Cosmetic Dentist and one of our expert panellists Dr Mark Hughes shares with us his answers to some frequently asked questions about veneers.
How do I choose a dentist to do my veneers? Experience in these procedures is everything. look for cosmetic dentists or restorative dentists who have lots of qualifications, training and experience in the specific field of cosmetic dentistry and who regularly win awards for their work. You want cosmetic dentists who are full members or accredited in cosmetic dentistry academies such as the bacd & aacd. The quality and skill of the dental technician involved in the manufacture of your veneers is also very important. Ask to see their case portfolios which should be extensive and seek out honest testimonials from patients they have actually treated for the same procedures. Pick a dentist who has advanced training and experience in what we call “occlusion”.
What are the different types of veneers? There are many types. porcelain veneers and composite veneers, direct and indirect, full preparation and minimal or ‘no’ preparation. Suitability will depend on many factors and should be assessed on an individual case by case basis.
How much do they cost? Costs vary but will depend mostly on the following: the skill, experience and qualifications of the cosmetic dentist. The type of veneer, the quality of the laboratory used to make them, the difficulty of your case, your expectations and how fabulous you want your result to be. The complexity of your bite and chewing action.
Why are some veneers better than others? There are advantages and disadvantages to every option and what works best for one person may not necessarily achieve the best result for another. The major factor in quality is the skill and experience of the dentist and the dental ceramic technician who would be making your veneers (indirect). Direct composite veneers can often be very conservative and retain more healthy tooth tissue than porcelain and are often more affordable.
How long will my veneers last? This again will vary and depends on many factors. The major contributing factors are as follows: Is the veneer being placed on enamel or dentine of your tooth. How good is the dentist and the dental technician. How complex is your bite. Do you grind or clench your teeth. How healthy are your teeth and gums in general. How often do you attend for maintenance cleaning and care visits with the dentist after the treatment has been completed. On average plan for 10 years but ask your cosmetic dentist as your case will be unique.
How do I know if I’m suitable for veneers? This will be established following a thorough examination and consultation with an experienced cosmetic or restorative dentist. Be very wary of quick and ‘free’ consultations that do not look thoroughly at your dental health, particularly your gum health and very importantly that look at your bite and how your teeth function together whilst you chew. A detailed analysis of the bite is essential to long term success with veneers.
What are the risks and how do I best reduce the risks? There are risks and compromises with almost every medical procedure but the main ones are risk of nerve damage in your teeth, chipping or debonding of your veneers, a unsatisfactory aesthetic result, pain and discomfort, sensitivity. What is vital to reduce risk is to seek treatment from the most experienced and caring cosmetic dentist who can help you choose what treatment is best for you. Be careful not to rush treatment and have a thorough examination followed by thoughtful and well planned treatment schedule.