are a thin, custom-made layer of tooth-coloured porcelain or ceramic designed to fit over the front surface of teeth to improve the overall appearance of teeth.
They can be placed to:
- correct poorly formed or mildly mal-positioned teeth
- close gaps between teeth
- mask internal stains
- restore partially broken-down teeth
What are the advantages of porcelain veneers?
Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy. They are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond so very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
What about alternatives?
The natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent where the tooth supports the filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a joint between the tooth and the filling material.
Crowns are used for teeth that need to be strengthened – either because they have broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers should last for many years, but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
Some of the enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be in most cases the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic will be used to make sure that there is no discomfort. Once the tooth has been prepared, an impression will be taken. This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer.
How long will it take?
A veneer takes at least two visits; the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a porcelain veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?
Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation but will feel slightly less smooth. In some cases when preparation had to be deeper you will be provided with temporary veneers.
What happens after the veneer is fitted?
Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. We may want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted and to make sure that you are happy with it.
Da Vinci Veneers
What happens during the Da Vinci Porcelain Veneers™ restorative procedure?
In most cases, patients need three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding.
Diagnosis and treatment planning
It is critical that you take an active role in smile design. Spend time in the decision-making and planning of your smile. Ask questions and understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. If necessary, have more than one consultation to feel comfortable that we understand your objectives.
Preparation of teeth
This appointment will take from one to four hours. To prepare the teeth for your da Vinci Veneers™, your teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about half a millimetre of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anaesthetic. At this appointment, a mould is taken of the teeth, which is sent to a Da Vinci certified dental lab for the fabrication of the veneers. This should take no longer than two weeks for your new smile to be created. In most cases, your dentist will fit you with a temporary smile during the fabrication of your new Da Vinci Veneers.
Bonding of your Da Vinci Veneers
This appointment will take about one or two hours. First, we place the veneers with water or glycerine on the teeth to check their fit and get a true sense of their shade or colour. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, make sure you view the aesthetic results and pay particular attention to the colour. At this point, the colour of the Da Vinci Veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used.
The colour cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To apply your Da Vinci Veneers, your teeth are cleaned with specific dental cleansers to achieve a firm and permanent bond. Then special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a visible light beam initiates the release of a catalyst to harden the cement and your new smile is in place.