Dental veneers

A dental veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural-colour 'composite' material is used instead of porcelain.

What are veneers used for?

Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth.

  • A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten the front teeth.
  • A veneer can make a chipped tooth look whole again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the broken part.
  • Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable or desired.
  • If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.

Advantages of veneers over crowns

Because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong adhesive, very little preparation of the tooth is needed. Some types of veneers don't need any preparation at all.

How is a tooth prepared for a veneer?

Some of the shiny, outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. 
The amount of enamel removed is minimal and is subject to the final shape of the desired tooth.
A local anesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not needed. 

Once the tooth has been prepared, the dental team will take an ‘impression' (mould). This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. 
The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.

Did you know..?

Our receptionist "Toothpaste helps remove fake tan when it's gone wrong – particularly from the hands and nails.  And whitening toothpaste can also help remove discolouration caused to nails after removing deep coloured nail polish."

How long will it take to fit a veneer?

You'll need to book at least two visits. The first to prepare the tooth and match the shade (as described above), and the second to fit it.
Before fixing it to your tooth, the dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it.   Bonding the veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.

Temporary veneers

Depending on the extent of the preparation, you may be fitted with a temporary veneer whilst awaiting your second appointment when the permanent veneer will be fitted.  This is also an opportunity to evaluate the final desired result when multiple veneers are planned. On occasions the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth.

What happens after the veneer is fitted?

Sometimes minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made.
The dentist will probably want to check and review it a week or so after it is fitted, and make sure that you're happy with it.

How long will a veneer last?

Veneers should last for many years, but they can chip or break just like real teeth.  Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.

What are the alternatives to veneers?

A natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent when the tooth can support a filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a join between the tooth and the filling material.

Crowns are used for teeth which need to be strengthened - either because they have broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.

Veneers cost

Details of pricing and our 0% finance deal are on our treatment costs page.