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Cosmetic veneers FAQs at The Park Practice Glasgow West End Kelvingrove

Q.What is a veneer?

A. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.

Q.When would I need a veneer?

A. Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.

Q.What are the advantages of veneers?

A. Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy. Because they are very thin and are held in place by a special strong bond (rather like super-glue) very little preparation of the tooth is needed.

Q.How are teeth prepared for a veneer?

A. Some of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to make sure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place later. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to make sure that there is no discomfort, but often this is not necessary. ‘Impressions’ (moulds) are taken and sent to the dental technician, along with any other information needed to make the veneer. Tooth colour is matched on a shade guide to make sure that the veneer will look entirely natural.

Q.How long will it take?

A. A veneer takes at least two visits: the first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it. Before bonding it in place, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. Bonding a veneer in place is done with a special adhesive, which holds it firmly on the tooth.

Q.Will I need a temporary veneer between visits?

A. You will probably not need a temporary veneer. The tooth will look very much the same after preparation, but will just feel slightly less smooth.

Q.What happens after the veneer is fitted?

A. Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after it is fitted. It is usually best to wait a little while to get used to it before any changes are made. We may need to check and polish it a week or so after it is fitted, and make sure that you are happy with it.

Q.How much will it cost?

A. We will discuss the cost of veneers and the work carried out before we fit them. Please ask the surgery for prices of dental veneers.

Q.How long will a veneer last?

A. Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.

Q.Are there alternatives to veneers?

A. A natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. Crowns are used for teeth which need to be strengthened – either because they have broken, been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over a tooth

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