Last Updated on Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:49
A dental veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material that is put onto the front of the tooth to improve its appearance. The tooth might have been damaged by decay or an accident, or be discoloured.
Some veneers are built up on the tooth directly using white filling material, while you are with your dentist. Others are made of porcelain by a dental technician, from an impression of the tooth. You will have to visit the dentist more than once for this type of veneer.
- Your dentist will check any fillings in the teeth first.
- Very little tooth preparation is needed, just enough to prevent the veneer making the tooth fee bulky, so it may not be necessary to numb the tooth.
- For veneers made in the surgery, the surface of the tooth is roughened with a mild acid. Then white filling is applied in layers until the teeth look right.
- For a veneer made by a dental technician, the dentist will take an impression first. This shows how the teeth bite together as well as telling the technician the shape and size of veneer that is needed.
- Your dentist will glue the veneer made by a technician to the tooth when you next visit.
- Veneers sometimes come away from the tooth or break if the tooth is knocked. They can sometimes by glued back on but will have to be replaced if they are damaged.
Dental Veneers can greatly improve you rappearance. They hide imperfections and you lose very little natural tooth. They also protect teeth from further damage, for example, acid in foods and drinks or from the stomach can cause your teeth to wear away. The teeth become thin and week but dental veneers can protect them.
If the tooth is strong, a veneer is often a better option that a crown for improving a tooth's appearance.