Veneers are very thin facings made from durable materials which are bonded onto the front surfaces of the teeth whereby they may completely alter the tooth shape, colour size and ultimately your smile.The main reasons for veneering teeth are :
- For cosmetic reasons to create uniformity
- To correct the position of teeth and deformed / small teeth
- To correct severe discolouration of teeth
- To close unwanted spaces between the teeth and to repair broken teeth.
Most veneers are made from porcelain, although sometimes plastic composite is also used. Since they are made in thin section, only minimal preparation of the tooth surface is required.
When minimal repairs to front teeth are needed, one can use tooth coloured composite filling material, but where teeth are very badly broken especially at the edges or at the tips, or have large fillings which keep coming off, or are root treated and are weak, a crown is better indicated.
Veneers may chip or break, either through an accident or in use, just as your natural teeth can. Small fractures can be repaired, but larger fractures may need replacement of the whole veneer.
Procedure to make veneers:
A minimal amount of tooth material is shaved off from the front of the tooth, the same amount as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth remains the same size. A local anaesthetic may/ may not be used. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and sends this together with other information to the dental lab where the veneer will be fabricated. The colour of the new veneer is matched with the patients other natural teeth. When the veneer is returned from the lab, the dentist cements it onto the prepared natural tooth surface with a special glue, after making sure that the patient is happy with the shape, size and colour of the veneer.
Depending on the degree of preparation of the tooth, temporary veneers may/ may not be fitted onto the prepared teeth.
Once the veneer is fitted, minor adjustments are made if necessary, although it is best to do these at another visit together with any polishing which may be required.