A porcelain veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material which is made to fit precisely over the visible surface of a front tooth to make it look better.
They are ideal for discoloured or unsightly teeth to improve the appearance. They help to close the gap between front teeth and can protect the teeth from acid in food and drink.
Porcelain veneers are made by the dental technician after the dentist has taken an impression of your tooth. The tooth will only require a little preparation.
Composite veneers are an alternative to using porcelain veneers and are made using a white filling that is shaped and hardened using a similar procedure to standard fillings. This can work well if the tooth can support the filling but they tend to break down and discolour sooner, making porcelain veneers more cost effective. We will advise you of the best option for you after examination.
You will need to have at least two appointments if you have a porcelain veneer.
Tooth preparation, impression, shade taking.
- A composite veneer can be made in the surgery. The tooth must first be roughended then white filling material is built up in layers. This type of veneer is slightly more prone to staining and has a shorter life, but is more easily replaced.
- For porcelain veneers, some preparation is required. A local anaesthetic can be used but may not be necessary.
- A small amount of the enamel will need to be removed to ensure that the veneer can be permanently bonded into place. It will be of the same thickness as the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size.
- Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take an impression and a colour match from surrounding teeth. The veneer will then be made in the laboratory by a dental technician. Your dentist may fit you with a temporary veneer if this is necessary..
Fitting your porcelain veneer.
- Your dentist will show you the veneer before it is fitted to make sure that you are happy with it. The veneer is then bonded to your tooth with a tooth coloured cement.
- The finished veneer is polished, and the dentist checks to make certain that the ‘bite’ is comfortable. You must be careful for a few hours after fitting, whilst the cement finally hardens, then you can eat with them as you would your own natural teeth.