Increasingly, dental veneers are becoming a more and more popular addition to the roster of common procedures performed in surgeries worldwide. This simple process can provide great benefits to overall oral health and, for the most part, is inexpensive and easy to carry out. Most dentists offer veneers, and so it should be no great difficulty for anyone who requires them to find a surgery which can provide assistance.
In this guide, we’ll look at precisely what dental veneers are, the various types available, circumstances in which it is recommended that you should think of them, and costs across the UK.
What are Dental Veneers?
Known also as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates, teeth veneers are an incredibly thin, custom-made shell of natural-coloured material which are created to overlay the outer surface of teeth. As these appear to be the colour of healthy, white teeth, they can drastically improve cosmetic appearance, changing colour, size, shape or even length of the tooth to which they are affixed. Read more about dental implants and dentures.
What Types of Veneers Are There?
Typically, dental veneers are fashioned from porcelain, but they can also be comprised of resin composite materials. The benefits of porcelain veneers are many, but chief amongst them is their ability to naturally resist the kinds of straining to which natural dental tissue and resin composite materials are prone, as well as their more natural appearance with light-reflecting properties which fully mimic natural teeth.
The benefits of teeth veneers created out of resin is that they are typically far thinner and require significantly less removal of the existing tooth before the veneer is bonded to it. It is important to note, though, that the decision as to which type of veneer is right for you should be one which you make in conjunction with your dentist, as there may be special circumstances which predispose you towards one or the other.
What Are Dental Veneers For?
The simple, routine procedure by which dental veneers are bonded to existing dental tissue is used to fix a whole host of problems, both the purely cosmetic and those with more serious ramifications to overall oral hygiene and health. One of the primary reasons for which porcelain veneers may be sought is the simple matter of dental discolouration, either because of treatments such as root canal, or stains from various substances which exist routinely in food and drink. Similarly, large fillings may cause discolouration which can easily be solved using a properly-fitted dental veneer.
Another primary benefit of the dental veneer option is circumstances in which teeth are somehow damaged or worn down, as well as those in which—for whatever reason—teeth are misaligned, uneven, or perhaps irregularly shaped with gaps, bulges, or other peculiarities between them. It is a relatively simple matter of bonding a veneer to a chipped tooth in order for it to appear naturally complete once more, and as the porcelain covers the entire tooth, it typically ensures against further damage by strengthening the existing dental matter substantially.
In all these conditions and more, dental veneers prove a cost-effective, easy to apply, and long-lasting solution the benefits of which can be seen immediately in both a cosmetic and medical sense.
What is the Process for Applying Dental Veneers?
The first step in this relatively simple and quick process is preparing the teeth. Some of the outer enamel surface may be removed from the original tooth so that there is plenty of space for the veneer to be bonded permanently in place later on in the procedure. The amount of this outer surface which will be removed is extremely minimal, and will be almost exactly the same thickness as the veneer which is later added on to it: for that reason, you won’t find the veneer to cause any particular discomfort, or to feel in any way unusually large or small compared to the pre-existing tooth. read here about cosmetic dentistry procedures to get an overall understanding.
During this preparatory stage, a local anaesthetic may be administered at the discretion of your dental practitioner. This is carried out through a simple, mostly painless injection into the mouth itself, and will ensure that there is absolutely no discomfort during the procedure. Again, this may not always be necessary, and any effects will wear off in a matter of mere hours.
Once this preparation has been completed, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This is essentially a detailed mould of your mouth which can be used to ensure that the veneer is crafted to perfectly fit the area to which it is going to be affixed. The colour of the teeth which surround the area in which the veneer is to be fitted will typically be noted using a shade guide, and this is simply to make certain that the dental veneer does not appear at all out of place amidst the rest of your teeth.
It is unlikely that you will need to wear a temporary dental veneer after your preparation visit is completed. This is because the removal of dental tissue is so minimal that it probably will not have much (if any) impact on your day-to-day life. If you feel that it may cause discomfort or alter significantly the way in which you carry out normal activities during the time between your preparation visit and the final procedure itself, then you can usually request that a temporary veneer is fitted. Your tooth will not appear noticeably different following your preparatory visit, and the only change you are likely to notice is that it may feel marginally more rough against your tongue.
The bonding process itself is relatively straightforward and consists primarily of ensuring that the veneer fits comfortably into the place it has been designed to fit. Your tooth will be cleaned thoroughly, and a special form of cement is will be applied to the veneer which is, in turn, applied to the tooth itself. Once in the correct position, a special beam of light is applied to the veneer which activates the chemicals inside the cement material, causing the final bonding to take place. Excess cement is then removed from the area, and final adjustments are made to ensure that both the fit and aesthetic are optimal for the patient. You may be asked to return for a follow-up to ensure that everything is working out correctly.
Porcelain Veneers Before and After
As mentioned above, before your dental veneers are fitted, teeth may be misaligned, chipped, or discoloured. The extent to which this misalignment, damage to the tooth, or discoloration will be altered depends largely on how severe it was before the veneers are applied to the relevant area.
After the veneers have been bonded, teeth will appear naturally white, healthy, and fully-formed. Any issues with alignment or relative sizing will be solved, and any damage will be visibly rectified.
How Much Do Veneers Cost?
Whilst the precise amount will vary from dentist to dentist, there are certain consistencies which will generally exist regardless of which practice you choose to attend. Pricing is typically on a per-tooth basis, and higher prices will usually indicate a more experienced technician, or a more high quality veneer itself. You can expect to pay between £150-£250 per tooth for dental veneers in the UK, although this figure can be significantly higher or lower depending on the practice itself, or the circumstances and requirements particular to your veneer. It is, therefore, always worth checking with local practices to ensure that you are fully aware of the amount entailed by the procedure, and to understand the rationale behind the different prices available at different dental surgeries.
A Final Word
Dental veneers, although a comparatively simple and inexpensive treatment, can have a long-lasting, deep-rooted impact on your day-to-day life. The cosmetic benefits alone are enough that many people opt to attain veneers simply to improve their quality of life by working first on the quality of their smile, and the fact that chipped or discoloured teeth can be so easily repaired makes this an extremely popular treatment.
Requiring just two visits to the dentist, and with minimal discomfort throughout, it is an extremely easy and cost-effective way to address problems of cosmetic oral wellbeing, even if they are caused by medial issues or past procedures such as root canal or large fillings which have caused discolouration of the tooth itself. As ever, it is well worth shopping around somewhat in order to find the best prices relative to the best standard of care: be sure that you understand the type of veneer you can expect to have fitted, as well as the experience of the person who will be fitting it for you before you agree to submit to the procedure.
Of course, whilst veneers can chip and break just as real teeth do, they will usually last for many, many years, and it is unusual that you should have any problems with the veneer itself. If any small chips do occur, these can be easily remedied, or a replacement veneer fitted if absolutely necessary.