What is a composite veneer?
A composite veneer is a type of dental appliance that is designed to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth; although it is described singularly here, it can also be referred to in plural – a set of composite veneers. You might be familiar with porcelain veneers that are shaped to fit over the top of the teeth and disguise discolouration or misalignment, composite veneers are used with the same result in mind but instead of being carved individually from porcelain they are created using composite bonding material, which is a malleable substance. Composite bonding is also used to fill cavities in teeth which keeps them whole and stops bacteria from rotting through the mineral layers.
To apply composite veneers to a patient’s teeth, the dentist needs to prepare them appropriately first; this involves cleaning and etching the surface so that the material can bond properly with the enamel, some of the outer shell may need to be removed if the teeth are too large or crooked but this is generally associated with the fitting process for porcelain veneers rather than composite ones. Next, the dentist will apply the first layer of the filler material and start to mould it so that it looks like a natural tooth in both size and shape – the colour should also be matched to any remaining teeth so that the change is not too obvious. It usually takes 3 to 4 layers of bonding material to create a decent veneer, and this should dry quite quickly to a hard finish. As the veneer starts to harden, the dentist will sand away any rough edges and continue to shape the teeth so that they look natural; then all that is left to do is give them a good polish and the treatment is complete.
What is a composite veneer used for?
There are lots of instances where a composite veneer can be used to improve dental problems, let’s take a look at some of the most common cases where this kind of treatment has been successful;
Discolouration – enamel staining can develop over several years as a result of bad habits, like smoking, or poor oral hygiene; discolouration may also appear due to antibiotics or illness. In most cases, the dentist will recommend a whitening treatment before veneers but this is not always suitable, especially in cases where the stains have penetrated very deeply. Where whitening will not work, the only real choice is to cover the damage and give the appearance of a whiter, healthy smile from the outside.
Misalignments – as with discolouration, it’s likely that the dentist would recommend alternative treatment before going straight for veneers; misaligned teeth are often treated using orthodontics so that the natural structure of the teeth can be retained. However, some people are not enthusiastic about the idea of wearing fixed braces for an extended period of time, either because they feel it would be uncomfortable or they just don’t want to be seen with braces fixed to their teeth. Furthermore, composite veneers can be used to fix minor misalignments in just a single appointment, whereas orthodontics takes at least six months to complete the job – sometimes several years if the misalignments are very extreme.
Damaged teeth – composite bonding material is a very strong substance that can easily be shaped to rebuild a tooth that has been chipped or cracked in an accident and if several teeth have been damaged a full set of veneers would be ideal to replace missing areas. If there has been substantial damage, such as cracks or fractures that penetrate beneath the gum line, then other treatment should be undertaken first, before considering the overall appearance of the teeth – their health should take precedence over the way they look.
Where can I get a composite veneer from?
There are lots of places all over the UK that can provide you with this kind of cosmetic treatment; when beginning your search for a good dentist, you might want to start with the Internet – there are numerous websites online that can offer you an insight into the way certain clinics operate. Testimonials from previous patients can really help to give you a personal opinion on the service and treatment at prospective clinics. Of course, the ultimate decision is yours but it’s a good idea to take into account other people’s experiences and recommendations when you are considering dental surgery. Your regular dentist may also be able to provide you with contact details or a referral for local practitioners that may be suitable for you.
How much does a composite veneer cost?
Composite veneers are not generally the preferred form of treatment if the patient is looking for a complete dental overhaul, which is why they tend to be cheaper than the porcelain variety. Although they don’t last as long as porcelain veneers, the composite version can perform well for several years before some repair work will need to be undertaken. Because they don’t last as long and they are not individually sculpted to fit each tooth, this means composite veneers are usually much cheaper than porcelain ones, normally costing five hundred to a thousand pounds for a decent set. It might be tempting to go for the cheapest option or whichever dentist has an available appointment, but this is rarely the best course of action and you shouldn’t base your decision on costs alone – although it should certainly be a consideration. Veneer treatment is generally more expensive than any other kind of restorative dental procedure, mainly because it can deal with a myriad of problems at once and it takes quite a lot of skill on the part of the dentist to create a natural looking finish.
For reasonable prices and a great level of customer care, you won’t do better than the Pearl Dental Clinic; this London surgery can provide the very latest veneer treatments, as well as regular maintenance and general care, give them a call and speak to a member of the team about arranging an appointment today.