What Are Dental Veneers and Why Are They Important?

Although it’s vital that your teeth are kept in good condition from a health perspective, it’s also important that they look appealing as well. Unfortunately, many people find that even if their teeth are free from decay, they still may not look very attractive. Problems such as an uneven surface, pitting, yellowing or other discolouration or stains can all result in teeth which just don’t look their best.

Not only are they not pleasant to look at, unappealing teeth can also have a negative impact on self-esteem and confidence. Some people may stop smiling in order to avoid accidentally showing their teeth, becoming self-conscious about the look of their smile. In these circumstances, dental veneers are a popular choice.

What are dental veneers?

Veneers are very thin strips of porcelain or composite resin which provide a shallow coating across the front surface of the tooth. A veneer is shaded so that it matches the patient’s original tooth colour. This results in a natural-looking appearance that’s always pleasing. A veneer looks like a natural tooth, but one which isn’t discoloured, uneven or otherwise compromised – the unsightly tooth is safely hidden away beneath the layer of veneer. Once in place, veneers can be treated just like a natural tooth when it comes to dental hygiene and similar matters.

Different types of dental veneer

The two main types of dental veneer are porcelain or ceramic veneers and composite resin alternatives. Porcelain veneers are generally reckoned to be the more durable of the two types, with the veneer rarely requiring replacement until some considerable period of time has passed. Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant and can be carefully constructed so that they provide an extremely natural look that’s always appealing. In contrast, composite resin veneers are almost invariably cheaper, but may not last as long and can sometimes become stained or discoloured over time. Normally your dental practitioner will be the person who’s best placed to advise on which type of veneer is going to be most suitable for your particular situation.

What is the process for obtaining dental veneers?

In the first instance, you will need to discuss the possibility of veneers with a dentist. They will make sure that they have a full dental history, as well as undertake any further examination that’s required before deciding if veneers are going to be right for you. If it is decided to go ahead, the dentist will gently remove the enamel from the front surface of the teeth to be veneered. In the case of composite resin veneers, the resin will be applied then and there. If porcelain veneers are to be fitted, the dentist will take appropriate X-rays, photographs and impressions so that accurate veneers can be made at the laboratory, then fit temporary veneers until your permanent ones are ready for fitting. Once the veneers are ready, the temporary veneers are removed and a weak acid solution is brushed over the teeth to remove any mineral build-up that might compromise the strength of the bond. The veneer is then fixed to the front of the tooth using dental cement.

Once in place, it’s virtually impossible to tell that veneers have been fitted. The final effect is that of beautifully white, even teeth.

Why opt for dental veneers?

One of the major advantages of veneers is that they have a relatively long life-span. Processes such as tooth whitening can make a short-term difference to the appearance of teeth, this process will have to be repeated regularly in order for the improvement to remain. Veneers don’t compromise gum or tooth health. In some cases, a veneer may even help to prolong the life of a tooth by providing a much-needed layer of protection! A dental veneer treatment is usually painless and non-invasive. Even removal of the enamel rarely requires any form of anaesthesia. In comparison, an implant (which might well look the same as a veneer) would require a significant amount of pain relief to fit and would take days or even weeks to settle down and heal after the treatment had taken place. Veneers offer a good balance of effectiveness coupled with user-friendliness and excellent value, as well as some great results.

Who are dental veneers suitable for?

Almost all adults can benefit from veneers, as they are a widely tolerated intervention. Suitable for transforming both individual teeth as well as an entire row, veneers can be used on their own or as an addition to other forms of treatment (for example braces or other orthodontic interventions) in order to achieve a high-grade end result. Cost-effective, attractive and easy to fit, veneers are the perfect way to get the smile you’ve longed for, quickly and easily. Why not get in touch with us to find out more about how dental veneers could really make a difference?