Worried about a change in the colour of your teeth, or misaligned or broken teeth? Dental veneers may be the simple trick to restore your smile again. By attaching the thin shells that make up veneers to the front surface of the teeth, an amazing transformation is underway. Unlike other teeth restoration work, this dental appliance is not expensive, which is the reason for its popularity in the UK.
Veneers are available in porcelain and composite forms, with each having its pros and cons. Further information on these veneer types will be given as you continue to read. The procedure for installing any of these veneers is typically fast and pain-free.
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Questions commonly asked like the following will be answered in this post:
- Veneers defined
- What are the types of veneers?
- Who should use veneers?
- How are they installed?
- Do veneers last long or for just a time?
- What's the cost of veneers in the UK?
- Do veneers have a natural appearance?
From this discussion, you will be able to decide if this treatment will give you the desired smile and self-confidence.
Table of contents
- Dental veneers defined
- How do veneers function?
- What are the types of dental veneers?
- The price of veneers in the UK
- Post veneer care
- Comparing veneers, crowns, and implants
Dental veneers defined
Veneers derive from the French word 'fournir' which is translated as 'to furnish'. The same way you refurbish your space to look attractive, you can upgrade your teeth to have a great appeal.
Due to the characteristics of porcelain, veneers made from it last longer and have more strength, whereas composite materials do not cost so much. Veneers come in handy when the dental issue requires an aesthetic work, rather than fixing a tooth damaged by decay or some serious accident.
Sometimes, in preparation for attaching the thin shells, a little amount of the tooth enamel has to be extracted to make the surface ready and give more room for the veneers to sit.
From single to multiple teeth, dental veneers can be applied. In fact, if necessary, the entire front row of teeth can be replaced with a full set of veneers. What's more? They are custom-made and created to resemble the original teeth in colour; to give off a more natural appearance.
You can use them from 5 to 20 years and even more. It all depends on the type of veneer and material used in designing the veneers. Generally, all kinds are made to be strong so that patients who use them can eat whatever they want without restrictions.
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In what cases are they used?
Dental veneers are very useful in the following way:
- Improve tooth discolouration:The colour of the teeth can change into a dull or yellowish hue due to age or habits like smoking, coffee drinking, amongst others. Some medical treatment can also change tooth colour, for instance, taking a high dose of antibiotics. Trauma can also destroy the tooth nerve cells and lead to colour change. Often, conventional teeth whitening methods may not give the desired results, or your teeth might become too sensitive for whitening to continue.
- Change tooth shape:Some people may have too short or very small teeth which would not allow them to be comfortable in public. You can alter your smile and build up your teeth with this method.
- Fix chipped teeth:Minor issues such as this may not pose a problem medically, but people may be self-conscious about them.
- For better repositioning:Want to straighten your teeth without using braces? Veneers can work for you. From diastema (gaps between teeth) correction to misaligned teeth treatment, they can give great results. But this dental procedure is not for children and younger adults since a lot of healthy teeth are taken out, and it is irreversible. Should this be the case, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment. Does this mean having metals in the mouth? No, there are other discreet braces options that offer effective treatment without looking unpleasant and easily noticed.
- Fix teeth grinding problems:Patients with past issues of bruxism (teeth grinding) may have worn off their enamel. What porcelain does is to upgrade the appearance of the teeth and protect it from sensitivity.
How do veneers function?
The principles remain the same for veneer application, but your dentist may use a technique that is quite different based on the material used, and the result needed. Mild treatment like tooth colour change may not be difficult and in a few stages get completed.
Should you need teeth repositioning or to cover a chipped tooth, it would require serious planning and testing to produce the desired outcome since the case is complex. Your dentist may have to design a dental mask just to try out different shapes and discover which one works best for you.
What increases the cost of porcelain veneers is that it demands the services of a skilled lab technician and takes time to produce. But composite veneers don't need lab work. The dentist moulds and shapes it upon application of the material.
Before the procedure begins, kindly discuss and finalise everything with your dentist. It's important! They will explain the steps of the process and the outcome. It is true that money and time go into this procedure, but it is minimally invasive, faster, and more affordable compared to getting a crown or an implant. You'll learn more about this in the latter part of this article.
Procedure for installation
Following your initial consultation where the dentist gets to know the issue and what you want from the treatment, they will take pictures of and may design a mould of your teeth. An X-ray to check the present condition of your tooth may also be done.
Oral health concerns like gum disease will be looked out for and treated since it's important before treatment.Should you be satisfied with the planned treatment, your dentist will start preparations by reducing the dimension of the teeth enamel so that the veneers can fit snugly. However, some types of veneers do not require the reduction of enamel.
Since there are no nerves in the enamel, the procedure won't cause pain or discomfort. But, as a precautionary measure, your dentist will give you an anaesthetic.
Where the plan is to have whiter teeth without covering all the teeth, dental cleaning and whitening of the surrounding teeth become necessary before treatment. Should you have veneers that match the colour of whitened teeth, it's mandatory you maintain regular teeth whitening else you may begin to notice the natural teeth looking yellowish against the white.
This work is often completed in a single dental appointment. First, the dentist would make the tooth surface rough with an acid, and place an adhesive on it.
Slowly, they would apply the composite layer after layer; forming the teeth in the process. A UV light will be used to cure (harden) the material in each phase.When you and your dentist are satisfied with what has been done, the teeth surface will be polished to look and feel like the original teeth.
Porcelain veneers take more time to be applied—the reason being that every single veneer has to be designed in the lab. So, let's say it would take from 1 to 3 weeks for your veneers to be produced.
When your teeth's height and size has been reduced, your dentist will take a mould using putty. This is to make sure your veneers match well. If necessary, this mould will be used to make a mask to plan the outcome, which will involve making major changes to the shape of the teeth.
Temporary veneers may be given to you to safeguard your prepped teeth, while you wait for the permanent ones. Find out if your dentist offers a temporary fix.
Your next appointment will be arranged immediately your porcelain veneers are ready. As usual, your teeth surface will be cleaned and roughened using an acid; this time, the veneers will be prepped too. Then a bonding agent will be used to attach the caps firmly.
Crafting veneers for tooth coverage is skilful work. It may take 1 or 2 hours, depending on how many teeth need to be done. Occasionally, this procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic; not because of any discomfort, but because patients may not be able to remain in a steady position throughout the process while awake.
In an ideal setting, a rubber dam should be used to separate the teeth or tooth being treated. This will help the surface remain dry since moisture may not allow a perfect bonding.
Dental veneers: before and after
Post veneer outcome are often amazing and presents a totally transformed smile. The word 'smile makeover' may or may not ring a bell. It simply describes this procedure. There is always a difference between pre- and post-veneer smile.
At your initial consultation with a dentist, ensure you request that they show you the before and after pictures of patients they've treated in the past. This will help you assess how much quality is in their work, particularly in relation to a natural appearance.
What are the types of dental veneers?
The 2 major veneer types, porcelain and composite, have been discussed in terms of their installation process. But that's not all you need to know before making a decision. It's important that you understand the following as well.
Perks and drawbacks of composite
When it comes to price, composite is more economical than porcelain. But in terms of appearance, they are good but not as good as porcelain. Besides, they are not a long-term solution; lasting only up to 5 years, after which the material begins to discolour, chip, and look unpleasant to the eye.
In spite of this, patients can still find an effective treatment in composite while making plans to get porcelain. So, when this happens, they can be called temporary veneers though used for a number of months or years.
There is a possibility of installing composite without taking out the enamel of healthy teeth. This is applicable to a case where you want to treat a tooth that is very short or small. A lot of persons find this option greatly beneficial since it shows that the treatment is completely reversible.
What your outcome will look like depends on how skilled your cosmetic dentist is. For best results, confirm that the dentist is a pro on the job. If possible, check their past work for evidence of quality before proceeding.
Perks and drawbacks of porcelain
To a large extent, ceramic- or porcelain-made veneers seem to be very long-lasting. Even as they look very thin, it is expected that they have a life span of 10 to 20 years. For instance, Zirconia porcelain veneers can strengthen mild cases of damaged teeth that don't need a crown.
Is porcelain resistant to stain? Yes. And because the material is clear, it looks as nearly as the original teeth.
Having said that the veneers are manufactured by the hands of a skilled dental technician in the lab places less responsibility on the dentist in the design process. However, the dentist should be professional when fitting them piece by piece to the teeth to achieve optimum results.
Many patients are turned off when it comes to porcelain because it is pricey. It's almost twice the price of composite. Another drawback is that people don't like having their healthy teeth enamel taken out since these teeth can't be left uncovered again. Should you go for it, you are expected to use veneers for life, or some other options for covering teeth.
The major differences between composite and porcelain veneers are given in the table below:
Price of each tooth
£100 to £400
£400 to £1000
What it looks like
Slightly natural but can be stained
Resembles the original teeth and does not stain
Dental visits required
It's typically a single visit
2 or 3 appointments
How long it lasts
About 5 years
10 to 20 years
How it affects the present teeth
Enamel removal and possible filing
Enamel extraction and filing needed except for lumineers
Picking the correct brand?
Some brands of veneers provide unique advantages. For instance, lumineer veneers have an extra thin design which allows them to change the look of natural teeth devoid of filing.
This veneer type is costlier, but they have a life span of 20 years and above. They can be taken out after some time, and it won't cause any lasting damage to the teeth. Installation can be done in two visits.
CEREC (CEramicREConstruction) veneers are precisely produced from the latest computer technology using the result of scans from a patient's mouth. They are not handmade.These brands of veneers can be crafted by your dentist during the consultation; offering you same-day customised teeth. But they may not look as natural as those made in the laboratory.
The cost of CEREC is close to that of regular porcelain. This is because even though no lab work is needed, the computer tech used in the process is very costly.
Time changes things, and so does technology change with time. This means your dentist may have other solutions that can help you too.
Budget is essential in making a choice of dentist, but this should not form the basis of your consideration. Try as much as possible to know how much experience the dentist has in this cosmetic work before going for the treatment. This will ensure that you get the money value of what you're paying for.
Get to know the recommended option plus other options your dentist provides. Again, ask your dentist how long the veneers will last and what will happen when they go bad.
Not everyone may know snap-on veneers. However, they have been made popular as an affordable alternative to conventional veneers.
Snap-on resembles a set of artificial teeth which attach onto the natural teeth to create a better smile. They work fast in covering gaps between teeth, missing, misaligned, and damaged teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth.
You can conveniently wear snap-on veneers for greater self-confidence in big occasions like weddings, conference meetings, and all that, however, they are not a durable treatment option. Besides, if you wear them for too long, there is a chance that your natural teeth might get damaged.
Reports about this product type are mixed. While some persons find it easy and satisfactory, others have difficulty speaking and eating, or there is no natural feel to the teeth, neither is it comfortable.
To know more about this veneer, you can see your dentist.
The price of veneers in the UK
Just like the table above summarised the difference between the two major veneers, it is clear that between £100 to £400, you can get composite veneers, while porcelain price ranges between £400 to £1000 in the UK.
Kindly note that this is only am estimate. A more precise quote will be provided by your dentist based on the nature of your problem and what needs to be done.
Does the NHS offer veneers?
Any treatment considered as cosmetic, including veneers, usually do not get covered by the NHS. There are very rare cases where sometimes people can have access to dental veneers on the NHS, but of course, it has to be medically approved. A common fix for damaged teeth are crowns. However, the two cases will attract a treatment cost of £269.30 (for 2020/21).
Financing options for veneers
Should you own private health insurance under a dental insurance plan, find out if cosmetic treatment is covered by the policy. It is usual for base-level or regular plans not to provide such covers, but plans that are quite expensive may cover a small part of the cost. Financing options for dental works can also be considered. This includes credit card and loan.
Another alternative way to save money on veneers is to travel abroad to a country that offers cheaper cosmetic dental works.
For instance, Spain, Turkey, and Hungary are some of the countries where Londoners can travel to for dental treatment. The reason is that these countries have been known for offering quality medical services at affordable rates which are less than the cost of private care in the UK.
What about flight and accommodation cost? Won't this add to the overall cost of treatment abroad? You will be surprised to discover that even with the cost of flying and staying in a hotel, dental treatment in these places is still lower than what is obtainable in the UK. So, you can see that with uncompromised quality, this option is a great way to spend less for teeth veneers. Besides, should you combine this treatment with a vacation, it would be a nice change.
Should you be having a small cosmetic issue with your teeth, then your dentist may recommend teeth filing as a good treatment for you. Here, what the dentist does is to take out a small part of tooth enamel to make them look uniform.
Post veneer care
You may experience sore gums as they would be pushed back a bit to allow the veneers sit. This discomfort may take just a few days. But when it subsides, you can resume your normal dental care regimen.
Since the veneers have been securely adhered to your teeth, don't be afraid of losing them in the process of brushing or flossing your teeth.
The following expert tips have been recommended to help you maintain your new teeth:
- Ensure your toothbrush is of good quality and change them from time to time. You may consider an electric toothbrush
- Floss your teeth daily. Use a mouthwash or dental spray
- Attend routine dental cleaning to take out plaque, tartar, and keep your teeth very clean
- Stop smoking if you do. Stains can also be caused by tobacco
- Should you be a lover of coffee, tea, or other coloured drinks, exercise caution when it comes to dental cleaning, particularly if you chose composite veneers. Remember they get stained very easily
The importance of keeping your teeth clean cannot be overemphasised. It shouldn't be something you do whenever you feel like. Avoid the temptation of thinking that simply because your teeth have been restored, daily cleaning no longer matters. Why did you get teeth treatment in the first place if not for a healthy smile? This is the time you should even pay greater attention to your teeth.
You use your teeth everyday, and it will get dirty, so don't play with your oral hygiene. Keep top of mind that the longevity of your veneers depends a great deal on how much care you give to them and your teeth.
Comparing veneers, crowns, and implants
Granted, dental veneers are amazing in improving the aesthetics of the teeth; however, they are not a solution to restore severely damaged or decayed teeth. This implies that mild dental issues can only be restored using this form of treatment.
If the case is one that the teeth have lost so much enamel or it's cracked, a dental crown is sometimes the ideal solution. This is because it covers the entire tooth; not the front alone, plus it defends the tooth from any other impending danger since it offers a protective layer.
Where a tooth is seriously damaged, it has to be removed. To fill the gap caused by this, a dental bridge or implant is installed. The perk of using this option is that it functions as the root of the missing teeth and prevents long-term bone loss in the jaw, which could set in if left open. But this treatment is actually the most costly dental procedure.
Any of these options that you choose will be better considered when you work together with your dentist. Sometimes, thinking about these things alone could make them seem overwhelming, but when you speak with a dentist, you might be surprised that it's a lot more easier to get your dream smile than you thought.
Looking for a way to change your teeth appearance for the better, dental veneers is one way to go. You have the choice to make between porcelain and composite veneers. But this decision is down to how much you want to spend for the treatment, the kind of smile you desire to achieve, and the duration you want your treatment to last for.
Please be reminded that for most type of veneers to work, some part of your tooth enamel has to go for life. And in this case, the process cannot be reversed. This leaves you with a permanent change to your teeth.
Should you not be sure of taking this step, you can still enhance the way your teeth looks with minimally invasive options like tooth filing, braces, and whitening. There have been cases where people get a beautiful smile without using the veneers they originally had in mind.
At the end of the day, the choice is always your to make. But we want to believe that this post will guide you in making the right decision on what dental option best suits your case. Call us today on 020 37457520 and our dentist will be glad to help with your dental needs.