Veneers What are they? A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-coloured material that is put onto the front of the tooth to make it look better. The tooth might have been damaged by decay or an accident or be discoloured. What will my dentist do? Some veneers are built up on the tooth directly using white filling material, while you are with your dentist. Others are made out of porcelain by a dental technician, from an impression of the tooth. You will have to visit the dentist more than once for this type of veneer. Your dentist will check any fillings in the teeth first. Very little tooth preparation is needed, just enough to prevent the veneer making the tooth feel bulky, so it may not be necessary to numb the tooth. For veneers made in the surgery, the surface of the tooth is roughened with a mild acid. Then white filling is applied in layers until the teeth look right. For a veneer made by a dental technician, the dentist will take an impression first. This shows how the teeth bite together as well as telling the technician the shape and size of veneer that is needed. Your dentist will glue the veneer made by the technician to the tooth on your next visit. Veneers sometimes come away from the tooth or break if the tooth is knocked. They can sometimes be glued back on but will have to be replaced if they are damaged. What are the benefits? Veneers can greatly improve your appearance. They hide imperfections and you lose very little natural tooth. Veneers also protect teeth from any more damage. For example acid in foods and drinks or from the stomach can cause your teeth to wear away. The teeth can become thin and week but veneers can protect them. If the tooth is strong, a veneer is often a better option than a crown for improving a tooth’s appearance.
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