Veneers can be a great option if you have chipped, cracked, stained or severely discoloured teeth. Veneers are artificial covers placed on the front surface of your teeth. They are ideal when you have damaged or severely discoloured teeth that can’t be concealed with whitening treatments. If the damage to your tooth isn’t too severe, dental veneers are a good alternative to getting a crown.
Dental veneers blend in seamlessly, looking completely natural. In fact, caring for your veneers is quite similar to caring for natural teeth. But there is a risk of the veneer fracturing or the bond weakening. By following the care instructions below, you can avoid these risks and enjoy a brilliant and long-lasting smile.
There are two types of veneers, the first being composite veneers. This involves directly applying composite resin to the front surface of the tooth. The resin is ‘tooth coloured’ and is applied one layer at a time to slowly cover the existing tooth. Each layer is shaped by your dentists until the size and shape of the teeth are corrected.
Composite veneers are popular because it’s quite affordable and the treatment is pain-free. However, composite veneers are not as strong as porcelain veneers and are more prone to staining.
Porcelain veneers involve placing thin ‘tooth coloured’ porcelain shells over the front of the teeth to improve their colour, shape, size and alignment. Each veneer is custom-made to a particular tooth and is carefully bonded to the surface. Your dentist will take photos and an impression of your tooth/teeth to send to a laboratory, where they’ll create your custom veneers.
The procedure requires a small amount of tooth structure to be removed to allow the thickness of the veneer to sit level on the tooth’s surface. Porcelain veneers are very strong and look and feel just like natural teeth.
Veneers: Before and After
Veneers are also used by people looking to achieve a straighter, brighter smile in situations where traditional whitening treatments fail to have an effect. The type of veneers used depends on the needs of each individual patient, but both can improve the look of your smile. Where before, your teeth might be chipped or cracked, severely stained or discoloured, crooked, gappy or misaligned, afterwards you will have a beautiful white smile.
Caring for Your Veneers
By following the care instructions below, you can avoid these risks and enjoy a brilliant and long-lasting smile.
- Cleaning – Brush with a soft toothbrush twice a day and floss once a day. Abrasive toothbrushes can cause damage. Avoid mouthwashes that are high in alcohol as it can soften bonding and slowly weaken the bond of porcelain veneers. Use regular toothpaste like Colgate, Oral B etc. rather than “gel” pastes. Whitening or smoker’s toothpastes should also be avoided as they are quite abrasive.
- Food and Drink – Like your natural teeth, veneers can be slowly degraded by acidic foods and drink, even staining over time. Common causes include tobacco, coffee, tea, curry, red wine, soy sauce, blueberries and other high colour food and drinks. By washing out your mouth after you consume these, you can keep your veneers whiter for longer.
- Chewing and Biting – Veneers can fracture if you bite on very hard or brittle foods or other items. To minimise this risk, avoid biting down on hard foods with your front teeth and focus on chewing mainly with your back teeth. In most cases, veneers handle stress in a similar way to natural teeth. Keep this in mind before biting into things like bones, hard candy, nuts or hard bread. Habits like opening packages with teeth, biting nails etc. should all be avoided.
- Grinding and Clenching – If you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth, your dentist can provide you with a custom mouth guard. Wear these in your sleep to avoid damaging your veneers.
If a chip or fracture does occur, it might only need a simple renewal using bonding composite. This could be done in one short appointment with a fee similar to a front tooth restoration. More significant fractures might need a replacement veneer.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Porcelain veneers should last a lifetime as long as you take care of them. Adhere to the above recommendations and ensure you visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and professional cleaning. At King Street Dental, we offer quality general and specialised dental care services in Templestowe. This includes everything from regular check-ups to custom veneers.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.