A Veneer is a cosmetic dental treatment intended to improve the appearance of someone’s smile. Made from a thin layer of porcelain (ultra-thin ceramic) or a natural-coloured composite resin, veneers are bonded to the surface of the tooth to improve oral cosmetics.
When might you need veneers?
Veneers may be an alternative to crowns and can improve tooth shape and colour, but are not particularly helpful in changing the position of teeth, although the veneer procedure can sometimes be used to close gaps between teeth in situations when braces may not be an option. Cosmetic veneers are not available on the NHS and the procedure is often chosen when an improved smile is sought after. Due to the strong adhesive used to attach the materials to the tooth, veneers last many years and because of celebrity and lifestyle magazine endorsement, as well as upselling by dentists, are becoming increasingly popular.
What does the procedure entail?
Costs for veneers can differ depending on the practice so it’s important to understand the details of what the procedure will entail and what will be covered in the price quoted, including any aftercare that may be offered.
The treatment will require a number of stages including diagnosis, treatment planning, preparation and bonding. Local anaesthetic is used to numb the area and prevent any discomfort during the process when a small amount of enamel is removed from the front of the tooth. An impression (mould) is created so the veneers can be custom built for a person’s teeth and the colour shade can also be precisely matched to the rest of the mouth. Bonding the veneer is completed using specific chemicals which form an adhesive between the inside of the veneer and the tooth surface, and following this, a light beam is often used to activate the cement.
What can I claim for if my veneers go wrong?
Although your dentist should ensure a veneer procedure is completed to a professional standard, it is not uncommon for dental negligence to take place. Due to the complexity of cosmetic dentistry, there are many different things that can go wrong. Some common examples include:
Badly fitted veneers that fall off, or are the wrong size causing discomfort
Excessive drilling of the supporting teeth causing infection
Veneers that fracture or chip after placement, veneers have a higher risk of failure if the patient has a habit of grinding their teeth
If standards are poor when a dentist performs this procedure, unnecessary pain or trauma can result as well as increased costs to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.