A dental veneer is a thin cosmetic restoration (made of porcelain or composite) that’s bonded to the front of the teeth in your ‘smile zone.’ That is, the ones that show when you’re smiling or laughing. When paired together, the shape and colour of the individual veneers create the appearance of teeth that are;
– Properly shaped/sized
– Healthier looking
– Free of gaps/crowding
Depending on the width of your smile, you may benefit from between 6-10 veneers on average. However, single veneers are occasionally used for specific teeth with aesthetic concerns (such as staining or chipped enamel.) But for the best results or to make your overall smile look straighter, several veneers are placed along your upper front teeth. It’s less common to put them on lower front teeth, but there are instances where the circumstances do call for them.
How Long do Veneers Last?
Properly cared for, veneers can last for several years. Modern porcelain designs can easily last for 10 years or longer. Daily brushing and flossing are essential to preventing any decay or gum disease from forming on those teeth, as those infections can jeopardise the integrity of your smile.
Can Dental Veneers be Removed?
Any time a veneer is removed or comes off, it will need to be replaced with a new one or something more comprehensive, like a crown. Since your tooth is slightly adjusted to make room for the veneer, you don’t want to leave it without some type of a protective cover. Otherwise your teeth can become sensitive, stain easily, or not look the way you want them to.
However, alternative veneers such as “no prep” designs can be removed at any time. They are bonded directly over fully intact teeth, so there’s no adjustment to your natural tooth shape. But not everyone qualifies for no prep veneers, so it’s important to discuss your concerns with our dentist in advance.
Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers
The majority of veneers are either traditional porcelain, or composite.
Porcelain dental veneers are the most durable. Their handcrafted design allows for optimal aesthetics and integrity, so that you can enjoy a slightly translucent appearance that looks as natural as possible. Since porcelain veneers are made by hand at a lab, the process takes a couple of appointments to complete. They also allow for minimal enamel adjustments. The material is less porous, making it more resistant to staining.
On the other hand, composite veneers are a same-day treatment that’s designed and placed at the dentist’s office. Although an attractive option, this type of veneer is best for scenarios where only one or two teeth are involved. Composite is not as durable as porcelain, so it’s more susceptible to wear. It’s also more porous, making it prone to additional stain build-up from everyday foods and beverages. But the single-visit treatment can be an excellent choice if you need a fast aesthetic treatment for a problematic tooth.
Can Veneers be Used for Crooked Teeth?
Cosmetic veneers are an excellent option for correcting the appearance of crooked teeth. Depending on the severity of your crowding or spaces between teeth, porcelain veneer designs may be the best choice. Our Caulfield dentists can slightly adjust the outer layer of your enamel so that the veneer bonds onto the front surface. That way when several are placed side-by-side, it makes your smile look straighter without any braces.
Some people even refer to veneers as “instant braces” because of their ability to create the illusion of teeth straightening without wearing Invisalign, braces, or any orthodontic appliances.
Candidates for Dental Veneers
Who qualifies for dental veneers? The first criteria are that your teeth are fully developed (adults only) and free of active decay or gum disease. If any infection is present, that area will need to be treated prior to initiating any type of smile makeover measures.
Veneers are ideal for our patients who want to enhance the appearance of their healthy smile. So, if you have teeth with small gaps between them, mild to moderate crowding, uneven edges, or misshaped enamel, veneers could be the best and fastest solution to get the white, uniform appearance that you’re looking for.
Relatively speaking, cosmetic veneers can give you the fastest smile makeover results. Our patients invest in veneers for a number of different reasons. It may be that they’re self-conscious or embarrassed about the way their smile is shaped and they want to have the confidence of having beautiful teeth. Or perhaps there are surface irregularities that cannot be correct with other interceptive measures.
If you have a child or teen with a tooth that’s misshaped, opting for composite bonding may be the best interim solution until their adult smile is fully developed.
Veneer Care and Maintenance
Although veneers cannot develop decay, it’s important to maintain them so that the underlying tooth stays healthy. Regular maintenance will keep your veneers looking brighter, longer.
Brush your teeth with a non-abrasive toothpaste twice per day, using a soft manual or electric toothbrush. Pay particular attention to the gum lines. Next, floss around each tooth, keeping the string taught against your tooth and gently rubbing up and down the side of the veneer, extending slightly just under your gum tissues.
Plan to keep regular checkups to have your teeth and veneers cleaned, removing any build-up or stain particles that accumulated since your last scale and clean. To limit stain, try to avoid dark liquids — such as tea or coffee — and rinse your mouth out with water each time you drink them. Sipping through a straw can also help reduce stain contact with your veneers.
Wearing a night guard while you sleep can help prevent any unwanted wear or chipping (from grinding or clenching). Additionally, you’ll want to schedule routine scale and cleans to have the veneers polished and evaluated.
How Much do Veneers Cost?
Investing in dental veneers is an excellent way to help you look your best. The price for veneers depends on several factors, including the type of veneer design that you choose (porcelain vs. composite) as well as the number you need. During your smile makeover evaluation, our dentists will discuss these factors with you so that you can choose the best option for your situation.
From there, we’ll create a customised care plan for you to consider, which outlines the appointments and costs involved. That way you’ll know exactly what to expect before you commit to any type of treatment. Flexible financing plans are available so that you can get started whenever you’re ready.
What to Expect
Depending on which type of veneers you decide to get, here’s what you can expect your appointment to look like.
Porcelain Veneer Treatment: Traditional veneers require a two-visit process. During the first appointment, we’ll numb your teeth with local anaesthetic, then slightly adjust the enamel to make room for the veneer to fit over your teeth (that way the final restoration doesn’t look bulky.) Next, we take an impression of your teeth and send it to our lab, who will make the permanent veneers from a mould of your bite. In the meantime, we’ll fit you with a set of temporary veneers to wear while the final ones are being designed. In some cases, a “wax up” is created, giving you the chance to preview the final veneers design before they’re made.
Once everything is ready, we have you return for a second appointment (usually two weeks later) to remove the temporary veneers and bond the permanent ones in place.
If you were to get “no prep” veneers, the process is similar, except there’s no numbing, adjusting your enamel, or wearing temporary veneers. But your bite will need to be shaped a specific way in order to qualify for this alternative design.
Same Day Veneer Treatment: Local anaesthetic is used to numb your tooth, preventing any sensitivity or irritation. Then your tooth is gently etched and adjusted to allow an optimal bonding surface. Next, we select the best shade of composite that blends in with your adjacent teeth. The material is then shaped over your tooth by hand, creating the desired contour, width, and length. Once we’re happy with the way the composite looks, we’ll use a bright light to cure the material permanently in place.
Best Dental Veneers Dentist
When you’re looking for a dental veneers provider, consider asking to see before and after photographs of cosmetic cases they’ve completed. Chances are, you’ll be able to find a case that’s similar to yours, so that you know what you can expect. Having a keen eye for detail is an important aspect of finding a cosmetic dental provider who meets your needs.
Caulfield Dental Veneers
Our practice is excited to provide in-house cosmetic dental veneers to patients who qualify. If you’re considering a smile makeover, we encourage you to request a consultation to talk through your goals, needs, and wants. From there, we’ll be by your side to create a customised plan that fits your lifestyle.
An Investment in Yourself
Contact us today on 03 9533 0996 or contacting us online. to learn what dental veneers can do for you. We’re happy to answer all of your dental veneers questions.