A dental veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics (the look of a tooth), or to protect a damaged or discoloured tooth surface.
There are two main types of material used to make a veneer:
- Composite resin which, like a filling, may be directly placed and built up in the mouth, or be made by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth by your dentist
- Ceramic (or porcelain) – these are always made in a laboratory on a model of your tooth or teeth and bonded in place later. Ceramic gives a much more tooth like appearance than composite
Dental veneers can be an important tool for changing the appearance of your smile.
Illume’s dentists may use one veneer to restore a single tooth that may have become fractured or discoloured.
Sometimes multiple veneers are used to create a wide bright smile, such as in the following situations:
- Where teeth are small resulting in spaces that may not be easily closed by orthodontics
- Where teeth have worn away at the edges resulting in a prematurely aged appearance
- Where teeth are malpositioned and appear crooked and orthodontics is not suitable or desired
While veneers are very good and can give excellent results they do require an amount of preparation of the teeth. In other words, some of the tooth has to be taken away before the veneers are placed. Therefore the technique is not reversible. The veneers themselves will require replacement in the future (and may last around 10 – 15 years).
Other forms of treatment should also be considered such as whitening and orthodontics (tooth straightening) either as an alternative, or in addition to veneers to achieve a better result.
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