can exacerbate the problem in people with uncontrolled gum disease.
Do dental veneers need special care and maintenance?
Generally the need similar care to natural teeth. There may be some diet limitations specially with porcelain veneers in terms of avoiding biting into hard foods to reduce e risk of damage and coming off. Although porcelain veneers are very unlikely to stain but the teeth and the cement used for putting porcelain veneers on will stain. Composite veneers stains more than porcelain veneers. So avoiding coloured food and drinks helps to keep better looking veneers.
There more emphasis on importance of having a good oral hygiene, daily flossing and. Regular Dental and hygiene visits as any form of restoration in the mouth increases the risk of plaque retention.
What alternatives are there to dental veneers ?
It all depends on the nature of the problem. Instead of porcelain veneers, composite veneers or bondings can be considered. Or considering Dental crowns specially when there is a high risk of the veneer coming off or break.
Orthodontic treatment is the alternative treatment to Dental veneers when main aim is to straighten teeth and align the teeth.
Whitening is the alternative option when main concern is the colour of the stained or dark or yellow teeth.
How much is the cost of dental veneers?
There can be substantial differences between the cost of Dental veneers from clinic to clinic. But generally direct composite veneers can be less expensive than porcelain veneers. In our clinic the prices for Dental veneers are published on our fees page. But it may be helpful to know how the fees are set in our clinic.
1- Experience and skills of the person who is providing the treatment.
2- Type and complexity of the treatment provided.
3- Length of time needed to complete a treatment.
4- Quality of the material used and the equipments needed.
5- The quality and standard of the dental technicians and dental laboratories used.