What a beautiful smile!
Sometimes a front tooth may not look very good. It may be chipped, worn or discoloured or it may have one or more large old fillings in it which have become stained or don’t match the colour of the surrounding tooth structure anymore. It’s not always recommended to simply replace the fillings as the tooth may become weak as a result of having more filling material than tooth structure. In such instances, it may be advisable to consider a veneer, also called a facing or laminate.
While a crown covers all surfaces of a tooth like a hat, a veneer covers only the parts of the tooth that are visible when you smile – the front and top (biting) surfaces. It can be thought of as a resurfacing treatment for your teeth much like what false nails do for your fingernails. False nails are glued to the front of the real nails, resulting in a new appearance while the real nails remain underneath relatively unchanged. Veneers provide a similar effect for teeth. The tooth under a veneer is not significantly altered, but the veneer on top can provide the desired new shape, size and colour. Like false nails where all the fingernails on each hand are usually covered, veneers are commonly done on all teeth that are most visible when someone smiles, typically the front 6 upper teeth.
Veneers can be made from porcelain or composite resin (tooth-coloured filling material).
Porcelain veneers are made in the same way crowns are made. At the first appointment, the tooth is first reshaped and an impression taken of the prepared tooth. A plastic temporary veneer is placed to cover the prepared tooth while a Dental Technician makes the final veneer using the impression in a Dental Laboratory. Usually 2 weeks later, the final veneer is ready to be fitted onto the tooth at a second appointment. Porcelain veneers are beautiful restorations that can look amazingly natural. Because they are made the same way that crowns are made, porcelain veneers can often achieve many of the benefits of crowns, but are a more conservative procedure as less tooth structure needs to be prepared.
Composite resin veneers are a less costly alternative to porcelain veneers. Composite resin veneers are directly built onto the tooth usually in one longer appointment, in most cases without the need to prepare the underlying tooth, with the result immediately visible. However, composite resin is basically a reinforced plastic material so composite resin veneers have less strength and aesthetics compared to porcelain veneers. They can wear and slowly lose their shine and colour over time, but can be renewed by surface polishing or by recoating their surfaces with new composite resin so that it is not always necessary to replace the whole veneer over time.
At Central Brisbane Dental, we always work with the latest and best composite resins and trusted Australian Dental Technicians and Dental Laboratories to ensure that we provide great looking veneers that enhance a patient’s smile.