Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers, from past to today’s practice at Caspian Dental Clinic

Dear readers, in keeping with the summer theme and desire for whiter, brighter smiles, I‘ve chosen the “dental veneers” for this week’s blog.


Veneers were invented by California dentist Charles Pincus in 1928 to be used for a film shoot for temporarily changing the appearance of actors' teeth. Later, in 1937 he fabricated acrylic veneers to be retained by denture adhesive, which were only cemented temporarily because there was very little adhesion. Today, with improved cements and dental materials, they typically last much longer. They may have to be replaced in this time due to cracking, leaking, chipping, discoloration, decay, shrinkage of the gum line and damage from injury or tooth grinding. Porcelain veneers are more durable and less likely to stain than veneers made of composite.


Dental health and veneers

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials, designed to cover the front of your teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth, changing their colour, shape, size, and/or length. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require less of the tooth surface to be removed before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material with your dentist.

What types of problems do dental veneers fix?

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

• Teeth that are discoloured

• Teeth that are worn down

• Teeth that are chipped or broken

• Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)

• Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)


What's the procedure for getting a dental veneer?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist:,one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

Diagnosis and treatment planning: This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and make impressions of your mouth and teeth. These models will be used to make a diagnostic model of your teeth

Preparation:To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about half a millimetre of enamel from the tooth surface, which is roughly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added. Before trimming off the enamel, you will be given local anaesthesia to numb the area. After the teeth are prepared, the dentist will then make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed, usually for an additional cost.

Bonding: Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and colour. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched, which roughens it to allow for a strong bonding process. A glue cement is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making final adjustments as necessary.

Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the veneer and to once again examine its placement.


What are the advantages of dental veneers?

Veneers offer the following advantages:

• They provide a natural tooth appearance

• Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well

• Porcelain veneers are stain resistant

• The colour can be selected to make dark teeth appear whiter

• Veneers generally don't require the extensive shaping that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.

What are the disadvantages of dental veneers?

The downsides to dental veneers include:

• The process is not reversible.

• Veneers cost more than composite resin bonding.

• Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.

• Because enamel has been removed, your teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.

• Veneers may not exactly match the colour of your other teeth and cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.

• Though not likely, veneers can dislodge and fall off. To minimise the chance of this occurring, do not bite your nails; chew on pencils, ice, or other hard objects; or otherwise put excessive pressure on your teeth.

• Teeth with veneers can still experience decay, possibly necessitating full coverage with a crown.

• Veneers are not a suitable choice for people with unhealthy teeth (for example, those with decay or active gum disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture, large dental fillings), or for those who have inadequate enamel on the tooth surface.

• People who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.


How long do dental veneers last?

Veneers generally last between five and ten years.


Do dental veneers require special care?

Continue to follow good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing as you normally would. Even though porcelain veneers resist stains, your dentist may recommend that you avoid stain-causing foods and drinks (for example, coffee, tea, or red wine). Your dentist may recommend the use of a night guard, or splint while sleeping. This will protect your lower teeth from the effects of the porcelain grinding on the enamel. Even if you do not knowingly grind your teeth, porcelain is damaging to enamel during even slight grinding of the teeth. Veneers are designed to last between 5 to 10 years. Regular cleanings from your dental hygienist are still recommended, along with regular dental checkups.


Are there alternatives to dental veneers?

Yes, alternatives to veneers include bondings, crowns or short term orthodontic treatments to straighten the teeth, then followed by teeth whitening to enhance the shade of the teeth. Veneers may be best suited to people who want to change the shape of their teeth more than just a little bit - as is done with bonding - but not enough to require a crown.


How much do veneers cost?

Veneers are only available privately, not as an NHS treatment. Costs of veneers vary considerably depending on where you live and on the extent of your procedure. Generally, veneers cost from £300 to £1,500 per tooth, depending on the materials used and the extent of aftercare offered. At Caspian Dental Clinic, the veneers are £500 per tooth and they are made by the ceramic artists of our laboratory team which are amongst the most talented ones in the dental industry.


If you wish to know more or to explore the possibility of veneer treatment in more details, please call us on: 01923254979 to book an appointment with our experienced dentist in a friendly, modern environment at Caspian Dental Clinic.

We are pleased to use the following in our treatments