What are Dental Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain, which are custom made to fit over a tooth. They are usually provided on front teeth to restore the appearance of one or more upper teeth. They are generally indicated for use when the tooth is not badly broken down. If a tooth is badly broken down a crown is the treatment of choice. A veneer is often used to mask discolouration, caused by internal staining of the tooth. They are less destructive to the tooth than a crown and may involve no preparation of the tooth. Usually a layer about 0.5mm thick is taken off the front of the tooth, to allow for the thickness of the finished veneer. An impression is taken after preparation, the veneer is then custom made to the required size, shape and colour. This typically takes one week; the veneer is then permanently bonded to the front surface of the tooth.

This bonding to the tooth is different from normal "glue". It is much harder and stronger, and after fitting the tooth is as strong as it was before the veneer was fitted.

Do they look good?

A porcelain veneer once fitted should be undetectable on the tooth. They will last for many years, but this depends on how you look after them. It is important not to forget that they are only very thin layers of porcelain attached to the front surface of the tooth. They are more resistant to staining than simple fillings, and are more resistant to chipping than fillings. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene, and avoid things such as trying to bite hard sweets with the treated teeth. In normal usage breakage is very rare. Sports injuries are perhaps the commonest reason for breakage, which is why we recommend a custom made mouth guard is worn if you have veneers and you play contact sports. These are not expensive and will protect your teeth and gums very well.

Porcelain veneers do look cosmetically excellent, and even a slight change in your smile can alter how you feel about yourself. Imagine smiling and, instead of having chipped or discoloured teeth, you had a nice smile. Your whole outlook can change!

How much do they cost?

Porcelain veneers are not expensive when you consider how your smile can be improved. As with most things however you have choices in the materials they can be made from. They are available within the NHS (normally for upper front teeth only), these attract a band 3 charge. If you want the very best, then more advanced modern porcelains are used, these do cost more and range from £350.00 to £500.00 but we believe the finished result is well worth it. If you would like to ask any more questions about veneers please feel free to do so, and we will explain how you can have an improved appearance to your teeth.

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