Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth for an immediate smile transformation.
Individually crafted for each patient, these cosmetic enhancements are made from advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of natural dental enamel. Dentists can use veneers for a number of cosmetic corrections, ranging from teeth whitening to orthodontic adjustments.
Patients who are considering porcelain veneers are typically looking to address multiple structural or cosmetic issues with their teeth, such as:
- Gaps between teeth
- Minor misalignment
Developing dental technology has made veneers more lifelike and convenient than ever before. New types of porcelain are stronger and reflect light similarly to natural dental enamel. Additionally, other advanced dental treatments such as teeth whitening and dental crowns can be combined with veneers to provide patients with comprehensive cosmetic results and truly stunning smiles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Patients considering veneers must have healthy teeth and gums to be considered. Patients with conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease typically do not qualify for veneers, however after these issues are stabilised they may be an option. Those who are considering porcelain veneers should remember that the procedure is typically a permanent one as the dentist usually removes a layer of enamel before attaching the porcelain. Therefore, no one should receive veneers unless they are certain about their decision. Some patients who habitually grind their teeth and clench their jaw may not be suitable for veneers.
Although dental porcelain is quite strong and durable, the forces of bruxism can put incredible strain on veneers, causing them to break or come off entirely. In many cases, however, a dentist may be able to treat the underlying causes of bruxism, eventually enabling patients to receive veneers. Additionally, newly developed dental materials allow ceramists to create stronger restorations that may be suitable for such patients.
The only way a patient can fully determine his or her candidacy for veneers is by having a consultation with a dentist. After evaluating current dental health, and the condition of a patient's enamel, a dentist can make an informed decision regarding suitability for this treatment. They can also recommend alternative treatments for non-qualifying patients.
Veneers are considered a more conservative treatment than crowns. Less of the tooth needs to be removed in order to place a veneer. Your dentist will usually just remove a thin layer of tooth enamel from the front of the tooth and will not normally need to touch the core or the back of the tooth.
Crowns require more of the existing visible tooth to be trimmed away before the crown is placed. This typically means two to four times as much tooth reduction as veneers.
Veneers are a great choice when the issues you want to address are relatively minor and aesthetic in nature. Veneers are an excellent solution for problems such as badly stained teeth, chipped teeth, minor cracks in teeth, small gaps between the teeth and superficial misalignment. In these cases, veneers can significantly improve the overall colour and regularity in appearance of the teeth, delivering a much-improved smile. Veneers are just as permanent as a crown and shouldn’t be chosen on the basis that they are either temporary or reversible.
Crowns are typically needed instead of a veneer when there are more fundamental issues with existing teeth. These situations include teeth that are badly broken or cracked, or where root canal treatment has been needed. The crown is used to keep the tooth intact and protect it from any further damage that might lead to extraction. Once the crown is cemented firmly into place, it becomes the new outside surface for the tooth with the nub of the original tooth safely inside. Another situation where crowns are a better choice than veneers is where the edge of the tooth has been damaged by grinding.