What is a dental veneer?
Veneers are very thin layers of material that are bonded to the front of your teeth, in a similar way that false nails are bonded onto fingertips. The veneers can transform stained and crooked teeth into the perfect 'Hollywood smile'. They can also improve the appearance of damaged teeth or be used to close wide gaps between teeth.
How are veneers fitted?
Your dental specialist will examine your teeth and discuss options with you. If you decide to have veneers, then your teeth will first be prepared for you; local anaesthetic is used to numb the teeth, then the fronts of the teeth are shaved down to allow the thin veneers to sit on them snugly. An impression is then made of your teeth using special dental putty - a lab make your veneers by using this mould, which can take a couple of weeks. In the meantime, your dentist may place temporary veneers on your teeth.
At your next appointment the veneers will be permanently fixed to the front of your teeth using special cement. The teeth are then polished to give the final result.
Some dentists can fit veneers on the same day if they have a special machine in their surgery that makes the veneers, known as CEREC technology.
Occasionally, veneers may be applied simply by building up the surface of the existing tooth - whilst this is usually less expensive, this technique does not tend to give as good results as the above methods.
How long do veneers last?
Veneers are generally of two types; composite veneers last about a year or two. Porcelain veneers cost more, but can last up to 10 years. Veneers can rarely come loose and fall off, in which case you should keep the veneer and contact your dentist immediately.
Veneers will tend to last longest if you keep up good oral hygiene.
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The information provided is as a guide only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding which procedure is right for you. Please also read our disclaimer