What is a veneer ?

A veneer is a thin layer of a tooth-coloured material that is stuck over the front surface of your tooth to change its appearance. Veneers are glued in place with a strong bonding material and once in place they can last for many years depending on wear and tear.

Why do l need this procedure ?

Veneers are used to repair and / or improve the appearance of:

  • A very stained tooth, whether this has been caused by decay or an accident.

  • A badly chipped tooth

  • A tooth that is slightly out of position

  • Small gaps between your teeth where orthodontics (braces) is not indicated

Veneers can be made of :

  • Composite (tooth coloured material)

  • Porcelain.

Composite veneers are repairable and less destructive .However they can become stained over years and need to be polished. From time to time they can chip slightly but are easy to repair.

Porcelain veneers are highly polishable and “pretty”. However they are more destructive of tooth structure, are brittle and can break.

What are the benefits?

  • Veneers can help improve the appearance of your teeth.They do this by improving their colour and shape and sometimes their apparent visual position.

  • Veneers can last for many years providing that you brush and floss your teeth regularly.

What happens during the procedure ?

  • You will probably have a local anesthetic injection in your gum to reduce any discomfort you feel during the procedure.

  • On your first visit, we will check any fillings on your tooth.If your tooth is damaged, we will build it up with abonded restoration,

  • For porcelain veneers it will be necessary to remove some of the shiny outer enamel surface of each tooth you are having treated to make sure that it is possible to bond the veneer in place. We usually remove the minimum amount of enamel which will be related to the thickness of the veneer that is going to be fitted.

  • A soft mould able material will be used to make a replica of your prepared tooth. We also take an impression (mould) of your opposing teeth (the ones either above or below the tooth that you are having treated).

  • These impressions will be sent to the specialist dental laboratory where a dental technician uses them to make a customized veneer to fit your tooth. This will take about two weeks to make.

  • A temporary veneer will be on your tooth, to protect it and give it a reasonable appearance until your next visit, when the new porcelain veneers will be fitted.

  • On your second visit, we will show you the new veneer to check you are happy with it. If you are, we will treat the surface of your tooth with a mild acid before using tooth-coloured glue to bond the veneer to your tooth.

How long will the procedure take ?

For porcelain veneers, you will usually need at least two appointments. The first one is to prepare your tooth for the veneer and to match the shade; the second visit will be to fit it.

For composite veneers it is usual to do the procedure in one long appointment of one to three hours depending on the number of veneers you require.

What happens after the procedure ?

For composite veneers, we will probably want you to come back so that we can check and polish the composite veneers a week or so after it is fitted. Many veneers can last for many years but they can chip or break .A lot depends on what was left of the tooth before treatment. If your tooth gets small chips we can repair these or make a new composite veneer if needed.

Immediately after having composite veneers done you are requested to avoid drinks such as red wine other strong coloured foods such as curry and tobacco because they may stain or discolour your veneer. You should also avoid habits such as fingernail biting, grinding your teeth, chewing on ice or other hard objects as these can cause veneer to chip or peel off.

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and using TePe brushes on your teeth thoroughly.

Will l need further appointments ?

You will probably not need any further appointments unless your veneers need polishing or adjusting.

Are there any risks or side effects ?

    • Some sensitivity to hot or cold food may be experienced, but this should disappear in a couple of weeks. Your bite may be altered by building up other teeth to give space for the composite or porcelain veneers.

    • There is also a very small risk that you may swallow part of the veneer if it chips or falls off completely. This is not dangerous.

    • A natural-coloured filling material can be used to make repairs to front teeth.

    • Crowns can be used for teeth which have been more badly damaged by decay or an accident.

Tel: +44 (0)208 464 1329 to book an appointment.

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