Veneers – what are they?

Veneers can be used to improve the colour, shape and spacing of your teeth, and also to fix damaged, cracked or broken teeth; they are widely available. They are wafer thin, tooth-coloured laminates which are cemented onto the tooth.

They can be made of porcelain or composite bonding material. Porcelain is quite a bit more expensive than composite bonding material, but it does tend to last longer and gives a more natural finish. Continue reading to see what veneers are.

What is involved during the procedure?

After your consultation, the dentist will give you a local anaesthetic and then begin reshaping the teeth. The dentist will remove a portion from the front of the tooth which is the same thickness as the veneer.

Next, impressions will be taken to be sent off to a lab where they use them as a guide to make veneers that fit your teeth perfectly. This can take up to three weeks and your dentist might give you temporary veneers while you’re waiting (but not all dentists offer these).

When your veneers are ready, the dentist will clean and roughen the surface of your teeth to create a good surface to bond to. This is done with an acid gel. The veneers are then put into place and held with dental cement, and then a curing light is used to activate the cement so that the veneers stay put. Find out more.

Things you should note

Veneers need to be replaced fairly regularly every five to ten years with porcelain and every two years or so with composite bonding material. See more information.

However, a dentist we interview mentioned “they are a permanent fixture because the tooth has to be altered to have them put on. Veneers can fall off, but this shouldn’t happen often. If it does, keep hold of the veneer and the dentist will cement it back into place”.

Get in touch with us for more health advice.