What are Veneers?

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What are Veneers?
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Veneers can be a good option for people with minor cosmetic issues, however, for more severe cases, orthodontic treatment or dental crowns may be recommended.

30 January 2023

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells of porcelain or composite material that are placed over the surface of a tooth to enhance its appearance and correct various dental issues such as discolouration, chips, gaps, and misalignment. They are a popular cosmetic dentistry option that can give you a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Veneers are considered a long-term solution and can last for several years, with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. They are also a less invasive alternative to dental crowns, but they can’t be used for every case. 

It’s important to note that veneers are not reversible and once the tooth enamel is removed, it cannot be restored. Therefore, a patient should have a clear understanding of the procedure, the cost and the potential risks before deciding to have veneers. It is advisable to consult with a dentist at Innovative Dental to determine the best type of veneer for your individual needs and goals as it has its own benefits and drawbacks. 

Types of Dental Veneers

The main types of veneers are porcelain and composite:

  • Porcelain veneers: made from a thin layer of custom-made porcelain, are highly durable and resistant to staining and discolouration and are often considered more natural-looking. However, they require more tooth reduction than composite veneers.
    Porcelain veneers are highly durable and resistant to staining and discolouration, which is why they are often considered to be more natural-looking than composite veneers. It is a type of ceramic that can be made to match the colour and translucency of natural teeth. Porcelain veneers can be customized in size, shape and colour to match your natural teeth and are very durable, they can last for 10-15 years or more with proper care. However, it requires more tooth reduction than composite veneers, meaning that more of the natural tooth structure must be removed to place them
  • Composite veneers: also known as direct veneers are made from a tooth-coloured resin material and placed directly on the tooth surface. They are less invasive, require minimal tooth reduction, and can be completed in one visit. However, they may be less durable and requires more frequent replacement than porcelain veneers.
    Composite veneers are less invasive than porcelain veneers because they require minimal tooth reduction and can be completed in one visit. They are also less expensive than porcelain veneers. However, it may be less durable than porcelain veneers and may require more frequent replacement. They also may not be as resistant to staining as porcelain veneers. It’s important to note that composite veneers can be a good option for minor cosmetic issues, but for more severe cases, porcelain veneers may be recommended.

Process of Placing Veneers

The process of placing veneers typically involves several steps, including consultation, preparation, impressions, bonding, and polishing. The specific steps may vary depending on the type of veneer being used (porcelain or composite) and the specific needs of the patient.

Consultation: The first step in the veneer placement process is to consult with a dentist. During this visit, the dentist will examine the teeth and discuss the patient’s goals and expectations for the treatment. The dentist will also explain the different options available and make recommendations based on the patient’s individual needs and goals. 

Preparation: The next step is to prepare the tooth or teeth for the veneer. This may involve removing a small amount of tooth enamel to make room for the veneer. This step is known as tooth reduction, and it is necessary to ensure that the veneer fits properly and looks natural. In the case of composite veneers, this step is minimal as the veneer is added directly to the tooth surface.

Impressions/Scan: After preparing the tooth, the dentist will take an impression or scan it with the 3D scanner. This will be sent to the technician to create custom-made veneers that will fit perfectly on the patient’s tooth. In the case of composite veneers, this step is skipped.

Bonding: Once the veneer is ready, the dentist will clean and etch the tooth surface, and apply a special adhesive to the back of the veneer. The veneer will then be placed on the tooth and a special light will be used to harden the adhesive. In the case of composite veneers, the dentist will add the composite material directly to the tooth surface and shape it to the desired appearance.

Polishing: The final step is to shape and polish the veneer to match the shape and contour of the surrounding teeth. This step is important to ensure that the veneer blends seamlessly with the patient’s natural teeth.

The entire process of placing veneers may take two or more visits to the dentist, with a waiting period between preparation and bonding. After the veneers are placed, the patient will need to follow proper oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, to ensure that the veneers last as long as possible. Regular dental checkups will also be important to monitor the veneers and address any issues that may arise. 

When Is a Dental Veneer Needed? 

Veneers may be recommended by a dentist to address a variety of dental issues.

  • Discolouration: Veneers can be used to mask tooth discolouration caused by genetics, medications, or certain foods and drinks.
  • Chips and cracks: Veneers can be used to repair small chips and cracks in the teeth.
  • Misalignment: Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of slightly misaligned teeth.
  • Gaps: Veneers can be used to close small gaps between the teeth.
  • Worn teeth: Veneers can be used to restore the shape and size of worn-down teeth.
  • Broken or irregularly shaped teeth: Veneers can be used to improve the shape, size and colour of irregular or broken teeth.

Veneers can be a good option for people with minor cosmetic issues, however, for more severe cases, orthodontic treatment or dental crowns may be recommended. It’s important to consult with a dentist to determine the best option for your specific case. 

Veneer AfterCare 

After getting veneers, it’s important to take proper care of them to ensure that they last as long as possible. The following are some tips for veneer aftercare: 

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. 
  • Avoid biting on hard objects: Avoid biting on hard objects such as pens, fingernails, and ice, as they can chip or damage the veneers. 
  • Limit stain-causing foods and drinks: Limit your consumption of stain-causing foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to prevent staining and discolouration of the veneers. 
  • Wear a mouthguard: If you grind or clench your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to protect your veneers from damage. 
  • Regular dental checkups: Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to ensure that your veneers are in good condition and to address any issues that may arise. 
  • Be careful with whitening products: Avoid using over-the-counter whitening products as they may not be compatible with veneers and can cause damage. It’s better to consult with your dentist before using any whitening products. 

By following these tips and maintaining good oral hygiene, veneers can last for several years. However, it’s important to note that veneers may need to be replaced or repaired over time due to wear and tear. It’s also important to consult with a dentist if you have any concerns or issues with your veneers 

The Innovative Dental Edge 

If you’re in need of veneers, choose a practice with years or experience, advanced equipment and staff that are committed to achieving the best results for you.  

At Innovative Dental Invisalign, we utilize the latest technology to gain an in-depth understanding of your oral health. To book your appointment today, contact us at (03) 9346 8333 or click here to make an online booking. 

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