For patients who have badly discoloured or worn teeth there are a number of cosmetic dentistry treatments to remedy the problem. For discoloured teeth the dentist will be able to try a number of whitening procedures, or perhaps thinly applied dental bonding. Dental bonding can also be used to correct the appearance of worn or unevenly spaced teeth. However, in some cases, the existing damage to teeth is so severe that the best option is to cover it altogether with veneers.
In the past veneers have been clunky and unrealistic but with advancement in dental technology over the last twenty years, today’s veneers are incredibly thin, translucent porcelain caps that look just like real teeth. Manufactured using the very latest in computer aided design and manufacturing, dentists can create 3D images of the patient’s teeth on the computer from which to design the veneers. The introduction of digital x-rays has made this possible and also reduced length of waiting and appointment times.
Porcelain veneers can be as thin as a contact lens but still incredibly hard wearing. Although the porcelain itself is quite brittle, when it is cemented to the base structure of the teeth it becomes instantly tough. Veneers act as a shell fitting around the existing teeth to completely transform its cosmetic appearance in seconds. But they are not just used for cosmetic purposes. Veneers can also be used to cap chipped, cracked or broken teeth. Again if the dentist is unable to fix the teeth with regular dental bonding, a veneer may be used to protect the tooth from further damage and sure up its structural integrity.
Manufacturing and fitting veneers used to be a lengthy and complex procedure. Just making veneers in the laboratory would take weeks on end. With the new technology, certain veneers can be designed and fitted in the same afternoon. CEREC veneers (which stands for Ceramic Reconstruction) can be designed and fitted in one four-hour appointment.
To fit a veneer, the dentist would usually have to grind down the existing teeth to accommodate the porcelain and the bonding cement. New Lumineer veneers are so thin that they can fit over existing teeth without preparation. In fact they are so thin they can even fit over existing veneers.
Porcelain veneer technology has come a long way. They are now one of the preferred, by dentists and patients alike, of the cosmetic dental procedures. They can have an enormous impact on the appearance of teeth in such a short space of time. Ask a City of London dentist about porcelain veneers.