Dental veneers are thin shells of material that can be bonded to the front, visible part of your teeth’s surface. Their design and colouring can be 100% customised to meet individual needs. Veneers have become a popular form of cosmetic dentistry. This is due to their ability to improve one’s smile, in a short amount of time. Porcelain veneers are available, as well as composite resin veneers.
Veneers are an effective method of improving the appearance of teeth. But they are not for everyone. There is a lot to consider before deciding if this cosmetic dental procedure is right for you.
Who Is Best Suited to Veneers?
If you want to improve your smile, veneers may be the answer for you. But to be a good candidate for veneers, you need good existing general dental health. Veneers are not suitable where thinning enamel, gum disease and tooth decay are present.
Veneers can solve a lot of aesthetic problems like these below.
Damage or Wear
If you have a cracked, chipped or worn tooth, placing a veneer on it is an easy way to fix the look of its surface. Veneers can be shaped and coloured to match our other teeth. This provides a natural-looking smile.
There are various contributors to the discolouration of our teeth. From age to coloured food and beverages, our teeth do lose their youthful pearliness. Whilst teeth whitening exists, veneers provide a longer-term solution to discolouration.
Veneers are coated with a top layer of glaze which makes them extra resistant to staining. So, your smile can stay whiter for longer.
Veneers can be shaped to close the gaps between teeth and even out your smile. Whilst braces are good for fixing crooked teeth, the process is a bit extravagant if your teeth are straight already but not evenly spaced.
For misaligned teeth, veneers can be a cheaper option than braces in some scenarios. For example, if only a couple of teeth need fixing, veneers could be the way to go. It’s also a quicker option than braces, taking only a few appointments, or even a single visit. In cases whereby teeth are very misaligned, veneers may not be suitable.
Porcelain Veneers Vs Composite Veneers
There are two types of veneers. Porcelain and composite. Both come with a different set of pros and cons, as well as a different price tag. The aftercare for both is the same – veneers need general good dental hygiene, like your natural teeth.
Your dentist will help guide you towards the best option for you during your initial consultation.
Porcelain veneers are the longer-term option. They last up to 20 years and need little maintenance. They have better resistance to stains and reflect light well. This gives them a very natural tooth-like appearance.
The procedure for porcelain veneers is more drawn out than that of composite veneers. Your dentist will create impressions of your teeth, which are then sent to a laboratory. Here, the veneers are made with the perfect fit and colour for your natural teeth.
Your teeth are prepped for the veneers by removal of a layer of enamel. Sometimes the process requires you to wear temporary veneers while you wait for your permanent veneers to be sculpted.
The final appointment will see you have your veneers applied to the front of your teeth. If you’re having a full smile makeover, including a lot of teeth, you may need more than one appointment for application.
Porcelain veneers are non-reversible, as the shape of your natural tooth is changed a lot to host the veneer. This is an important factor to consider when deciding which veneers are right for you.
Porcelain veneers are almost double the price of composite veneers. But they are from a more durable material, with a more natural finish and a longer lifetime.
Composite veneers are a more budget-friendly option when compared to porcelain veneers. But, they only last up to 8 years. The composite resin that they are manufactured out of is not as durable as porcelain. This means they need more maintenance too.
The selling point of composite veneers, other than the price difference, is the process itself. Applying composite veneers is less of an intrusive procedure than their porcelain counterparts. It is also a less time-consuming process with usually only one appointment required.
You don’t need to have impressions of your mouth and nothing needs sending off to a lab for manufacturing. Direct composite veneers get bonded directly onto your teeth. They are then shaped and polished by your dentist.
When having composite veneers applied, minimal preparation is done to your teeth. Because of this, composite veneers are reversible as your natural tooth has not been permanently reshaped. This makes it an appealing option for some, knowing they can be removed or replaced, unlike porcelain.
Like all medical procedures, veneers don’t come without their own bunch of associated potential risks. Whist the potential risks associated with veneers are both rare and minor, it’s important to be aware of them when considering the procedure.
Of course, you can minimise these risks by choosing a reputable cosmetic dentist.
Your dentist will remove a layer of enamel in preparation for the bonding of the veneers. Because of this, you can experience extra tooth sensitivity. This is not present in all cases of veneer application. In cases where it is present, usually lasts for only a few months. Persistent teeth sensitivity post veneer application is indicative of a bigger issue.
Structural Tooth Damage
The process of removing enamel for the bonding of veneers can lead to underlying damage to your teeth. This happening is rare, yet still a potential risk. Another thing to keep in mind is that badly fitting veneers can interfere with the alignment of your bite. This can cause additional problems over time, like pain when eating and jaw discomfort.
Veneers do last for years, especially the porcelain variety. But, a time will come when they need replacing, which is not always possible. As discussed, some enamel is removed from your teeth when the veneers are applied. So, there may not be enough enamel left on your teeth to repeat the process a second time.
In this case, a different process is needed to restore your smile. For example, crowns or cosmetic bonding. Your dentist will discuss the possibility of future replacements with you, at your consultation. This is true for both porcelain veneers and the composite ones.
It’s not hard to see why veneers have become a popular option for improving smiles. It’s important to understand every part of the process, though. So, a consult with your dentist will make you feel at ease and confident with your decision.
At Hills Dental Care, we provide the highest level of cosmetic dentistry. We would love to help guide you on whether veneers are right for you or not. A beautiful smile is an investment that enhances both your confidence and well-being. Book in your appointment today!