Whangarei Dental Veneers
What is a veneer?
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or composite (tooth coloured filling material) that is bonded to your front teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. Front teeth that are discoloured, chipped or out of alignment can be treated with veneers to create that smile you have always dreamed of.
Veneers can correct imperfections in your front teeth such as gaps, broken or chipped edges, stained fillings, worn down edges, slight misalignments or discolourations. Veneers can even change the shape or colour of your front teeth to give you a beautiful smile.
What are the types of veneers available?
Dental veneers can be made of porcelain or composite (a tooth coloured filling material). Composite veneers can be placed on front teeth in a single appointment, while a porcelain veneer requires two appointments - one for the impression and slight tooth reduction to make room for the veneer and the second appointment to bond the veneers after the dental laboratory has made them.
Composite veneers are usually less expensive than porcelain veneers but do not last as long and do not look quite as nice as porcelain veneers. The inherent property of composite lacks the ability to achieve a true life-like appearance. Composite veneers tend to absorb stains more than porcelain veneers and thus shorten the useful life of the veneer.
Porcelain veneers are the prime choice to enhance your smile. The properties of porcelain allow a true life-like appearance once placed. They also add strength to the tooth during the bonding process. However, they do require the removal of a small amount of your tooth for placement.
How long do veneers last?
Porcelain veneers are extremely strong for how thin they are and are stronger than composite veneers. The porcelain material will not stain from foods or drinks and will maintain their shine for the life of the veneer. The durability of the veneers depends on how well they are treated. If you are a grinder or use your front teeth as tools, like tearing open bags, biting fishing line or if you bite your finger nails, then the veneers will not last as long.
Typically, porcelain veneers last about 15 years where composite veneers last 5-7 years. Porcelain veneers fail when they are broken, usually due to misuse or severe grinding, or when the cement that holds them in place starts to stain. If you are a heavy coffee or tea drinker, then the cement that holds porcelain veneers in place will start to discolour leaving a visible line where the veneer meets the tooth. Unfortunately, the only correction is to have the veneers replaced, although some success in reducing the discolouration can occur with a home teeth whitening application.
Composite veneers can break much easier than porcelain veneers, although the most common failure is discolouration. Discolouration of composite veneers occurs as the entire surface of the veneer is exposed to staining foods and the material itself absorbs components of the food and drink.
Can veneers straighten my teeth?
Veneers can drastically improve the appearance of misaligned teeth… to a degree. Veneers do not actually straighten your teeth but they give your teeth the appearance of being straight. If you have misaligned teeth that are also discoloured or chipped, then veneers can be a great solution. However, veneers need to be replaced periodically, so if your teeth have no other affliction, other than being misaligned, then orthodontics is most likely a better choice.
How much do veneers cost?
At Kowhai Dental, our composite veneers cost between $250 and $320 per tooth. Porcelain veneers range from $880 to $1,100 per tooth depending on the desired result. Cost varies due to the complexity of the desired result and the type of veneer selected. There are usually 6-8 teeth involved during a smile makeover, or more if the lower teeth are involved.
What’s involved in getting veneers?
Getting porcelain veneers is a two appointment procedure. The first appointment involves removing a small amount of the tooth surface and edge using local anaesthesia to make room for the veneer. Next, an impression is taken and sent to the dental lab for veneer fabrication. A temporary veneer is placed while the lab makes the veneer.
Then, three weeks or so later, the temporary veneers are removed and the permanent veneers are fitted and bonded in place. This appointment usually requires anaesthesia as the final polish and removal of excess bonding material is slightly under the gum line and can be sensitive.
Getting composite veneers is a single appointment procedure. At that appointment, anaesthesia may or may not be used depending on what corrections to the teeth are desired. Then, a small amount of tooth is removed to make room for the placement of composite. The tooth is treated with agents to accept the composite and the selected shade of composite is placed on the tooth, shaped and polished. Many times there are several layers of composite used to give the desired appearance.
You will then walk out with the new smile you have always wanted.