Dental veneers are a very popular cosmetic dental treatment that are used to improve patients smiles and fix problems such as uneven tooth shape, uneven tooth appearance and deep staining. They can also be used to repair chips and cracks in teeth.
Veneers are ceramic tooth facings that are dentally glued (bonded) to the patient’s natural problem tooth. They give the appearance of straight, beautiful, natural teeth without the need for other more intrusive forms of dentistry such as crowns or implants.
Veneers are usually made in a dental laboratory by a dental technician from a mould of the patient’s teeth. They can also be made in-surgery by the cosmetic dentist is he/she has a CEREC machine. CEREC machines allow patients to benefit from having a veneer designed, created and fitted in less than one hour per veneer.
Most cosmetic dentists charge around £500 per veneers but some dentists charge considerably more due to their practice’s location or their expertise. The most expensive cosmetic dentists are not always the best however.
The process of a CEREC veneer is very simple, firstly the cosmetic dentist will file down the natural tooth where the veneer is to be placed and then a scan of the tooth will be taken. The scan is taken on the CEREC machines camera and is uploaded to the CEREC machines computer unit where it appears on a computer screen. The dentist can then use the CEREC machines software to design the veneer to fit perfectly over the filed down tooth, they will also design it to the correct dimensions so that it fits with the patients natural teeth. After it has been designed on the computer, the design can then be wirelessly sent to the milling machine part of the CEREC machine. The milling machine will then mill the design of the veneer from a block of white ceramic. After it has been milled, the veneer can then be stained and glazed to colour it and harden it before finally being fitted to the patient’s natural tooth. The CEREC veneer will last for many years and should look completely natural.
Veneers take a lot of artistic talent on the dentist’s or technician’s side and the success of the veneers aesthetics greatly relies on this expertise and talent.
By far the best veneer option for patients is a CEREC veneer simply because they are so fast to complete. Lab based veneers often require 3 appointments and a two week wait which is not ideal for patients.
Most patients with problem teeth are suitable for veneers and veneers are often used alongside other cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening and composite bonding in order to produce great aesthetic results. Often tooth whitening will be completed first as the veneers can then be matched to the newly whitened teeth, ceramic veneers do not respond to teeth bleaching to it is important to do the whitening first.