Placed over your existing front teeth, veneers are thin, shell-like pieces of porcelain, incredibly strong and long-lasting when bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a fast and extremely aesthetic treatment for a smile that’s both great looking and extremely durable.
What do veneers do?
A veneer gives a tooth a new look. This can be for any number of reasons – for example, if the tooth is misshapen or chipped, or if it is a different shade compared with your other teeth. Or, you can even get veneers to cover a gap between teeth. You may need just one veneer or several, depending on what you want to achieve.
Your dentist will create a new look for your teeth by attaching a thin ‘veneer’ to the front of the tooth. This is a shell that sits perfectly over the top of your tooth to look, feel and function like a natural tooth.
Veneer material options
When you discuss getting a veneer (or several) with your dentist, they will talk you through two options: porcelain or composite resin.
There is a real difference in the two. Porcelain is often the more popular choice as it is more durable and is less likely to stain or become discoloured. The main reason some people opt for the composite resin option instead is that porcelain veneers tend to be more expensive, averaging around $1,000 per tooth.
Composite resin is still a fantastic choice, as it will look just as natural and work just as well as porcelain. The main difference is that this material may be less long-lasting than porcelain.
What to expect when getting veneers
Due to the differences in materials, the process for getting veneers can vary quite a bit.
If you opt for the porcelain option, your dentist will typically complete this in two separate visits. During the first, they’ll give you a mild anaesthetic and remove a very thin layer from the front of your tooth to make room for the veneer. Then, they will take an imprint of your teeth so as to create a veneer that’s perfectly fitted to your smile. Before sending you away, they will attach a temporary veneer to the tooth until your next appointment. When you return, they will remove the temporary one, use a mild abrasive on the tooth to make the permanent veneer stick better, then attach a composite resin cement.
For those who opt for composite resin veneers, this treatment is usually completed within one appointment. Your dentist will start by painting a mild chemical onto the tooth to make the surface a little rough for better adhesion. The composite resin is then added to the tooth in layers, with the dentist using a bright light to harden each layer as they go. Finally, with a little shaping and polishing, the veneer is completed.