Veneers are wafer thin pieces of porcelain or plastic cemented over the front of your teeth to change their colour and/or shape. This greatly improves the appearance of the teeth and is very useful for teeth that are badly stained, crooked, unevenly spaced or misshapen. Attaching the veneers is a simple procedure requiring little or no anaesthesia. Veneers are very durable and are highly resistant to coffee, tea and cigarette stains. Veneers are not reversible because a small amount of enamel is removed from your teeth to accommodate the shell. Veneers are very good imitations, but are not exactly like natural teeth.
Veneers will usually require three appointments:
Diagnosis and treatment planning. During this visit, your dentist will examine your suitability for this procedure. If you are a suitable candidate, they will assess the extent of the treatment required.
Preparation. This visit will last from one to two hours. Your teeth will be buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. About half a millimetre of tooth is removed and a local anaesthetic may be required. A mould is taken of your teeth. The mould will be sent away and used by a lab technician to make your veneers.
Bonding. This visit will last about as long as the previous visit. The veneers are first placed on your teeth with water or glycerine so that the fit and colour can be checked. While they rest on your teeth, the colour can be adjusted with various shades of cement to achieve the perfect colour match. When the veneers are ready to be attached permanently, your teeth will be first cleaned with special chemicals. Special cement is then placed between the veneer and your tooth. A light beam is shone onto the tooth and the cement will harden.
A two week adjustment period follows, after which you return for the follow-up appointment. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene during these two weeks, and afterwards.