If you have any teeth that are worn down, chipped or stained or small gaps, you could consider dental veneers. These are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured material that are bonded to the front of your natural teeth to improve the appearance by changing their colour, shape, size or length.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers tend to resist staining more than resin ones and they also mimic the light reflecting properties of your natural teeth more closely. Resin veneers are thinner so do require less of the tooth surface to be removed before placement.
You will normally require 2-3 visits to your dentist, the first to discuss what you would like and whether veneers are the best treatment option for you. Impressions will be taken for the lab to produce your veneers, your tooth will be prepared and then you will come and see us for the all-important fitting to change your smile.
Patients often ask if they can correct crooked teeth by having veneers and for teeth that are not severely crooked, this can often be an option. In more severe cases and in order to preserve the natural structure of your teeth, orthodontics or Invisalign braces would probably be a better solution.
While veneers are often a great option, there are some dental problems for which veneers are unsuitable and alternative treatments such as a crown would be more appropriate. If you grind your teeth or have a ‘heavy bite’, or the tooth is badly broken or heavily filled then a crown would be more suitable.
When you just want to change the colour and not the shape of the tooth you could consider a course of tooth whitening and if there are small defects or chips, dental bonding could resolve the problem.