What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are very thin porcelain or resin composite laminates which are fitted on top of the teeth to mask deformities and defects. At our Harley Street Dental Practice we regularly use veneers to enhance our patients smiles and to create full smile makeovers. For crooked teeth that are not suitable for correction with traditional braces we can use veneers for rapid correction – we term this “instant orthodontics”. A popular analogy is that dental veneers are to teeth what false fingernails are to your hands.
How do we use Dental Veneers?
Our Harley Street Dentist can use veneers to correct a number of tooth defects. Where badly stained teeth cannot be whitened using standard teeth whitening methods, we will consider using veneers to correct the problem. Similarly for damaged, cracked and broken teeth, veeners can provide a rapid solution for rebuilding your smile.
We are even able to correct quite significant gaps between the teeth (diastemas) using dental veneers. For crooked teeth which are in otherwise good condition, the preferred correction is orthodontics for example using Invisalign braces – however this can take a number of months to take effect. Frequently it is appropriate to use veneers to achieve the same effect in much shorter time. We will invite you for a personal consultation with our experienced London Cosmetic Dentist where we will determine exactly which treatment is appropriate for you.
Composite versus Porcelain Veneers
Dental veneers are made from two main materials – porcelain and resin composite. Porcelain is the material of choice as it is more durable, natural looking and stain resistant. Composite veneers are cheaper and are sometime suitable where more of the natural tooth remains e.g. small chips or cracks.
Dental veneers – the fitting procedure
As with all cosmetic dentistry procedures, the first part of the process is the initial consultation with one of our experienced Harley Street dentists. Here we will discuss with you all aspects of the treatment including an assessment of the best colour for your veneers, the fitting process and after care.
At your first visit, the dentist will reshape the surface of your teeth to accept the veneers. With the teeth and gums numbed with a local anaesthetic a very thin section of tooth is shaved off using a special tool called a burr. An impression or mould of the teeth is then taken which is used by the dental laboratory to help design your veneers.
During the period when your veneers are being made, you may be fitted with temporary veneers although this is not always necessary. On your return visit, the veneers will be checked for correct fit and after further preparation of the surface of the teeth, cemented in place with a special dental fixative. The bonding process is assisted by application of a special curing light. Finally the veneers are checked and polished to leave a beautiful dental restoration.
How long do dental veneers last?
Porcelain veneers typically last between 5 – 10 years if looked after carefully. Composite veneers do not last as long, often only 1 -2 years. Ultimately you will need to replace your veneers at some point but this is a relatively straightforward process.
Types of Veneers
You may have heard different brand names when looking for information about dental veneers. Popular makes are “MAC” and “da Vinci” – our dentist will be very please to advise on exactly what is most appropriate for your particular circumstance.
“Lumineers” are a recently developed type of veneer that are extremely thin and do not require removal of the surface of the tooth. This facilitates a fast and painless application. Please ask our dentist for more information.
In summary, dental veneers are an excellent and rapid way to an improved smile and confidence. Our experienced London dental team will be pleased to offer your a personalised consultation – please contact us for friendly advice.
Dr Anthony Zybutz – London Cosmetic Dentist