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.
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Details of pricing and our 0% finance deal are on our treatment costs page.