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Dental veneers, also known as porcelain or composite veneers are thin shells of tooth colored porcelain or composite resin which are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia. It can be ideal choice for improving the appearance of a front teeth.

It is an excellent alternative to crown in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as gaps between their front teeth, an oddly shaped teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, crooked teeth or even stained by tetracycline.

Although dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth, they also protect the surface of damaged teeth and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatments. Other benefits of veneers include durability, an improved smile appearance, and the need for little-to-no removal of tooth structure compared to crowns.Generally, veneers will last for many years.

1. Porcelain Veneers & Composite Resin Veneers

The two most common materials used to fabricate or create dental veneers are composite resin and porcelain. Indirect (created outside of your mouth) porcelain veneers and composite veneers are made by a dental technician in a dental laboratory; direct (created directly on your teeth) composite veneers are made by your dentist during your appointment at the dental office. We do a lot of indirect composite veneers in our clinics that’s why composite veneers are done immediately and do not require a second visit.

Porcelain dental veneers are more appropriate solutions for severe cases involving dullness, wear, discoloration, extensive chipping, cracking, spacing or uneven teeth. Porcelain veneers are more expensive as it involves making temporary veneers and taking impressions to be sent to a dental technician who will fabricate the porcelain veneers. Two visits will be necessary as the permanent porcelain veneers will be cemented on the second visit.

2. Composite Bonding Or Just Bonding

Refers to direct composite veneers — is an inexpensive, effective, and minimally invasive way to restore and correct small chips, cracks, and discoloration in the teeth.

Bonding is a popular treatment option because it provides a successful attachment between the filling material and the tooth’s original enamel and dentin. It looks like the original tooth and functions like it as well. Direct composite bonding is used to recreate a smile in an additive manner, where little or no tooth reduction is needed. Direct bonding in the hands of a skilled dentist, is less costly than porcelain veneers and crowns can be long-lasting with proper maintenance.

3. Should I Choose Veneers Or Whitening?

Porcelain dental veneers or direct composite veneers may require the shaping or preparation of all teeth being treated. Therefore, we may first recommend whitening teeth first to people with mildly discoloured teeth, who want a whiter and brighter smile because it is the least invasive cosmetic dentistry option. If crooked teeth or alignment issues are involved, whitening may be combined with orthodontic treatments either with traditional braces or invisible aligners like Invisalign aligners.

4. Treatment Process

Composite resin veneers are generally done in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material onto your teeth. Then the composite veneers are polished to a high shine and smoothness.

Porcelain veneer patients however may need up to 3 appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding.

To prepare the teeth for porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of veneer. Usually, about half a millimetre of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anaesthetic. After that, a mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for fabrication of the veneers and may take several days. If the teeth are too unsightly, a temporary veneer can be placed.

When your ceramic veneers are ready, the dentist places each veneer on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or colour. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a light beam hardens the cement. The veneers are then adjusted to make sure you can eat and speak normally.

5. Maintenance

For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your "new" teeth that have changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily. Do visit us every four months for your regular dental check up.

Care must be taken to not abuse the veneers because the porcelain shells or composite layers can be damaged or broken. We advise you against eating hard, crunchy food. If you grind your teeth when you sleep (bruxism) then we recommend you use a protective mouth guard when you sleep.

6. How Long Can Veneers Last?

Veneers are reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth, not perfect replacements. It is not uncommon to see slight variations in the colour of veneers upon close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. With normal care with not biting down on too hard food, or using your veneered teeth to tear open plastic bags for example, veneers should last for years.

7. Can I Change My Composite Veneers To Porcelain Veneers?

Sure! Many people opt for composite veneers first due to budget restraints and switch to porcelain veneers at a later time.

8. What Do I Do If My Veneer Chips?

If your composite veneer chips it can be easily repaired immediately. Porcelain veneers are a little harder to repair as it will need special materials and may need to be replaced completely.

When you get your veneers done, eat normal food and don’t be worried. We have the 30-day guarantee to repair or replace our veneers because we know it is impossible to completely check in the clinic for all your biting and chewing movements. People shift their jaw movements as they chew differently for different types of food! We will happily do any adjustments, repairs, or replacements for you within this time frame.

“Dr. Fauziah is the best! Went to the clinic with a gap in my teeth and left the place constantly smiling. Highly recommended.”

- Justin Kong