What are Teeth Veneers?
Veneers are synthetic shells that are placed over the natural teeth, in order to create the appearance of a perfectly straight, white smile. They are very popular in the dental industry, and are sometimes referred to as ‘instant orthodontics’, as they can disguise alignment and spacing problems in a matter of days, rather than the years it can take some brace systems to perform to the same level. Not all patients will be in a suitable condition for veneers, as they cannot be placed over extremely crooked or badly decayed teeth, so it may be necessary to undergo further treatment before they can be fitted. There are various methods of making dental veneers, but the most popular laminates are made from some type of treated porcelain; although they cost a little extra, they are thought to be better quality, more durable, and more natural-looking. Veneers are available from surgeries all over the UK, if you are interested in getting your teeth fixed, book a consultation with the Pearl Dental Clinic, they can provide you with the best products for your budget, and the very best in customer service.
What is the difference between composite veneers and porcelain ones?
There is quite a big difference between veneers that are made from porcelain and those that are built up using composite bonding – the clue is in their titles; they are made from different materials.
Porcelain veneers – This type of veneer has always been the more popular of the two, and the gap has widened even further over the past few years, as dental technology has allowed manufacturers to design stronger porcelain shells that can perform even better than their predecessors. The reason this kind of veneer is so widespread is because it looks like natural enamel, and it is much more resistant to damage than other materials, which means it will last longer in better condition.
The process of fitting porcelain veneers usually requires quite a lot of reconstruction of the patients teeth, in order to comfortably fit the shells over the top of them – this procedure can sometimes be harmful to the structure of the teeth, and can lead to heightened sensitivity, it also renders the process irreversible. However, the cerinate porcelain used in newer products like Lumineers means that they are much stronger than the traditional variety, so they can be cut to a thinner width, without compromising their strength. This means that dentists are able to fit them over teeth that have had little to no remodelling, without them appearing too bulky, and the patient can have them removed if they request it. Furthermore, thinner veneers look more natural, and can be painted with a transparent coating that makes them look exactly like real enamel. Although these particular laminates are pricier than other versions, if you can afford it, you really should go for the best; they look better, feel stronger, and they will last for decades, if properly cared for.
Composite veneers – Composite bonding material is usually used to repair cracks or fractures, and as an alternative to amalgam fillings, but it can also be used to create a brand new smile. It takes quite a lot of skill to manipulate the material to get a natural-looking result, and it can sometimes be difficult to find a dentist who has a good standard of artistry and experience in the field. With composite veneers, it’s not just a question of cutting the shells and gluing them onto the teeth, the substance is malleable, and has to be applied in layers, whilst being continuously shaped to the desired size and appearance. The good thing about this process is that it can normally be completed in one sitting, because there is very little reshaping of the natural enamel required, and there is no need to send moulds to the laboratory to manufacture the veneers to the patient’s exact specifications. When the layers have been built up to the appropriate size, the dentist will continue to shape them and trim any excess away, until the treatment is complete.
The main disadvantage of composite veneers is that they do not last as long as the porcelain variety and they are prone to damage after four or five years. This is simply because they are not built from as durable a material, and are not expected to withstand the same amount of use for ten to twenty years. It is possible to build a beautiful, natural-looking smile using composite material, but the results won’t be permanent. It’s worth mentioning that composite veneers are slightly cheaper than other types, but that’s generally because they are thought to be inferior when used on all the teeth, rather than just as a tool to repair damaged areas.
What are temporary teeth veneers?
If you are having some kind of surgery, or you would just like to see what veneers would look like on your teeth; you may be provided with a temporary veneer.
Surgery – During the fitting process for porcelain veneers, it is often necessary to place a temporary device over the reshaped teeth, to protect them and to keep them functioning as normal. This will be cemented in place for two to three weeks, while the patient waits for their second appointment at the clinic, when the permanent version will be fitted. This appliance won’t be as natural-looking or as durable as the real thing, but it will give some idea of what the finished result might be.
Aesthetics – If you are interested in having your teeth corrected, but you’re not sure about invasive surgery or the costs of porcelain veneers, you could try a temporary veneer device called a Snap-on Smile, which can be clipped over the teeth without the use of adhesives or dental cement. This kind of appliance is great for testing out what a new smile would look like, or it can be stored safely and used for special occasions, such as a family photograph. Temporary veneers are not a long-term solution, but they can cover up staining or misalignments in social situations, without the need for remodelling or enamel removal.