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1. A-Z

 

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2. Subject Questions and Answers

Dental Veneers

  1. What is a porcelain veneer restoration?
  2. When will I need a veneer?
  3. Why is porcelain the best material for a veneer?
  4. What steps are taken in having a veneer made?
  5. Is it painful to have a veneer made?
  6. How careful must I be with my new veneers?
  7. Why choose a veneer instead of a replacement crown?
  8. Can veneers make a big difference to my appearance?

 
1. What is a porcelain veneer restoration?

  • A veneer is a thin facing of porcelain that is bonded to the front visible surface of a tooth.
  • It is similar to a false fingernail.
  • The appearance of a tooth can be dramatically improved by a veneer restoration.
  • It can change the colour, shape and size of a tooth.
  • Discoloured teeth can be permanently whitened with a veneer.

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Porcelain veneer shell

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2. When will I need a veneer?

  • Porcelain veneers are ideal for front teeth if you have any of the following:
    • Stained and discoloured teeth.
    • Fillings that are large and noticeable.
    • Chipped teeth.
    • Spaces between the teeth.
    • Slightly crooked teeth.
    • Teeth that are too short, too long, or too wide.

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Before
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Prepared teeth on a cast
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After

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3. Why is porcelain the best material for a veneer?

  • Porcelain has a translucency and lustre that cannot be equalled by any other material. It closely resembles the enamel of a tooth.
    • Perfect colour matching to existing teeth is possible with a veneer.
    • A porcelain veneer is a very strong and durable tooth restoration.
    • Although a veneer is very thin, it becomes as strong as the enamel of the tooth. It is strengthened by being fused or bonded to the tooth.
    • It cannot be stained and will not discolour.
    • A porcelain veneer is very thin and as a result very little tooth material has to be trimmed away to accommodate it.
  • A veneer can also be made of a plastic material, but this can not match the aesthetics and durability of porcelain. Temporary veneers are made of acrylic.

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4. What steps are taken in having a veneer made?

  • The dentist trims down the front surface of the tooth, and takes an impression of the prepared tooth.
  • The impression is sent to a dental technician who makes the porcelain veneer.
  • As very little tooth material is removed in the process, a temporary veneer may not be necessary.
    If the prepared tooth is particularly sensitive a temporary acrylic veneer will sometimes be needed. This is to protect the trimmed down tooth while the porcelain veneer is being made.
  • Finally, the dentist will bond (cement) the attractive natural-looking porcelain veneer to the tooth.

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Preparation
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Veneer
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After

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5. Is it painful to have a veneer made?

  • It is not a painful procedure:
    • A small amount of trimming of the tooth is needed for a veneer.
    • This is not painful but the trimming at the gum margin may be sensitive.
    • A local anaesthetic can make it a painless experience.
    • There may be some sensitivity to hot and cold after the preparation and before the final fitting of the veneer.
    • A temporary veneer may be fitted if the prepared tooth is particularly sensitive or additional repair work is needed.
    • The temporary veneer will protect the tooth, and prevent sensitivity.
    • Before the preparation of the veneer is started any decay must be removed, and the tooth repaired.
    • After the veneer is fitted, the tooth may be sensitive for a few days. This will soon pass.

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6. How careful must I be with my new veneers?

  • Veneers are very strong and durable and cannot be damaged easily.
  • Eating will not be affected, but it is not advisable to bite or chew hard sweets or chicken bones with the veneered teeth.
  • The bright lustre of a veneer can be preserved by using a non-abrasive toothpaste.

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7. Why choose a veneer instead of a replacement crown?

  • Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are the most aesthetic of the cosmetic restorations.
  • The main advantage of a veneer over a crown is in the preparation.
    A veneer requires only a very thin layer of enamel to be trimmed from the front visible surface of a tooth. The time spent in the dental chair is much shorter as a result.
  • A replacement crown requires the trimming of the whole tooth. A much larger quantity of tooth is lost in this preparation.
  • It is possible and easier to keep the original shape and size of a natural tooth with a veneer. The procedure is as follows:
    • An exact copy of the original tooth is made for the technician to work from.
    • This is done by taking an impression of the natural tooth before the dentist begins the preparation.
    • Every detail of the tooth is copied in this way.
  • A veneer is less expensive than a crown, and makes cosmetic dentistry more affordable.

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Preparation difference
Veneer on left
Crown in the middle

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8. Can veneers make a big difference to my appearance?

  • Veneers are able to transform the appearance of all the front teeth.
  • Discoloured teeth are very successfully changed to look natural and appealing.

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Upper teeth veneered
Lowers to be done
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Upper veneers
Lower staining

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