Your smile is often seen as the gateway to your personality. If you have ever considered improving your smile, dental veneers can be a great solution for you.
What are the different types of dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin which your dentist adheres to the front surfaces of your teeth.
Composite veneers (otherwise known as no-prep veneers) are more conservative than porcelain veneers. This is because your dentist doesn’t need to prepare your teeth, fitting the veneers generally requires only a single treatment session, composite veneers are cheaper than porcelain and the treatment is reversible.
Porcelain veneers are custom fabricated in a laboratory. In order to make space for the porcelain, your dentist will remove a minimal layer of enamel from the front surfaces of your teeth, and to allow for this you need a good amount of healthy tooth enamel. Fitting these veneers requires multiple appointments and they are not reversible once placed; however, porcelain veneers can generally achieve superior cosmetic results and are stronger and longer lasting, not requiring replacement as readily as composite veneers.
Why would I need dental veneers?
Veneers are a highly versatile cosmetic dental treatment option, particularly as both kinds can mask a range of dental defects.
If you have chipped or broken teeth your dentist will assess the severity of the damage and may recommend either composite veneers or porcelain veneers, both of which can be custom made to match your existing teeth and smile.
Severely stained or discoloured teeth that don’t respond to tooth whitening procedures can also be enhanced by the use of dental veneers. Porcelain veneers, in particular, succeed in covering internally discoloured teeth to give you a bright, natural smile. Veneer colour can be custom selected by you, in consultation with your dentist, to give your teeth a natural and uniform appearance.
Many people have gaps between their teeth that make them self-conscious. Once your dentist has evaluated your smile, they can give you professional advice on whether composite or porcelain veneers are the best treatment option for your particular case.
Teeth that have been worn down – generally due to age or, more commonly, to bruxism (tooth clenching and grinding) – can also be rebuilt with the use of dental veneers to restore the teeth to their former shapes and sizes.
Finally, veneers can be used as a dental treatment option for uneven, mildly crowded or irregularly shaped teeth. In particular, for people not wishing to undertake orthodontic treatment with braces, veneers can produce an appealing, even smile.
How long do they last?
While both composite and porcelain veneers are durable and comfortable and relatively easy to maintain, the longevity of your veneers depends on your adoption of routine oral hygiene practices and on maintaining excellent general oral health.
The best aesthetic results are likely to be achieved by a dentist with a background in cosmetic dentistry and veneer treatments. Therefore it is important to be selective and find the right dentist to determine whether veneers are the right treatment option for improving and revitalising your smile.
Dr Kristina Cakarovski
BBiomed (Hons) (Melb), BDent (Hons) (Syd)