Dental veneers are a very common treatment to improve the appearance of individual teeth and overall smiles.
They are relatively simple to place and can create a dramatic improvement in the shape, size, form, and colour of your teeth, giving many patients a smile makeover in a very short time.
But what are dental veneers, what do they do to your teeth, and do they protect your teeth.
Patients want to know, and at Bondi Dental we’re here to provide some answers!
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are hollow, thin shells of porcelain or composite material that are placed over the front of your teeth for two underlying reasons:
- To protect the tooth that lies beneath, but more often,
- To enhance the aesthetic appeal of your teeth and smile.
Veneers come in two kinds, composite and porcelain veneers.
Composite veneers are generally more inexpensive than their porcelain counterparts, and they are usually built upon existing teeth, layer upon layer, as the patient sits in the dental chair.
The upside of this is that composite dental veneers can be placed in only one visit, which helps keep the cost down and also reduces treatment time.
Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are generally fabricated in a dental laboratory and can come very close to the translucency and lustre of a healthy natural tooth. Porcelain veneers are also quite strong and rugged.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental veneers?
A dental veneer requires 3-30% of the natural tooth surface to be removed in order to receive a veneer.
Because a veneer sits over the front of the tooth (thus consuming space) and needs to stick quite firmly, existing tooth surface must be removed to make the fit a good one.
This is just one of the reasons that veneers, like any dental treatment, should be discussed until both patient and dentist are happy with the treatment plan.
One of the very great benefits of veneers is that they help protect the underlying tooth from dental caries (more commonly known as tooth decay or cavities. They protect teeth against the acid bacteria produce, which causes holes in teeth.
Are cavities still possible?
The short answer is, “yes”. Just as with your natural teeth or any other dental treatment, one commitment that dental veneers come with is an ongoing practice of good oral hygiene.
Estimates have it that after a decade, about half of all dental veneers fail in some aspect.
Veneers can wear down (for instance, due to tooth grinding), they may come loose, or they may be harmed in some other way. One way to avoid this is to practice good oral hygiene.
As with natural teeth, your first line of defence is brushing, flossing, and rinsing at home.
With the help of Bondi Dental, routine check-ups and scales and cleans are also a part of the oral hygiene that maximises the lifespan of your veneers and keeps decay away from the teeth below.
If you already have a high risk of tooth decay, dental veneers are not recommended, and you will likely be given dental or prosthodontic treatment to reduce the decay risk before veneers are even considered.
Because veneers are in the front of the mouth, patients tend to inspect them more closely, and this is another reason the risk of decay is relatively low.
If you suffer from tooth decay after the placement of a veneer, the decay is generally easy to treat. On newer veneers, a tooth-coloured bonding agent may be the answer, while older dental veneers may simply be replaced.
Are you considering dental veneers?
If you have unattractive teeth, for primarily cosmetic reasons, dental veneers might be a great choice to restore your smile while simultaneously protecting your teeth against decay and spurring you on to improved oral hygiene.
Your best step is to schedule a visit to your Bondi Dental office for a consultation. We can help you achieve healthier teeth in a better smile!
The Dental Advantage in Bondi
Bondi Dental is in the Eastern Suburbs – Bondi Beach, Bondi in Sydney.
Our skilled dental professionals have over 60 years of combined experiences in all fields of dentistry.
Dr Haddon Suttner is the owner and principal dentist at Bondi Dental. Since 2007 the practice has expanded to employ four other dentists and an OHT, as well as having 2 in house lactation consultants.
Bondi Dental has free parking behind our building and offers a FREE Dental Cosmetic Consultation including a complete dental check-up.
We are open seven days a week, 8 am – 8 pm!
Visit us at 134 Curlewis St in Bondi Beach.