A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain.
What are the advantages of veneers?
Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy, and because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond (rather like super-glue) very little preparation of the tooth is needed.
When would I need a veneer?
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured or stained tooth or to lighten front teeth (usually the upper ones) generally. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
What about alternatives?
A natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent where the tooth supports the filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners as there will always be a join between the tooth and the filling material. Crowns are used for teeth that need to be strengthened – either because they have broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.
How long will a veneer last?
Veneers should last for many years, but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Your dentist will tell you how long each individual veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
How are teeth prepared for a veneer?
Some of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so that the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take an impression. This will be given to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.
How long will it take?
A veneer takes at least two visits; the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.
Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?
Because the preparation of the tooth is so slight you will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will feel slightly less smooth.
What happens after the veneer is fitted?
Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. Your dentist will probably want to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted, and to make sure that you are happy with it.
Thank you for sorting out my aching tooth at such short notice. Phoned at 1030 and you saw me at 1210! That is why we have been coming to you for over 30 years.
Mr T, Portsmouth
A BIG THANK YOU for all the care taken by you and your lovely staff.
Mrs M, Chichester
My jaw is much more comfortable, thanks to your skills and kindness. Thank you so much for sorting me out.
Mrs S, Bognor Regis
Very good dental care and always feel comfortable when needing to visit.
Mrs R, Chichester
I know you will give me the smile I have always wanted ♥
Miss M, Petersfield
Fiona and her whole team - thank for sorting out my front tooth so quickly last week. I was very impressed with everything. I'm smiling even more now.
Miss R, Barnham
Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding.
Mrs B, Chichester
Enthusiastic dentist who obviously enjoys his work and obviously cares for his patients needs.
Mr E, Chichester
I have been with the practice for my whole life. Due to the relationships that I have and the service I have received, I would not want to go anywhere else.
Miss A, Havant
Thank you so much for my fabulous new teeth. I am very grateful for your skill, expertise and patience.
Miss J, Bosham
I have finally found a dentist I can trust!
Mrs P, Bosham
Helpful, cheerful and professional at all times.
Mrs G, Chichester
I am extremely grateful for the quick, calm and kind treatment I received.
Miss B, Chichester
I am a nervous patient! Always feel at ease and nothing is too much trouble.
Miss P, Waterlooville
A personal thank you to Paul and the team at Grange Dental for the amazing bridge work you carried out. So lovely after 50+ years of denture plates. Can't thank you enough.
Mr H, Witterings
Friendly and professional attitudes of all staff.
Miss J, Midhurst
Friendly, personable service and everything is thoroughly explained.
Mr N, Bognor Regis
Friendly staff that get the job done. They make sure we understand what is going on with our teeth.
Master S, Aged 10
To say that I am delighted with the result of your excellent work on my teeth is an understatement! Thank you.
Mrs B, Pagham
This is a very kind man. When I go to see the dentist I am nervous but he makes me calm.