Refers to a host of dental treatments designed to enhance the smile and correct chipped, cracked, discoloured and unevenly spaced teeth. From porcelain veneers to tooth-colored fillings, patients can choose from a variety of cosmetic dentistry solutions to restore the health and vitality of their smile.
A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to protect a damaged tooth surface or to improve the aesthetics of a tooth. There are two types of veneers in dentistry – composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly built up in the mouth. In contrast, a porcelain veneer is indirectly fabricated and later bonded to the tooth using resin cement.
Why might I have a veneer?
Veneers are an ideal way of treating discolored or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks.
How are veneers made?
A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth, usually the same thickness as the veneer will be. An impression is taken by the dentist and sent to a dental technician for the veneer to be made in the laboratory. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural-looking repair. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain. Composite veneers can be completed in one visit and involve bonding tooth-coloured filling material to the front of the tooth. Although these veneers are slightly more prone to staining and have a shorter life, they are easily replaced.
Replacement of Missing Tooth
If a tooth is missing, or needs extraction, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth in order to balance the way your jaw bites. If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings or teeth chipping or even jaw problems. A partial denture is the simplest way of replacing missing teeth. A partial denture is available in a variety of materials like simple acrylic dentures, flexible dentures and cast partial dentures. However, some people find dentures uncomfortable and eventually want a fixed and more comfortable alternative. This can be treated either using ceramic bridges which use adjacent teeth for support or use of Dental Implants.
Bridges are ideal for people who don’t like dentures or only have one or two teeth missing. Conventional bridges are made by crowning the teeth on either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle. They are fixed in the same way as crowns. These bridges are usually made of precious metal bonded to porcelain. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength.