Veneers are versatile; they can transform a smile instantly to reveal whiter, straighter and differently shaped teeth. One of the signature elements of a smile makeover, dental veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry that can restore your confidence in your smile. But just how do veneers work, and what difference can a set make to your teeth? Let’s take a look.
What Are Veneers?
Dental veneers are covers that are made to fit over your existing teeth. Your dentist will craft porcelain shells that you can have fitted on top of your own teeth using dental cement.
How Do Veneers Work To Transform A Smile?
Dental veneers can be used to
- Cover up teeth that are damaged or decayed
- Cover up teeth that are misshapen or uneven
- Cover up teeth that are broken, chipped or cracked
- Whiten teeth that do not respond to teeth whitening
- Increase the surface area of small teeth that make a gappy smile.
Dental veneers are purely cosmetic and while they may strengthen your teeth a little, their primary function is to improve the appearance of teeth.
Are You A Candidate For Veneers?
In order to have porcelain veneers, patients need to
- Have a good standard of oral health, as well as healthy gums
- Have enough healthy dental enamel
- Practice good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing twice a day
What Types Of Veneers Can Be Created?
Veneers are usually made out of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are the most sought-after because they are more durable and longer-lasting than composite resin. As a material, porcelain can mimic your natural teeth more closely, especially in the way that it reflects light. Porcelain veneers are also less susceptible to stains and discolouration than composite resin. They require little to no maintenance and, with good care, could last up to 25 years.
Composite resin veneers are more affordable than porcelain, however, they do not last as long. As a material composite resin is softer than porcelain and will need replacing more frequently. Composite resin veneers tend to last on average between four and eight years before they need to be replaced.
The most appropriate material for your needs should be discussed with your dentist, as your personal circumstances need to be taken into account.
How Do Veneers Work?
Veneers work by covering up imperfections in your teeth, revealing a symmetrical smile.
What To Expect From The Procedure?
Porcelain veneers require two to three visits to the dentist, while composite resin veneers can be completed in one session.
For porcelain veneers, your dentist first needs to remove a thin layer of dental enamel from your teeth. This is to ensure that your teeth fit in your mouth correctly when the veneers are applied. Once the enamel has been removed your dentist will take an impression of your mouth. The veneers will be made in a laboratory so there will be a waiting period, during which you may wear a temporary veneer.
Once your porcelain veneers have been created you will be called back to your dentist for a fitting. Your dentist will attach the veneers with dental cement, which will be hardened with a light.
If you are having composite resin dental veneers, your dentist will remove the enamel and shape the veneers in the same session. This means you won’t have a waiting period and will be able to leave with your new veneers on the same day.
Are There Any Alternatives To Veneers?
If you want to address cosmetic issues with your teeth, veneers are generally a good way to do it. Other options could include
- Covering a broken or decayed tooth with a dental crown
- Teeth whitening to bleach the colour of your teeth
- Fixing cracked or broken teeth with composite resin or porcelain or gold inlays.
Are Veneers Painful?
Veneers can cause some discomfort when the dental enamel is removed, so many dentists will perform the procedure under anaesthetic. Bonding the new veneers to your teeth is relatively painless and does not require an anaesthetic.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
The cost of your dental veneers will depend on variable factors like
- The number of veneers you need
- Any other dental work that needs to be done in terms of preparing your teeth
- The type of material you choose
Because porcelain veneers are a cosmetic procedure, the cost is not likely to be covered by private health insurance. Some plans may cover a portion and may require you to settle the difference.
What Can You Expect After The Procedure?
You will need to practice good dental hygiene habits to keep your dental veneers in optimal condition.
If you smoke, you should consider quitting as your veneers cannot be whitened if it is stained.
If you play contact sports, you should also consider getting a mouthguard to protect your teeth against impact.
Remember to visit your dentist for checkups and professional cleaning twice a year. Your dentist will inspect your veneers and ensure that your smile is plaque-free.
To find out more about how do veneers work or whether you would be a candidate, please contact us for a convenient appointment: (03) 9626 9581