When are Dental Veneers Used?

How our Harley Street dentist works with veneers

Dental veneers are sometimes thought of as ‘false fingernails for teeth’. This is because they are applied in a similar manner by being attached to the front of a tooth. The procedure though is, of course, somewhat more involved than that of the placing of a false fingernail.

Dental veneers are made from a very fine layer of porcelain and can be shaded to match the colour of a person’s natural teeth. They are only placed on a tooth though after the same thickness is removed from the front of the tooth where it is to be placed.

Uses of Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are primarily used in our Harley Street dental practice for one of two reasons; firstly, for improving the whiteness of a person’s teeth – however only when the staining is significant. Although a tooth whitening procedure is the most popular first step and is successful in most people, for some the discolouration of their teeth is too severe. This may well occur, for example in a life long heavy smoker. In cases such as these, dental veneers are used to replace the discoloured frontage of the patient’s teeth leaving them with a brand new white smile.

Similarly, they can be used in cases where a persons teeth have become cracked or chipped. This very often occurs in older people as a result of years of natural wear and tear although it can occur in younger people too, especially in the case of chips which are often a result of accidents. Veneers are excellent for situations such as these and will ensure that the patient has attractive new fronts to their teeth to replace the chipped and cracked ones.

Less commonly but equally effectively, veneers can be used to close gaps between teeth depending on their severity. If you have gaps in your teeth, your cosmetic dentist will advise if veneers are suitable for your situation.

Longevity and Aftercare

Whilst dental veneers should be expected to last the patient in the region of up to ten years, this will of course depend on how well they are looked after. Although veneers are made from porcelain and will not therefore decay, it is still important that the teeth are cleaned and flossed in order to protect the rest of the tooth behind the veneer as well as the gums. Gum disease is a major factor in tooth loss and veneers will not protect from this; so good oral hygiene is still important.

Care should also be taken not to bite down on hard objects, and habits such as chewing fingernails or pens should be avoided at all costs as this is likely to lead to the veneer ‘popping’ off and coming away from the dental cement that bonds it to the natural tooth.

With reasonable care though, a dental veneer can be an excellent cosmetic dental treatment which can bring a beautiful smile back to a patient no matter how badly discoloured or cracked their visible front teeth are.

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