Dental veneers are made of a thin layer of tooth-coloured (ceramic) material bonded onto the surface of the tooth. You can improve your smile with veneers and it is a relatively conservative procedure as compared to having dental crowns, which requires little or no anaesthesia.
- When you want to change your tooth’s colour, shape and/ or size.
- When you want to mask minor undesirable defects due to certain medications such as tetracycline, excessive fluoride or injuries due to accidents.
- When you have slight gaps between your teeth, slightly misaligned or chipped teeth. Orthodontic treatments may be needed when you have moderately out of line teeth.
- Worn down tooth due to wear and tear.
What Happens during The Procedure?
Your dentist will need to examine your dental condition to see if veneers are the appropriate treatment for you. In circumstances where you have a heavy bite or the tendency to clench your teeth, you may not be a suitable candidate for veneers.
Your dentist will numb the affected area with local anaesthesia before filing off a few millimeters of the teeth for your customized veneers.
An impression of your teeth will then be taken to create the mould of your teeth which will be sent to the dental laboratory. Temporary veneers (made of resin composite materials) may be issued until your final veneers are completed. You may require 2 to 3 visits to complete your treatment.
Your dentist will check and fit your veneers with the rest of your teeth before bonding them permanently. After your veneers have been bonded and fitted, your dentist will advise you on how to care and maintain your veneers. In terms of durability, research has shown that veneers may last up to 10 to 15 years, after which they will need to be replaced.
Are there other alternatives?
- If your main concern is the colour of the teeth, you can consider teeth whitening.
- Dental crowns are highly recommended if the tooth/ teeth is extensively damaged, or when you have a very heavy bite.
- Orthodontic treatments may be the best option for those with heavily misaligned teeth.
Managing Realistic Expectations
Veneers look and feel similar to your natural teeth but they are not perfect replacements for your real teeth. It’s not uncommon to see slight variations in the colour of veneers upon close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. Nevertheless, this procedure can greatly enhance your smile and can increase self-esteem.