What are Veneers?
Porcelain veneers (or porcelain laminate veneers) are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front side of a tooth to improve its appearance. They are commonly used to make cosmetic changes to teeth that are discoloured, chipped, worn, or need reshaping, resizing, or repositioning.
Porcelain veneers are not the only alternative for improving the appearance of front teeth. They do require less tooth to be removed than crowns and are brighter than resin bonding.
Although porcelain is inherently brittle, when it is firmly bonded to a tooth it becomes strong and durable when used appropriately.
What are the Advantages of Porcelain Veneers?
- Veneers require a minimal amount of tooth reduction (approximately 0.5mm) and are, therefore, a more conservative restoration than a crown.
- They have an extremely natural tooth-like appearance
- Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining.
What are the Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers?
- The process is not reversible. Although only 0.5mm of natural tooth is removed when placing a veneer, this is quite noticeable if the veneer were to be removed.
- If a porcelain veneer breaks or comes off, this is not repairable. A completely new veneer will have to be made.
Are Veneers for me?
Porcelain veneers are not for everyone. You are a good candidate for veneers if your teeth are in a healthy condition, you have not worn the enamel off your teeth, you do not clench or grind your teeth and you have a significant amount of natural tooth structure remaining.
What to expect with Veneers
You will require two appointments: a preparation visit and an insertion visit. Between these visits, it is quite normal to experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold (due to the removal of a portion of enamel).
The placement of the veneers can be done either with or without a local anaesthetic (depending on your individual sensitivities or anxiety levels).
Once placed, your porcelain veneers will be quite strong and will resist most of the forces placed upon them by a normal diet. Porcelain has a great compressive strength but poor tensile strength. Therefore, you should avoid anything that will tend to twist the veneer such as opening things with your teeth or chewing on bones.
Taking Care of Your Veneers
- To prevent oral hygiene problems, brush and floss as normal.
- A normal diet should not cause any problems, however avoid chewing or biting on anything that will tend to twist or bend the Veneer.
- If you grind or clench your teeth, please let us know so that we can provide you with an appropriate night mouth guard to minimise the stress placed upon your teeth.