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What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers, also referred to as dental veneers, are thin translucent shells of porcelain that are placed over the surface of the teeth to hide imperfections such as discolouration and unevenness. They are custom-made to reflect the color, size, and shape of each individual, which allows for a more natural looking result.

Who can benefit from Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers can correct:

  • Uneven or crooked teeth
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Teeth with gaps between them
  • Teeth that have been worn down
  • tetracycline stained teeth that cannot be whitened or bleached
  • Severely stained teeth that cannot be whitened or bleached

How are Porcelain Veneers applied?

Getting dental veneers usually requires a number of trips to the dentist. There will be an initial consultation, followed by the application of the temporary veneers, the application of the permanent veneers and follow up maintenance visits.

  1. This first step involves a consultation with the dental surgeon, who will examine your teeth to determine, whether or not you would be a suitable candidate for the procedure, what would be the best course of treatment, discuss what the procedure will involve and the results to be achieved.
  2. X-rays will also be taken to rule out any underlying problems that may affect the results of the veneers.
  3. To prepare teeth for veneers, your dentist will remove a thin outer layer of enamel, so that the veneers can be added at a later stage.
  4. Next, your dentist will make an impression mould of your teeth, which will be sent to a laboratory, where the veneers are constructed, this usually takes 1-2 weeks.
  5. Temporary veneers will be applied until the permanent ones are ready.
  6. On the final visit to fit the permanent veneers, your dentist will temporarily place the new veneers onto your teeth, to check for the correct fit, size and colour, minor adjustments are made where necessary.
  7. Your teeth will be cleaned, polished.
  8. A bonding cement is applied to each veneer which is then placed on each individual tooth.
  9. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments.
  10. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of the veneers and to once again examine the veneer's placement.

Are there complications involved in having Veneers applied?

Cosmetic dental surgery should not be taken lightly. First and most importantly, to place the veneers properly, the teeth are reshaped, the outer layers of enamel are ground down and this renders the procedure irreversible.

Always do the necessary research on the Dental Surgeon that will be applying the Veneers, as most reported complications are due to botched procedures and/or bad dental techniques.

These Complications include-

  • Removing too much enamel causing the nerve to become inflamed or infected, in severe cases the tooth can die off without intervention like root canal treatment
  • Incorrect positioning of the veneers or the veneers being incorrectly sized, can affect a personís over-bite, which could lead to jaw pain and the inability to chew food properly.
  • The expensive veneers falling off prematurely-
  • Gaps between the veneers and the underlying tooth due to bad bonding techniques, which allow bacteria and decay to take hold

Maintenance of Veneers

The maintenance of veneers would be very similar to that of natural teeth; you will still be required to brush and floss regularly, as porcelain is just as susceptible to staining and plaque as natural teeth are. Gum recession due to poor dental hygiene can also adversely affect the appearance of veneers and may lead to them being replaced.

  • Avoid using the veneers for ripping or tearing as this could cause them to twist and break off.
  • Avoid biting down on hard foods, nuts or ice, sweets such as chewy toffees should also be avoided.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Who would be an unsuitable candidate for Porcelain Veneers

Certain dental health issues such as, extensive tooth decay, gingivitis, gum disease, severe misalignment, major cracks in the teeth or chronic teeth grinding may make a person unsuitable for veneers. This can be ascertained during the initial consultation with a qualified Dental Surgeon


Author: South African Spas