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Veneers are a great way to get your smile looking picture perfect. If you are worried about discolouration, stains or cosmetic imperfections on your teeth, then veneers can be a good solution.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin coverings of porcelain, custom made to improve the appearance of your teeth. They are less invasive than crowns and a great way to get back that sparkle. Veneers look natural and, when properly cared for, can last a long time, giving you confidence and bringing back the shine to your teeth that may have faded over time.

As well as improving the appearance of your teeth, veneers can be used to repair small imperfections in your teeth, like a small chip or gap in the teeth. This is a great treatment to improve the look of your smile if braces aren’t suitable. Your dentist will be able to talk to you about your options, and let you know if veneers can be used on your teeth.

Veneers are custom-made to fit your own teeth. Following the preparation of the tooth where the dentists takes away a small layer of the tooth surface, an  impression is made of your tooth, which will then be used to make the veneerIn the construction of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material usually, but not limited to, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface by direct fusion, cemen, before it is fitted by your dentist. The colour of the veneer can be matched to your other teeth, so the look is as natural as possible.

Once your veneers have been fitted you should care for them in the same way that you would your teeth in general, with regular brushing and flossing. It is also a good idea not to bite down on hard foods with the veneer.

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I have been with this dentist for many years and cannot recommend this dental surgery highly enough. The most helpful reception staff possible and highly skilled dental surgeons. NHS care with the best possible attention.
John Cooper - Heathfield Dental Clinic

Frequently asked questions

What are the advantages of veneers?
Veneers improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. With different shades of porcelain available you can choose on that blends in with your other teeth whilst covering a single discoloured or stained tooth. They are also often used to lighten your front teeth, usually the upper ones. A veneer can also make a chipped tooth look whole again. The can also be used to close small gaps where braces are not suitable.
Which teeth should be veneered?
The dentist will help you decide which teeth might benefit from porcelain veneers. Whilst it is not uncommon to have as many as six front teeth treated, sometimes just one or two may be required. Usually it is the smile line that would most benefit, so only those teeth that show are veneered.
How are veneers made?
Your dentist will start by removing a thin layer of enamel (usually about 1mm) from the surface of the teeth to be treated. An impression is then taken and temporary veneers fitted. Your veneers are created by hand. They are individually designed to match the shape, colour and contour of your natural teeth. At the second visit, about a week or two later, your dentist will bond the finished veneer in place. They become strong instantly and you will be able to eat with them immediately after the treatment.
How do I care for my new veneers?
Porcelain veneers need no special care. As with all aspects of oral health, good dental hygiene is important and this will help to increase the life of the veneer. As always you should avoid biting hard objects. Regular check-ups with the dentist and hygienist are essential to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
How long will it take?
As previously mentioned, patients usually require two visits for a veneer. The first visit is preparing the tooth and ensure that the appearance of the veneer is suitable compared to your other teeth. The second visit ensures that the veneer fits comfortably and safely. On your second visit the veneer is bonded with an adhesive which makes sure that it’s securely fixed to the tooth.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers can last for a long time  if properly cared for and maintained. The same guidance for maintaining your own teeth applies – avoid using your teeth to bite through hard materials e.g. plastic, paper, fingernails. Should a veneer be chipped these can usually be repaired by the dentist or a new veneer fitted.
What are the alternatives to veneers?
There are other alternatives to veneers that might prove more cost-effective. For example, your dentist might recommend using a natural-coloured filling to make minor repairs to front teeth (if suitable). Furthermore, a crown might be a more suitable alternative if the tooth is broken or has been weakened by root canal treatment or a filling. In both cases, your dentist will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of all the options.
What is the difference between a composite and porcelain veneer?
Composite veneers are usually applied with just one visit rather than two and are usually at a lower cost to the patient. The tooth is roughened so that a bonding gel can be applied, and then composite material is added to the tooth in thin layers until it is shaped accordingly. Throughout, the composite is hardened and when finished, polished to provide a natural look. However, composite veneers aren’t as hard-wearing as porcelain veneers and usually have a lesser aesthetic appearance compared to porcelain.

Porcelain veneers are more expensive but are usually more aesthetically pleasing. The process of fitting porcelain veneers is longer as each veneer is created individually to fit comfortably onto the tooth (after the dentist has taken an initial impression). Patients usually have a temporary veneer in between appointments. When your veneer is ready, your dentist will clean your teeth, roughen the surface of the tooth and apply the veneer using a dental adhesive to keep it firmly in place.

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