A veneer is a thin tooth-coloured shell fixed to the front of a tooth to mask discolouration, an irregular shape, damage or small gaps. They are usually fitted to the front upper and lower teeth and are made from ceramic, porcelain or a composite material. They can be used to enhance your smile and help to protect an affected tooth from further damage.
Veneers offer a minimally invasive way to transform a tooth as only a very thin layer of enamel is removed (if any) prior to fitting.
Why have veneers?Veneers can dramatically enhance a smile. Custom-made from scans of your teeth, veneers fit perfectly to the prepared teeth, blending in with your smile. As porcelain is semi-translucent, it perfectly mimics natural teeth. Veneers can be used in a host of different ways. They can conceal defects such as chips and discolouration, effectively covering the front of the tooth. We can also use them to correct a gap or crooked tooth. Many people choose to have veneers as they offer a convenient solution and also require only a small amount of preparation, if any.
What does having veneers fitted involve?
- If necessary, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth to accommodate the veneer.
- Once prepared, digital scans are taken so a customised veneer can be produced in a laboratory. The colour of your teeth is also noted so it will blend in perfectly.
- When ready, the veneer is bonded to the tooth using a strong dental adhesive.
Looking after your new veneers
After fitting, it is important to keep your veneer well-maintained with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist and hygienist will show you how to keep on top of your dental hygiene and keep a close eye on the health of your teeth and gums.
Although veneers are resilient, it is important to treat them with care, so try not to bite your fingernails or chew pen tops, or use your teeth to open anything. Also, it is probably best to steer clear of very hard foods that could cause damage to the veneer.