Veneers are thin, shell-like pieces of tooth-coloured composite material or porcelain
placed on the front surface of teeth to beautify your smile and enhance your appearance. They are used mainly to address aesthetic rather than functional problems in the anterior and posterior teeth.
WHEN WOULD A DENTAL VENEER BE USEFUL?
- Intrinsic staining of the teeth, that is, discolourations from within the teeth. Some causes are tetracycline use, excessive fluoride intake, abnormalities of tooth development, trauma
- Discolouration of teeth following a root canal treatment
- Surface defects of the teeth
- Unusually shaped teeth.
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Teeth with spaces in between them
Dental veneers are not a good choice when the individual has an abnormal occlusion, or has habits such as teeth clenching or grinding. It may also not be useful in teeth with severe discolourations, severe rotations, bulky fillings or when a lot of the tooth structure (including enamel) has been lost.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The procedure usually takes two visits but can take a single visit. The dentist will introduce himself to you and explain the procedure. He will assess the hygiene and health status of your teeth. He will take the shade of your teeth using a shade guide so that the veneer colour shade is similar to your natural teeth colour. He will prepare the teeth using a bur to remove about half a millimeter of enamel and take an impression of the teeth.
At the end of the first visit, a temporary preformed veneer usually made of acrylic is placed over the prepared teeth. At the second visit, the temporary veneer is removed, the teeth is cleaned and dried. The definitive veneer is tried in and cemented if it is satisfactory.
The veneer is finished and post-procedure instructions are given.
- Inform the dentist of any complaints you may have. Ask all your questions
- Adhere to the post-procedure instructions given to you
- Book your follow-up appointment before you leave the clinic
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Do not crack or chew hard substances such as bone or hard nuts. Do not use your teeth to open packages
- See the dentist every six months even if you have no complaints
Typically, a veneer lasts approximately 5-10 years. They do not require any special care other than regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the prosthodontist. If they are properly cared for then they can last much longer. Professional cleanings every 6 months and yearly exams are highly recommended.
You care for the veneers the same way you do regular teeth. That is, brushing two times each day for two minutes, flossing daily and avoiding hard foods like bones. Wearing a mouthguard at night can protect your veneers from tooth grinding.
This concern will be addressed by your prosthodontist. Most people get their veneers in a whiter shade than their natural teeth and then undergo tooth whitening to create a matching aesthetic.