Dental Veneers – Uses and Aftercare

A brief look at how dental veneers can enhance your smile.

Dental veneers are usually made from porcelain and are fitted to the front of a patient’s teeth where required.

They are sometimes referred to as ‘fingernails for the teeth’, which, whilst understandable, does miss an essential point. Whilst false fingernails are simply attached on top of the already present fingernail, a tooth that is to have a veneer fitted usually needs to be prepared first.

This preparation is done by removing a fine layer from the front of the affected teeth after which impressions are taken and sent to a dental laboratory where the veneers are made. Once available, they are fitted to the prepared tooth using a strong dental adhesive and then trimmed and polished to give a natural appearance.

Uses of a dental veneer

There are a number of situations where dental veneers can be especially useful.

  1. Severely stained teeth. Whilst some of our Wickford patients will opt for a teeth whitening procedure to improve the colour of their teeth; sometimes this may be insufficient. Where the teeth are heavily stained, veneers may be needed in order for the patient to see a real difference.
  2. Enamel erosion. A diet too high in acidic foods, or even brushing your teeth consistently and too vigorously can cause enamel damage. As this can compromise the tooth, not only will veneers help to improve the appearance, but also help to protect the more vulnerable dentine layer of the tooth.
  3. Chips and cracks – Where a tooth has suffered from minor damage such as chips or cracks, a teeth whitening procedure will only draw attention to this fact and dental veneers are an excellent solution to mask this problem.
  4. Minor orthodontics. Although modern dental braces such as Invisalign are more widely used to straighten a patient’s teeth, veneers can be used for some minor orthodontic corrections such as where there is a gap between the front teeth. A visit to the Cygnet Dental Practice will determine which procedure is most suitable for you.

Once attached to the tooth, a dental veneer should be expected to last for many years providing that the appropriate care is taken to look after them. This is straightforward and will help to maintain strong and healthy veneers.

  • Brush your teeth. As well as helping to maintain the whiteness of your new veneers, brushing your teeth will remove food particles and bacteria that can cause damage to the remainder of the natural part of your teeth on which the veneer is fixed. If the underlying tooth suffers from decay, it may lead to the veneer becoming unseated.
  • Floss – Decay and gum disease often start in the gaps between our teeth. Adding flossing to your regular cleaning regimen will help to minimise this risk.
  • Don’t bite down hard with your veneers. Biting hard foods such as nuts with your front teeth that have had veneers fitted, may cause them to become detached. The same principle applies to fingernail biting and pen chewing etc.
  • Professional care. You should maintain your regular visits to our dentist in Wickford in order for us to monitor your oral health. If you do not do so already, dental hygienist visits will improve the chances of having a healthy mouth throughout your life.

If you would like to learn more about dental veneers, or any other of our cosmetic dental procedures that we have available, please call the Cygnet Dental Practice on 01268 733078.