Veneers can be made from composite or porcelain. Please visit the composite bonding page for more information on composite veneers.
Porcelain veneers are a good solution for chipped, mis shapen or discoloured teeth. They also offer the most aesthetic long lasting cosmetic results. They are a thin covering that is placed and bonded to the front of the teeth to improve the shape and colour.
Veneers should ideally be placed over the outer enamel of the teeth for a strong long lasting bond. If your teeth are crooked, orthodontic treatment prior to veneers would be a more suitable option.
A full examination and X-rays are performed to ensure your teeth are healthy enough for the procedure. Impressions or a digital scan is sent to the laboratory also with photographs of your teeth for treatment planning. A wax up is constructed on your dental models of the new veneers and usually a try in is performed in surgery using a temporary material. Further photographs of the try-in are sent to the laboratory. The teeth are prepared for the veneers and temporaries are placed. Approximately 3 weeks later the veneers are bonded to your teeth.
A night guard is always constructed and I advise you to wear this at night to protect your veneers from destructive grinding and clenching forces. Using the night guard will prolong your veneers. Regular brushing, flossing, dental check-ups and hygienist appointments are also essential in maintaining your veneers.
There will be some preparation of your teeth and therefore this process is not reversible. Also 7% of veneers placed in the ideal environment fail by either fracture or debonding. Veneers on average will last 10-14 years and will need replacement.