Smile Makeover

Porcelain veneers have become an incredibly popular treatment. They are custom-made, wafer-thin sheets of laminated porcelain, which are positioned over the existing teeth to create a beautiful smile. Veneers can transform a stained, chipped or worn set of teeth into a radiant smile.

In the 1920's, glamorous stars used to ask their dentist to extract their teeth and replace them with dentures to give them more attractive smiles. Thankfully, this tradition is no more and there are much more sophisticated techniques for achieving the perfect smile. Today, veneers are responsible for many of the flawless smiles flashed by Hollywood actors and actresses, sports stars, singers and models.

Veneers provide a viable solution for many common dental irregularities, including chipped and worn teeth, discoloured and stained teeth, tooth gaps and crooked teeth.

The procedure

The procedure involves removing very small pieces of the surface tooth structure to create space for the new veneers (preparing the tooth). Teeth impressions are then taken and the veneers will be manufactured based on these measurements to ensure an individual, perfect fit. Temporary veneers are fitted during the wait for the permanent veneers to be fabricated. These will then be removed once the new veneers are ready. The veneers are applied to the teeth and bonded into place using very strong adhesive.

What is a veneer?

A veneer is a very thin sheet of porcelain that is shaped and coloured like a natural tooth. Veneers are placed over the natural teeth to create a flawless smile, with composite sometimes used instead of porcelain.

What are the advantages of veneers?

Veneers create attractive, youthful smiles that help to boost confidence and self-esteem. Porcelain veneers are very fine and there is little preparation required.

Why would I need a veneer?

They can address many problems including broken, chipped, stained and teeth gaps, worn teeth and crooked teeth. Veneers are intended to enhance the aesthetics of the smile. Single veneers can balance the smile or solve the problem of a stained tooth.

What are the alternatives?

White filling material can repair damage to the front teeth. But this may not be possible if the corners of the tooth are broken, and the join between the filling material and tooth will be visible. A crown may be employed to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by damage or decay.

How long does a veneer last?

They can last for several years though they can chip and break just like natural teeth. It is possible to repair small chips. Your dentist will advise you on how long you can expect your veneers to last.

How are the teeth prepared for veneers?

It is crucial to prepare the teeth before the new veneers are fitted to make room. This stage is often done under local anaesthetic and involves remokving a thin layer of the tooth enamel. Once the teeth have been prepared an impression of the teeth is taken, and this acts as a guide for the new veneers. Temporary veneers will be fitted during the wait for the manufacture of the permanent veneers. The shade of the veneers is designed to match the natural colour of the teeth.

How long does treatment take?

Two sessions are needed for veneers. The first session is used to prepare the teeth and create the impressions, while the second session will involve applying the veneers to the teeth and cementing them into position. Your dentist will ensure your happiness with the aesthetics of your new smile prior to bonding the veneers to the teeth.

Will I need temporary veneers?

There is sometimes no need for temporary veneers, as the preparation work for the permanent veneers is very light.

What happens after the veneers are fitted?

After the veneers are bonded to the teeth it is only possible to make small changes. This is why it is important for the dentist to check that you are pleased prior to the veneers being fixed. Your dentist will usually ask you to come back to the surgery after a week or two, to check that you are happy and give the veneers a final polish.

How much do veneers cost?

The cost of veneers depends on the number used and the material and type. The cost typically varies from £650 to £900 for each veneer. Schedule a consultation with Dr Richard Lee to find out more about veneers.

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