Options! We all love those. But with options comes decisions. And making decisions is anything but simple. So how about I simplify the veneers decision for you? I’ll give you some background information, pros and cons, and you can walk away from this blog and make an informed decision. Remember, if you would like me to check your teeth out, feel free to book in a consultation at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.
What are veneers?
A veneer is a tooth-coloured cover or a shell that sits over the top of your tooth. Using this cosmetic tool, we can enhance shape, colour and alignment of your teeth. In some instances, it can even strengthen very weak teeth. There are two types of veneers available: porcelain and composite resin. Getting porcelain veneers is similar in some ways to getting acrylic nails. It involves shaving a little off your natural tooth, putting a special glue on the veneer and gluing it onto your tooth, then setting it under a blue light and finally polishing it. A composite resin veneer is a tooth-coloured filling glued directly onto your tooth so no shaving of your tooth is required.
The less invasive option
Composite resin veneers are a great way to get started with veneers. Unlike porcelain veneers, no cutting of your tooth is involved and it can be done in one appointment. Composite resin refers to the tooth-coloured filling material used to fix and fill your teeth. It is soft and feels like putty so it is easy to layer over the tops of your tooth. A special glue allows it to stick onto your tooth and is hardened on the spot using a blue light. A finished composite resin veneer feels very hard – like a fingernail and feels smooth.
- least expensive veneer option (usually half the price of porcelain veneers)
- one appointment only
- preserves your tooth structure
- will not feel as silky smooth as porcelain
- not as strong as porcelain so more likely to fracture
- the edges can stain
These gems are formed by a laboratory technician by melting porcelain powders in a high temperature furnace. They are custom-made to fit your tooth. When done over two appointments, the first appointment involves your dentist reshaping your tooth. This is important to allow enough room and retention for the porcelain veneer. A mold of your tooth is taken and sent to a lab which can then use this mold to make a well-fitted veneer for your tooth. While this veneer is being made, you have a temporary veneer over your tooth. The veneer is glued onto your tooth during your second visit.
- do not stain
- high surface gloss
- cutting of the tooth is irreversible
- a small percentage will come unstuck and break
- more expensive
Dr Zena’s Veneer Tips
- Veneers cannot be whitened – make sure if you’re interested in whitening, that you do this first. When it comes to choosing your veneer colour, spend the time with your dentist discussing the possibility of whitening beforehand.
- Staining – with composite resin veneers, surface stains may arise after a few years. These stains can be minimised by coming in regularly every 6 months for a clean at your dentist. If they do build up, your dentist can also remove them with a special polishing paste.
- Crooked teeth – if teeth alignment is an issue, do a short course of Invisalign treatment first. Not only will you fix the position of your teeth, but your veneers will actually look in proportion to one another.
- Oral hygiene – flossing or using interdental tools is absolutely necessary. If your gums get red, swollen or start to bleed, this is a sign you need to floss and brush more. Please do this gently!
- Eating and habits – minimise high impact forces caused by doing things such as nail-biting, pen chewing, cutting string or tape or opening bottles with your front teeth. Take care not to bite on ice, meat bones or stone fruit on your front teeth as veneers are not designed for such high stress usage.
- Grinding is an issue – attention grinders: invest in a night guard. The amount of pressure placed on your teeth at night can wear your opposing teeth down as well as break your veneers! You will spend a lot of money getting fillings and cracked teeth fixed over the course of your life unless you protect them with a nightguard.
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