A veneer is a thin facing of porcelain that is bonded to the front visible surface of a tooth.It is similar to a false fingernail.
The appearance of a tooth can be dramatically improved by a veneer restoration. It can change the colour, shape and size of a tooth. Discoloured teeth can be permanently whitened with a veneer.
Porcelain veneers are ideal for front teeth if you have any of the following:
Stained and discoloured teeth.
Fillings that are large and noticeable.
Spaces between the teeth.
Slightly crooked teeth.
Teeth that are too short, too long, or too wide.
Why is porcelain the best material for a veneer?
Porcelain has a translucency and lustre that cannot be equalled by any other material. It closely resembles the enamel of a tooth.
Perfect colour matching to existing teeth is possible with a veneer.
A porcelain veneer is a very strong and durable tooth restoration.
Although a veneer is very thin, it becomes as strong as the enamel of the tooth. It is strengthened by being fused or bonded to the tooth.
It cannot be stained and will not discolour.
A porcelain veneer is very thin and as a result very little tooth material has to be trimmed away to accommodate it.
A veneer can also be made of a plastic material, but this can not match the aesthetics and durability of porcelain. Temporary veneers are made of acrylic.
What is the process?
The dentist trims down the front surface of the tooth, and takes an impression of the prepared tooth.
The impression is sent to a dental technician who makes the porcelain veneer.
As very little tooth material is removed in the process, a temporary veneer may not be necessary. If the prepared tooth is particularly sensitive a temporary acrylic veneer will sometimes be needed. This is to protect the trimmed down tooth while the porcelain veneer is being made.
Finally, the dentist will bond (cement) the attractive natural-looking porcelain veneer to the tooth.
Is it painful to have a veneer made?
It is not a painful procedure.
A small amount of trimming of the tooth is needed for a veneer.
This is not painful but the trimming at the gum margin may be sensitive.
A local anaesthetic can make it a painless experience.
There may be some sensitivity to hot and cold after the preparation and before the final fitting of the veneer.
A temporary veneer may be fitted if the prepared tooth is particularly sensitive or additional repair work is needed.
The temporary veneer will protect the tooth, and prevent sensitivity.
Before the preparation of the veneer is started any decay must be removed, and the tooth repaired.
After the veneer is fitted, the tooth may be sensitive for a few days. This will soon pass.
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