Are your teeth chipped, cracked, crooked, or stained? then veneers may be your ideal solution and you may be interested in understanding what dental veneers are and how they work.
We caught up with the lovely Dr Monica Collins to get her insights on veneers in order to help our patients to gain a better understanding.
Q & A with Dr Monica - Everything You Need to Know About Veneers
Q. What are veneers?A. Veneers are thin, custom-made tooth-coloured shells that are bonded to the front surface of teeth. They are considered a cosmetic treatment and mimic the appearance of natural teeth whilst improving their colour, shape, size, or length.
Q. When are veneers suitable for patients?A. Veneers are often suggested in cases of moderate to severe staining of teeth which cannot be masked by bleaching (teeth whitening) alone. They are a great treatment option when anterior teeth are slightly worn and chipped or a tooth is misshapen, to cosmetically improve a patient's smile. Many patients will also incorporate veneers into the end of a larger treatment plan for example, once their fixed braces or Invisalign treatment is completed and to achieve the perfect result, veneers may be added at this point.
Q. How do veneers work?A. Veneers are a layer of material that sits over the front of a tooth to enhance its aesthetics and/or protect it.
Q. What does the treatment involve?A. A lot of planning goes into creating the perfect veneers. An initial appointment with the dentist will usually involve the patient expressing their areas of concern and highlighting their expectations. The dentist will then suggest several options, one of which may be veneers and the type of material to be used for the veneers.
The number of veneers to be used will be dependent on each individual case. Either at the first or a subsequent appointment the records required to plan the veneers are gathered including photos, X-rays, 3d models, measurements of the gum and final shade. The records are either sent to a lab or a digital smile lab to create a model of the future veneers.
At the next appointment, the lab designed teeth are placed over the patient's natural teeth with a temporary material to show the patient how their new smile will look in their mouth, this is called a mock-up. If the patient is happy to proceed, the mock-up material is removed, and the preparations can begin.
Q. What are the types of veneers and what does the treatment involve?A. There are two main types of veneers:
Composite resin veneers are usually applied directly to the tooth after little or no preparation of the tooth structure. They are normally built up by hand by the clinician and can take anywhere between 30-45 mins per tooth. The procedure usually, but not always, involves numbing the tooth and surrounding gum tissue for patient comfort before a slight bevelling of the front surface of the tooth is undertaken. After the surface of the tooth has been prepared (this might not always be required) the tooth is then ready for the white composite resin filling material to be applied in layers and shaped over the front surface of the tooth. Finally, the composite resin is shaped and polished so that it may blend in with the surrounding teeth.
Porcelain veneers are lab made in a white ceramic material and cemented on to the front surface of a tooth. The first stage will involve numbing the patient and preparing the front area of the tooth by slightly reducing its structure to allow the veneer to fit tightly over the underlying tooth. The freshly prepared tooth is covered with a temporary veneer while the lab makes the permanent veneer. This process can take anywhere between 45-75 mins per tooth and is painless with help from local anaesthetic. It is after this stage that the patient may experience mild sensitivity to hot and cold foods for a couple of days which can be managed with painkillers such as paracetamol and Neurofen. After two weeks the new, permanent veneer is then cemented onto the tooth -taking around 20 mins per tooth. The patient will be instructed on how to care for the new teeth and will be encouraged to attend regular check-ups where the veneers will be assessed.
Q. Do veneers hurt?A. Most patients report no pain or discomfort at all during treatment. This is because the procedure is minimally invasive. Your dentist will run you through the entire treatment and will be there with you to keep to calm and relaxed.
Q. How much do veneers cost?A. The price of dental veneers will be influenced by several factors, including the type of veneer (porcelain or composite) and how many teeth require veneers. Your dentist will explain all options. At Saratoga Dental we are pleased to be able to offer our patients payment plan options for their added convenience. We love to work with our Central Coast commun
Find out more about veneers
The team at Saratoga Dental are here to provide you with all the information that you need and will help you to understand if this is the right option for you.
Dental veneers can instantly brighten, straighten, and perfect your smile. Book a consultation today, call (02) 4363 1449.
If you've enjoyed hearing from Dr Monica, be sure to check out her piece on Cosmetic Dentistry
Resources: Australian Dental Association