Veneers and bonding
Veneers are very fine narrow custom-made coverings that are bonded to the front of a tooth to improve its appearance by covering stained, chipped or uneven teeth. They can be fabricated from porcelain or acrylic (composite resin) to perfectly match your existing teeth in colour and shape, creating a perfect smile in all lighting conditions. Compared to crowns, they are inexpensive and do not require much removal of the tooth enamel, leaving most of your original tooth intact. A light buffing of the tooth allows the depth of the veneered-tooth to match the surrounding teeth, making it undetectable. The depth can vary and is typically near 0.5mm (contact lens) and can go to 2mm (coin).
We recommend discussing the final sought after look with your dentist in our dental clinic prior to commencing treatment. By carefully explaining your concerns and desired goals, your dentist can make recommendations for your specific situation and discuss the potential benefits and limitations. The procedure will be explained step by step, allowing you the opportunity to ask questions and make an informed decision. Digital x-rays and a dental impression may be required.
During the veneer procedure in our dental clinic, the tooth area is frozen and a thin portion of the enamel is removed, allowing room for the eventual veneer. A mould is created and sent to a dental lab to create a custom-made veneer. If necessary, temporary veneers can be made and placed until the permanent veneers are completed. This also allows any changes and fine-tuning to be made prior to the placement of the permanent veneers. Talking to your dentist in our dental practice will allow a better fit between your expectations and your experience in wearing the temporary veneer.
When the veneer is created and sent to our dental clinic, the dentist prepares the affected tooth with a light coat of a product to allow the veneer to better adhere to the tooth. Using a strong resin cement, the veneer is attached to the tooth, creating a seamless smile. The result is a strong and durable tooth that is resistant to staining from food and the environment. A follow-up appointment a few weeks later can help determine how the gums have adjusted and to verify the veneer placement.
Bonding is an effective and rapid technique to repair chipped teeth in our dental practice. It is pain-free and requires no drilling or anaesthetic. It is simply the application of a tooth-tinted material, a composite resin. Initially, the dentist applies a mild product to roughen the tooth surface and allow the composite resin to better adhere. The resin is mixed and tinted to match your exact tooth colour. The resin is applied one layer at a time making it appear seamless. It is shaped and polished, giving it the appearance of a natural tooth. It is then hardened with a bright light. It is safe and is used in both children and adults. It can last 5-10 years, is inexpensive and is quick to achieve the desired results.
VENEERS FOR A DIASTEMA
Q What is a diastema?
A A diastema is a space or ‘gap’ between teeth – very often your front teeth. This is very common in children and is part of their normal dental development. About 50% of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have these. Most of these spaces close naturally as the mouth and teeth develop. In some cases this gap does not close naturally and a dentists advice is sought.
Q What causes a diastema?
A There are many factors that can contribute to the development of a diastema.. Some of them include:
• Abnormal bone structure – sometimes the bone between the incisors will have a W-shaped defect – which can be seen on an x-ray. Such a defect will prevent the teeth from touching.
• Occasionally, there may be some extra tissue between the teeth which prevents them from touching.
• If you bite your lower lip it may aggravate such a problem.
• If your teeth have developed in such a way so as to allow space for the front teeth to drift apart.
• If you have a large tongue it may push the teeth forward.
This is not an extensive list, but covers the main causes.
Q How will this gap affect me?
A A gap between children’s teeth often causes concern. It can have an effect on speech – making ‘s;’ sounds difficult to pronounce, aesthetics, balance and social behaviour.
Q What can a dentist do for me?
A There are many innovative treatments available – restorative, surgery and orthodontic. Treatment choices vary, and can only be offered after the correct diagnosis has been made. A dentist will need to look closely at the patients medical and dental history, do x rays and clinical examinations and in some cases even do a tooth size evaluation. Contributing factors may also need to be considered. These include spacing of teeth in the mouth, vertical tooth overlaps, normal growth and development, tooth size and tooth angles. The best treatment for the particular patient needs to be chosen. It is often more important to treat the cause of the diastema, rather than simply focusing on correcting the gap.
Q How will my teeth be prepared?
A The surface of your tooth will need to be roughened a little so as to give the veneer more chance of bonding to your enamel. A mould will be made of your tooth and a porcelain veneer made using this to make a perfect fitting veneer. Veneers can be trimmed and shaped a little more by your dentist to make them look perfect.
Q Will it be painful?
A You teeth will be sensitive to cold for a while.
Q How long will the veneer last?
A Veneers can last for many years – but, they are not indestructible and can be chipped or damaged if treated roughly.
Q What is a veneer?
A A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain.
Q What are the advantages of veneers?
A Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy, and because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond (rather like super-glue) very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
Q When would I need a veneer?
A Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured or stained tooth or to lighten front teeth (usually the upper ones) generally. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
Q What about alternatives?
A A natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent where the tooth supports the filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a join between the tooth and the filling material. Crowns are used for teeth that need to be strengthened – either because they have broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.
Q How long will a veneer last?
A Veneers should last for many years, but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Your dentist will tell you how long each individual veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
Q How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
A Some of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an ‘impression’. This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.
Q How long will it take?
A A veneer takes at least two visits; the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Q Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?
A Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth.
Q What happens after the veneer is fitted?
A Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. Your dentist will probably want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted, and to make sure that you are happy with it.
Q How much will it cost?
A You can have veneers on the NHS. However, many dentists prefer to provide cosmetic treatment privately. It is important to discuss charges and treatment options with your dentist before starting treatment.