Veneers are a form of synthetic restoration, used in the dental industry to give patients the appearance of a perfectly straight, white smile. There are several different types of veneers, and various companies that supply them, but they are all manufactured to look and feel exactly like the real thing. The most popular type of veneer is the porcelain variety, which are bonded to the surface of the natural teeth with dental cement, in order to conceal malocclusions or enamel stains. Dental veneers are sometimes referred to as ‘instant orthodontics’ in the industry, because of their ability to rebuild a crooked smile in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the months – or even years – it can take for orthodontic treatment to perform to the desired level.
What dental problems can veneers help with?
There are plenty of things dental veneers can help with, but you should be aware that most of the fitting procedures for porcelain veneers are irreversible.
Enamel staining – Whether it’s due to serious health issues or simply bad genes, bleaching solutions can’t always shift unsightly discolouration – especially if deep layers have been left to build up over time. Fortunately, veneers are perfect for covering up enamel stains and protecting the natural teeth from further damage, although this doesn’t solve the problem itself, it will make it disappear.
Tooth damage – Chipped or broken teeth can often be repaired using composite bonding material, and if the damage is extensive, you might need what is referred to as a ‘composite veneer’, which performs the same function as a porcelain veneer, except it is formed in a very different way. Instead of placing a synthetic laminate over the top of the tooth, malleable filling material is used to repair the affected area, and then built up to a natural, proportional finish.
Misaligned or badly spaced teeth – Veneers are not always considered ideal for crooked or crowded teeth, and most dentists would probably prefer to perform some type of orthodontic treatment instead. However, if the patient’s condition is not extreme, and they are unhappy about having to wait a long time for a new perfect smile, veneers can be used to straighten the teeth, or to fill in spaces left by missing ones.