Veneering involves bonding a sliver of material over the front (and often biting edge) of the front teeth to build out the tooth in one direction or another
If the teeth are slightly irregular in shape or position, then they may be candidates for veneers.
Veneers are suitable for
- small chips off the teeth
- disguising a mildly rotated tooth/teeth
- filling excessive gaps between the teeth
- masking mild to severe discolouration
The material used, and the degree (if any) to which the tooth may require preparatory trimming back, varies depending on the nature of the adjustment required.
We can assess your teeth, advise and discuss with you the pro’s and con’s of the different materials and approaches to veneering your teeth, and create veneers that will be the most appropriate option for your situation.
What does veneering involve?
The veneering can involve a plastic type filling material (composite resin) applied directly to the tooth in much the same way a filling is done – but often with little or no drilling, and no pain – in one appointment.
It is most suitable for small selected build up on a single tooth or a couple of teeth. It is especially useful if only part of the tooth requires veneering because it is a homogenous, generally translucent material which can closely mimic the tooth structure making allowing it to blend well without an obvious join line.
Pros and cons of using ceramic resin
Ceramic, which includes porcelain, or (composite) resin can be used to form more complex shapes by being formed indirectly (off the tooth) in the laboratory on a “plaster” model (or increasingly using CAD/CAM) which are then cemented onto the tooth or teeth using a bonding material like composite resin.
This more often is used in conjunction with greater prior reduction of the tooth surface, to accommodate a minimum thickness across the whole of each tooth surface, although still much less reduction than is need for a crown. If many/all of the front teeth require veneering to achieve a consistent appearance this will cut down on the time spent in the chair (compared to the direct method).
There are many relative advantages and disadvantages to these techniques and materials:
- ceramic is stronger and harder wearing than composite resin
- direct composite resin is the “weakest”, indirect composite resin slightly stronger, which means it will generally last longer without wearing down
- if the ceramic chips it is more difficult to repair – often requiring replacement of the entire veneer
- direct composite resin is relatively easy to repair, followed closely by indirect composite resin veneers
- ceramic potentially offers a greater degree of opacity to mask darker stains, but often at the expense of the translucency which is the hallmark of the vibrant “natural” tooth appearance
Ceramic is impervious and very colour stable, but it requires careful treatment to try and make the bonding resin “stick” to it – therefore while the veneer itself won’t stain there is a greater risk of stain getting into the join around the edge, hence the edge (or margin) of the veneer usually needs to be hidden under the gum or out of sight between the teeth which requires greater coverage and/or reduction of tooth.