Veneers for teeth: a buyers guide

Veneers for teeth can be used to correct a wide range of both physical and cosmetic problems, including stained teeth, chipped or broken teeth, unsightly gaps, crooked teeth and excessive erosion. Veneers for teeth act like false nails that are cemented to the original tooth to create a more attractive façade. Good teeth veneers last between 12 months and 10 years, depending on the type of veneer, the nature of the original problem and the skill of the dentist.

There are several different kinds and each has its own advantages. For example, composite veneers for teeth are considerably cheaper and easier to fit than other options but they do stain more easily and don’t last as long. More durable porcelain veneers are much more stain resistant and last much longer but are more expensive. At the far end of the scale, specialist, branded veneers for teeth involve the least trauma to the teeth and are the most durable but they are by far the most expensive. So how do you choose?

This article on tooth veneers is by Kathryn Senior, a freelance journalist who writes health, medical, biological, and pharmaceutical articles for national and international journals, newsletters and web sites.

Composite veneers for teeth

Composite veneers have the advantage of being fitted in situ, in your mouth, on a single visit. The material is layered, shaped and polished there and then and you leave with a completely new smile. This is a considerable advantage over porcelain veneers for teeth, which need to be manufactured off-site, leaving you with a temporary fitting for several days.

Composite veneers can start from £500 per tooth, however since the skill of the dentist is crucial to the process, it is worth paying more for a dentist of experience and repute. This type of veneers for teeth will last between 12 months and 2 years and are prone to chipping and staining. You may find that the initial savings you make by choosing composite veneers for teeth are soon wiped out by the need to replace them so regularly.

Pressed ceramic (porcelain) veneers for teeth

Pressed ceramic veneers are also known as porcelain veneers and consist of a single shaped layer that is machined to match the patient’s precise specifications. These veneers tend to last longer and be more resilient to chips and stains. However, this strength and durability comes at a cost, as pressed ceramic veneers for teeth tend to be thicker, requiring more of the healthy tooth enamel to be removed to allow for fitting.

Pressed ceramic veneers for teeth also tend to be a single uniform colour, which may not look natural in the mouth. They can be adapted to look more natural, using feldspathic techniques, but this will inevitably add to the costs.

Feldspathic porcelain veneers for teeth

Feldspathic veneers are similar in strength and durability to pressed ceramic veneers, but they have a much more natural appearance. This is because they are created in layers, allowing variations of colour and opacity to be built into the veneer. Highly skilled ceramicists can create veneers that are works of art and indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth.

Feldspathic veneers for teeth can be made to be very thin, reducing the amount of natural enamel that needs to be removed prior to fitting.

Specialist veneers for teeth

At the top of the range, there are several ‘brand name’ teeth veneers that have been developed by specialist laboratories to reduce the thickness still further or enhance the look. These specialist veneers for teeth include:

  • Lumineers – porcelain veneers for teeth that are made from a patented cerinate material that allows them to be made extremely thin, yet remain very strong. These veneers for teeth are no thicker than a contact lens and in many cases no enamel needs to be removed, making the process reversible rather than permanent as it usually is.
  • Da Vinci veneers for teeth – these are similar to Lumineers in that they are ultra-thin and very strong.
  • MAC veneers for teeth – a specialist pressed ceramic veneer that is 2-3 times stronger than standard veneers for teeth.

In each case, the veneers are made by specialist labs from patented materials, and as such are only available from specialist suppliers. Naturally, these premium veneers for teeth also come at a premium price.

Choosing veneers for teeth

As you can see, there is a considerable range of options available to you when choosing veneers. As with most purchases, you should always take expert advice and choose the best that you can afford. Your dentist will be able to advise you on which veneers would suit your problem best. With new products and techniques coming on to the market all the time, it is always worth researching the latest developments online before making your final choice.

Remember, once you have committed to veneers for teeth, you will probably be stuck with them for life, so you need to factor the costs you are likely to incur in the future as well as what you can afford right now.

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Veneers for teeth: a buyers guide
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