What Are Veneers?
Veneers are restorations added to the front surface of the tooth in order to correct discolouration, minor misalignment, chips or cracks. They are also used to reduce gaps between teeth and build up worn teeth to restore a natural-looking smile.
There are two types of veneers – porcelain and composite resin. Porcelain veneers look a little like fake fingernails and are designed to be bonded to the front of the tooth. Each veneer is custom-made to a particular tooth and they look and feel very natural.
Composite resin veneers are applied one layer at a time to slowly cover the existing tooth. Each layer is shaped and cured by your dentist until the final result is achieved.
How are veneers applied?
The dentist prepares the tooth, which may require some buffing of the enamel surface, to allow for the thickness of the veneer to sit flush on the tooth’s surface. Occasionally, a local anaesthetic is used during this part of the process.
Porcelain veneers are custom-made to fit the tooth and these are placed in position to check shape and colour. After ensuring everything is correct, the tooth is cleaned with chemicals and the veneer is cemented into place.
Composite resin veneers are sculpted onto the tooth by your dentist and cured with light to harden each layer. When the final shape and colour is achieved, the surface is polished to give the veneer a natural look.
Why Choose Dental Veneers?
It used to be that veneers were only affordable to Hollywood stars or those associated with show business.
With affordability no longer a barrier, dental veneers are now used to address a vast array of dental challenges, including:
- Malformed teeth – Individuals with broken, chipped or severely worn off teeth are ideal candidates for dental veneers
- Discoloured teeth – Thanks to the amazing properties of the veneer materials, veneers can be constructed in a way that they completely hide discolouration of teeth. And where one has only a few discoloured teeth, veneers can be used to blend the bad teeth to the colour of their healthier neighbours
- Unsightly teeth gaps – Some individuals have irregular gaps between teeth which makes their smiles seem unsightly. With veneers, dental specialists can fill those gaps to make the teeth look completely naturally spaced
- Crooked teeth – Teeth that have irregular shapes, are crooked or improperly positioned can be masked with the help of veneers. The result is an amazingly even set of teeth that look perfectly shaped and aligned with the rest of the teeth
- In some instances, veneers can serve as a better alternate for patients who may be considering dental crowns. And because they last for a long time, are relatively cheaper and comparably painless (compared to other dental procedures) to install, they make the ideal choice for dealing with a number of dental issues.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Factor Influencing Costs
MORE OR LESS COSTLY?
1. Type of veneer
Porcelain – more costly
2. Issue Being Addressed
More costly: Larger numbers of teeth for which veneers are required
3. Your Location
Less costly: In areas where there are more surgeons practicing (think Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth)
4. Your Practitioners Skill & Experience
Less costly: Dental offices that have recently started their practice, or those looking to establish themselves within a community
Although the price is subject to change, the current cost of porcelain veneers in Australia is around $900 to $1300 per tooth, while the cost of a composite veneer is around $350 to $600 per tooth.
Why Get Veneers?
There are plenty of people who will reap the rewards of dental veneers, including those who have:
- Discolored or stain teeth, regardless of the reason
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Worn down teeth
- Teeth with large gaps between them
- Uneven, strangely shaped, or misaligned teeth
What Is the Procedure For A Veneer?
Dental Veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
1.Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
2.Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will reshape the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. Temporary dental veneers can be used for very unsightly teeth.
3.Bonding . Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched — which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement.
What Are The Different Types Of Veneers?
There are mainly two types of Dental Veneers:
Composite Resin Veneers
Composite veneers are made from a composite resin that our dentists can apply directly to the surface of your teeth. This means the treatment can sometimes be completed in a single appointment, after your initial consultation with our dentists.
Composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain veneers and also look natural. The disadvantages are that they are more vulnerable to damage and stains, although they can be repaired more easily than porcelain.
Porcelain veneers cost more than composite veneers, but they can also last longer, are stronger and more resistant to stains. These veneers need to be custom-made before they can be bonded to your teeth.
Porcelain has a similar shiny translucent quality to teeth enamel, which gives the veneers a more natural appearance. They can also cover up more severe discoloration, chips and cracks.
What Are The Benefits Of Veneers?
- Gum tissue easily tolerates porcelain.
- Veneers have the appearance of a natural tooth.
- Veneers provide a more conservative method of changing a tooth’s appearance. Usually, they don’t need the extensive shaping crowns do, but they do offer a more aesthetically pleasing and stronger option.
- Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains.
- With porcelain veneers, you can choose the color, which is ideal if your goal is to make dark or stained teeth appear whiter.
Can I get veneers?
Most people are suitable candidates for dental veneers but it must be remembered that it’s a cosmetic process, not an orthodontic solution. Veneers will not correct badly misaligned teeth, overbites or underbites.
Veneers also need healthy teeth on which to attach. Any decay or gum disease must be treated prior to the attachment of veneers.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, called bruxism, then veneers are not a suitable option. Persistent teeth grinding can cause veneers to chip, break or even detach completely from the tooth.
Veneers can be the cosmetic solution for:
- gaps between teeth
- broken, chipped or cracked teeth
- badly stained or coloured teeth
- crooked or irregularly shaped teeth
- obvious, aesthetically-displeasing fillings.
An appointment with your dentist is required to check your suitability and to discuss treatment options.