Many people have something they want to change about their smiles. Whether your teeth are stained or discoloured, short, crooked, chipped or you have gaps in your smile, you can talk to your dentist about the cosmetic treatments they offer to help you make the changes you want.
One option is dental veneers. These can cover a single tooth or multiple teeth to change how they look. However, as a cosmetic treatment they can't correct more serious orthodontic or oral health problems.
To make an informed decision about whether dental veneers or another treatment is right for you, it's important to know both the good and the bad.
Who can have veneers?
Not everyone is a candidate for veneers. To be considered eligible for this treatment, you must:
- have healthy teeth and gums – problems such as gum disease need to be treated before you can begin veneers treatment
- not habitually grind or clench your teeth, as this can damage the veneers
- have enough tooth structure remaining to support a veneer
If veneers aren't an option for you, or you decide against the treatment, alternatives could include:
- Teeth whitening to cover up stains
- Dental crowns to restore or reshape a tooth
- Orthodontics to straighten teeth or close gaps
What are the different types of veneers?
Dental veneers are available in a choice of two materials:
- Porcelain (ceramic)
- Composite resin (plastic and glass)
Both options have their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Porcelain veneers are custom made to fit over your teeth and bonded into place. As porcelain is a close visual match for tooth enamel, these veneers look more natural than composite resin. They're also more resistant to damage and staining, which can make them last for longer (7–15 years on average).
On the downside, porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite resin, and if they get damaged they can't be repaired so easily. The procedure involves at least two visits to the dentist, as your veneers will be manufactured off-site.
Composite resin veneers are applied directly to teeth by a dentist, meaning this procedure can usually be completed in a single visit. They're also a cheaper option and your dentist may be able to rebuild a chipped or damaged veneer without having to fully replace it.
Although your dentist will choose a shade of resin that matches your natural tooth colour (unless you want something brighter), composite veneers don't look quite as natural as porcelain. They're also more prone to stains from food and drink, tobacco and other sources, and can be damaged more easily.
Are veneers safe?
When you choose a qualified and experienced dentist for your veneers treatment, the risks will be minimal. However, complications could still include:
- teeth feeling more sensitive to temperature after some of the enamel is removed
- jaw pain or TMJ dysfunction if your bite goes out of alignment
- veneers cracking if you bite something hard or your mouth is injured
Your dentist should explain the possible risks of veneers so you can make a fully informed decision. You can lower the risks by maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping up with your scheduled dental visits.
What do veneers cost?
The cost of your dental veneers varies for each case, and depends on factors such as:
- how many veneers you choose
- the material they're made from
- their size
- whether you require sedation and other related costs
Your dentist can give you a quote for the treatment cost at your initial consultation. They may also offer payment plans to help you break down the cost into regular payments.
It's important to note that veneers and other cosmetic treatments are not covered by most health funds.
Find out more about veneers in Sydney CBD
For more information about veneers, schedule a consultation with our dentists in Sydney CBD.
Healthdirect. Veneers [Online] 2018 [Accessed October 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/veneers
Canadian Dental Association. Bonding & Veneers [Online] 2009 [Accessed October 2019] Available from: http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/procedures/bonding_veneers/