What are veneers?
A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that fits over the front of a tooth. It hides the tooth’s defects and thereby improves the appearance of your smile. Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite materials, and their colour can be matched to the colour of your existing teeth to ensure they blend in.
When would I need veneers?
Veneers are a good way to:
- Cover severe stains. Tooth whitening treatments are good for removing mild stains, but some severe stains are resistant to whitening. In these cases, veneers are a good choice because they cover up the stain.
- Hide chips and cracks. Veneers are good at concealing minor imperfections in teeth.
- Hide misshapen teeth. Veneers can cover up misshapen teeth and give you a more healthy-looking smile.
How many veneers would I need?
The number of veneers you require depends on the look you want. We usually veneer the front teeth as these are the most visible when you smile. For the rest of the teeth we can do a whitening treatment, so that your whole smile looks better without having to veneer every tooth.
What is the procedure like for getting veneers?
The procedure is relatively straightforward and usually requires only two appointments.
At the first appointment, the dentist will discuss your case with you and inspect your teeth. This is to determine the size and colour of the veneers you will need.
At the second appointment, the dentist will first pare down your teeth in preparation for the veneers. The dentist may give you a local anaesthetic to make the experience painless. After this, the dentist will apply the veneers to your teeth. On average, the whole appointment takes around 90 minutes.
After the appointment, you can return to work straight away.
Am I suitable for veneers?
Most patients are suitable for veneers, but some patients aren’t. You would be unsuitable for veneers if:
- You have insufficient tooth enamel. The dentist will need to remove some enamel to make space for the veneer. Therefore, it’s important that you have a healthy amount of enamel to begin with.
- You have severely crooked teeth. Severe misalignment can put pressure on veneers and cause them to crack.
- You grind your teeth. Teeth grinding can damage veneers and cause them to fracture.
- You have poor oral health. Your mouth and teeth should be healthy before any work is carried out. Your dentist should give you a medical questionnaire before you go undergo any cosmetic dentistry work to make sure this is the case.
Are there alternatives to veneers?
Yes, there are alternatives. The alternatives depend on what you want to achieve with your teeth. If you have crooked teeth, then you might want to consider traditional braces or Invisalign braces. Whereas if you have mildly discoloured teeth, then a scale and polish will usually remove the stains, and whitening treatments such as bleaching can make your teeth perfectly white.
Where can I get veneers?
Unlike other treatments, veneers are not usually available on the NHS. That’s because people typically want veneers for cosmetic reasons (that is, to improve the appearance of their teeth), whereas the NHS only provides veneers if the patient needs them for medical reasons.
However, many private dentists offer veneers. Here at Headstone Lane Dental, we offer competitively-priced veneers from £550. For more information, feel free to phone us on 020 8428 3769 or email us at [email protected].