Veneers are certainly having their moment of fame right now, with many Brisbane celebrities and Instagram stars using this technique to obtain a perfect smile.
Indeed, veneers allow your dentist to modify and improve the appearance of your incisors, canines and premolars, which are the teeth that can be seen when you smile.
Veneers can be used to make teeth look whiter, change their shape, improve their alignment and give you the smile that you’ve always dreamed of!
What are Veneers?
A dental veneer is a thin shell that is bonded to the front surface of a tooth in order to improve its appearance. It is usually made of porcelain but can also be made of composite resin. It is a more conservative alternative to dental crowns, as it is a less invasive procedure.
Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers
We, at St Lucia Dental, tend to favour porcelain veneers, as we consider that they are the best option when it comes to both looks and durability. Indeed, they tend to withstand coffee and wine stains better than composite veneers, retaining the look and whiteness that you were striving for. Porcelain veneers are custom made in a dental laboratory, meaning that their look and colour is very natural, blending in with your teeth.
Composite veneers are usually less expensive than those made from porcelain, as the composite is applied directly on the teeth. However, they tend to not look as natural due to the application process, which consists of applying layers of composite. Moreover, composite veneers are more fragile and do not withstand stains as well, which means that touch-ups or replacements could be needed more frequently in order to repair chips and avoid a faded, matte look.
Can You Get the Same Results from Teeth Whitening?
Some of our patients obtain great results from a simple whitening procedure. However, some stains are more stubborn than others and teeth whitening may not be enough. In that case, veneers can be a great solution, especially if you are looking for more permanent results.
Can Veneers Replace Orthodontic Work?
Not completely. Veneers are a cosmetic solution for minor dental imperfections; they do not replace orthodontic work when it comes to fixing major teeth misalignment. However, if you are simply looking for a more aesthetically pleasing smile, veneers can be used to cover small gaps between teeth and improve their shape (if you have small, short or chipped teeth for example).
Moreover, your dentist can reshape or remove gum tissue in order to make your teeth look bigger.
The Difference Between Dental Bonding, Dental Veneers and Dental Crowns
Bonding, veneers and crowns can all be used to correct the appearance of your teeth.
Dental bonding is the application of composite resin to a small portion of your tooth; it is often used to correct minor damage, such as a chip.
A dental veneer is a thin layer that covers the complete front surface of your tooth and is a longer-lasting cosmetic solution.
A dental crown, on the other hand, is not solely a cosmetic procedure; it is used to protect and cover the whole tooth when it is badly damaged or when a root canal is required. It is a more involved procedure than getting bonding or veneers as it requires your natural tooth to be significantly trimmed down before a crown can be placed over it.
All three procedures can achieve great results and enhance your smile. However, only your dentist is in a position to advise on which procedure is best suited to your particular circumstances.
Are Veneers for Everyone?
Your dentist will be able to determine if veneers are a good option and if you are an appropriate candidate for this procedure.
There are some slight inconveniences and requirements when considering dental veneers and that is since some teeth enamel will have to be removed prior to bonding the veneers, your teeth have to be in good existing condition. If they are not, another treatment such as dental crowns may be more suitable.
However, it’s best to speak to your dentist as they will be able to advise you on the best solution to fit your needs.
It is also important to fix any existing alignment problems prior to the application of dental veneers; in these cases it may be necessary to undergo orthodontic treatment (such as braces) before proceeding further.
Porcelain Veneers Procedure at St Lucia Dental
You will start by having an appointment with your dentist, where the end goal of this cosmetic procedure is determined. At this consultation you will tell us if you are looking to have whiter and bigger teeth, more volume or simply wish to fill a gap in your teeth. Your dentist will then be able to determine how many veneers are needed to obtain your dream smile.
Preparing Your Teeth for Veneers
At your next appointment, your dentist will prepare your teeth for veneers by removing a thin layer of enamel (usually 0.5mm or less) and applying a local anesthetic if needed. Dental impressions will then be taken so that our laboratory can design your custom-made porcelain veneers. Temporary veneers may be fitted in some cases so that you can get used to your new smile while you await your next appointment.
Bonding Porcelain Veneers
On your next appointment, once your final veneers are completed, your temporary veneers will be removed, and your teeth will be cleaned and polished. Your dentist will start by etching the surface of your teeth and will then proceed to bonding your porcelain veneers using light-cured resin cement, polishing and adjusting them as needed.
That’s it, enjoy your beautiful new smile.
Is It Painful?
The procedure itself is not painful as you will be numbed by local anesthesia.
Gum sensitivity is common immediately following the installation of veneers but should subside after a few days.
Some people experience tooth sensitivity after having their final porcelain veneers bonded but this is fairly rare and, in the majority of cases, the pain will go away by itself in a few hours; in the meantime, and under your dentist’s recommendation, you may wish to take over the counter pain medication.
How to Care for Your Veneers
You should care for your veneers the same way that you care for your natural teeth!
To maintain the appearance of your veneers, you should have a good dental hygiene routine which would include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, regular flossing and complete dental checkups at your dentist’s office every 6 months. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, you may want to consider using a mouthguard.
How you care for your teeth will directly impact the longevity of your veneers; with good dental hygiene and good quality porcelain, we trust that our patients can maintain their perfect smiles for at least a decade.
Veneers are a Permanent Cosmetic Procedure
Since the application of porcelain veneers usually requires shaving off a thin layer of enamel, this cosmetic dentistry procedure is considered irreversible. Note however that veneers can be replaced as needed, such as if they crack or change colour over time, or if you experience gum recession, creating the need for differently shaped veneers. Generally, porcelain veneers will last you at least 10 years before requiring any touch-ups, repairs or replacements.
The St Lucia Dental Difference and Veneer Guarantee
Here, at St Lucia Dental, our veneers are guaranteed for 5 years from the date of insertion; if a veneer requires replacement within that timeframe and if the condition of your tooth allows, we will do this at no charge.
This, of course, is conditional upon you attending your regular dental check-ups and hygiene visits at St Lucia Dental every 6 months and on the wearing of your night splints, if recommended by your dentist.
If you are ready to get your dream smile or have any questions regarding available options and pricing, call us today on 07 3870 8811 for a free consultation.