Dental veneers are prosthetic devices that are placed over or on the natural teeth by a professional dentist to enhance the appearance of the teeth, either for medical or cosmetic reasons, and often to repair a tooth that has been damaged or discoloured.
The history of dental veneers
Dental veneers were developed in the US by a dentist named Charles Pincus in 1928 originally for the Hollywood movie scene. The first veneers were designed to be worn temporarily by actors to improve the aesthetics of the teeth for the camera.
He later developed acrylic veneers in 1937 that could be attached to the teeth with denture adhesive, again for temporary, aesthetic value. It was not until 1959 that Dr Michael Buonocore began to investigate the effects of etching the teeth to allow a more permanent bond.
Today, modern technology and dental practice has (thankfully) moved on, and the modern dental veneers found in cosmetic and general dentistry around the world can typically last for many years if applied by a professional dentist and cared for properly by the patient according to the advice of the dental professional.
There are two main types of dental veneers – composite and porcelain:
Composite dental veneers
Direct composite dental veneers can give almost immediate results in one sitting and minimal discomfort at a professional dental surgery. The material used is similar to white composite tooth filling material, and is built up across the surface of the natural teeth, before being shaped and polished to suit the wearer. Little or no drilling is involved in this type of procedure, and a healthy smile can be enjoyed almost straightaway.
Using this technique is a popular, cost-effective way of achieving a great, straight smile, and can address small cosmetic or medical anomalies, such as chips, discolouration or cracks in the tooth enamel.
Porcelain dental veneers
Porcelain veneers are custom-made, fine shells that fit exactly over the affected tooth or teeth. These types of lab-manufactured veneers typically have better longevity and stain-resistance than composite ones, but again, this will depend on the professional dentist you choose, the aftercare you give the veneers at home, and the lifestyle you live.
Porcelain veneers require two visits to the dentist – one for preparation and to have a precise mould made, and second to fit the veneers when they have been custom-made to fit the recipient. A small amount of tooth enamel is sometimes etched to ensure a perfect fit for this type of veneer, and to ensure that the new veneer works beautifully alongside the other teeth.
There are other, ‘no-prep’ methods of fitting dental veneers, and your dentist will discuss these with you according to the result you require, and the methods your own dentist applies.
Are dental veneers right for me?
There are many reasons why a dental patient may opt for veneers. Although dental veneers typically fall into the cosmetic dentistry category and have been made popular by celebrities for a Hollywood smile, some patients select veneers to correct certain issues such as poor or thin tooth enamel, uneven teeth or discolouration.
The best way to decide whether veneers are right for you, and which type to choose if they are, would be to visit your dentist for a consultation. A good dentist will be able to offer a professional opinion, and will tell you if you are a good candidate for dental veneers.
How Dental Excel can help you
Dental Excel dentists across Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast provide both types of dental veneers, and are experienced enough to give you the best advice about your current dental issues. A thorough consultation for dental veneers is crucial, if a successful result is to be achieved, and Dental Excel dentists work closely with you to make sure that you are happy at every stage.
Find out more about our dental veneers on our dedicated cosmetic dentistry website page now.
Our dedicated teams work in friendly, relaxed environments, and are happy to talk you through both types of treatments, discuss the different types of dental veneer materials, and help you decide which is best for you.
Dental veneers are among the most popular type of cosmetic procedures at Dental Excel, and we know that correcting small imperfections in your smile can make a difference to your confidence. Make an appointment with Dental Excel today, and find out how dental veneers can help you keep a healthy smile for longer.