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Why You Might Need Veneers

Many people can feel self-concious about their teeth, and so they will seek a solution to make themselves feel more confident and positive about their smile. Usual reasons are due to teeth being crooked, uneven, chipped, gappy, protruding or discoloured. If you want to flash a winning smile whenever you greet someone without feeling conscious of your teeth, veneers may be the answer.  Thankfully, the team at Harley Street Smile Clinic can help you with this. 

We at Harley Street Smile Clinic want you to be confident with your grin, and so we set about providing you with the best ways of improving your teeth thanks to our various cosmetic procedures using porcelain veneers. Simplistic and painless, our cosmetic procedures help to improve your smile and can be a quick fix for all of the issues listed above. If you want to be able to smile freely without thinking about the appearance of your teeth, then veneers could the answer you are looking for.

What are Veneers?

Porcelain Dental Veneers are thin bespoke ceramic shells that are bonded to the front surface of your existing tooth, commonly used to disguise imperfections such as crooked or chipped teeth, discolouration, gaps and uneven teeth to conceal the underlying cosmetic issues and create a great new appearance. Recently it has become a favourable option over other cosmetic treatments to achieve an overall smile makeover. We, here, say that ‘veneers are to teeth, what false nails are to hands’

Do it once, do it right!

If you are considering having veneers, then the quality of the work performed is of great importance.  High-quality dental work can be costly, but the greatest costs come from having to do the work more than once. We regularly see patients who have had treatment elsewhere, usually abroad, and who end up coming here to get their ceramic veneers repaired or re-done. Our dentists combine artistic design with years of practical experience to design veneers that look both beautiful and natural.

What are veneers used for?

  • Straighten crooked teeth – Where the teeth are out of line, we can place porcelain dental veneers on the teeth to disguise the overcrowding.
  • Close gaps in teeth –Depending on the size of a gap between one or more of your teeth, dental veneers can be the ideal solution to close the gaps quickly and easily. 
  • Discoloured teeth –Teeth can be discoloured for many different reasons.  Common discolouration cases are where the teeth have either just aged and discoloured over time, or there may be conditions present such as staining or Fluorosis and the veneers are ideal to mask that discolouration.
  • Overlapping teeth – A common concern is where teeth overlap each other.  Veneers can be used to disguise the overlap by removing the overlapping enamel and placing the cosmetic veneers on top.
  • Minor Imperfections –It is very common to see cases where there is very little wrong with the teeth but the individual wants a more perfect looking smile. These kinds of cases always look very natural because very little enamel needs to be taken away.
  • Worn teeth –A common issue is where the teeth have been ground down over time, and they have shortened considerably.  Veneers are the ideal solution to restore short or worn down teeth.
  • Chipped teeth – Porcelain veneers are an ideal solution to restore the shapes to chipped or broken teeth. Where enough tooth structure still remains, veneers can be used to build them, but in more severe cases – where over half of the tooth has chipped – it is more likely that crowns would be needed for added strength.

What are the best veneers?

The best dental veneers are made of the finest porcelain. There are many brand names for porcelains such as Empress porcelain and Emax porcelain, but which type of porcelain is best depends on the teeth that the dental veneers are being applied to.

There are many factors that the cosmetic dentist needs to consider before being able to determine which product, and which process should be used in each individual case. It is not a simple case of one being better than the other, as there are elements of one which would be best used in one case but not in another. For example, one porcelain may look more natural but is so thin that it cannot disguise the discolouration on the tooth beneath it.

The cosmetic dentist and the lab technician together work closely to determine how best to achieve the optimal end aesthetic result. For the layman researching which teeth veneers are best, you would be advised to seek the opinion of a highly skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist, rather than assuming you know which dental porcelain veneers would be best for your teeth.

What types of veneers are there?

There are many different types of veneers.  We find the best results for the majority of cases is porcelain. 

  1. Porcelain veneers – are extremely durable, long-lasting, natural-looking, glossy, and the results can be outstanding. The material is also non-porous, meaning that it does not pick up any surface staining that cannot be easily brushed off. Ideal for the coffee and red wine drinkers! Porcelain teeth veneers are the perfect solution to disguise imperfections in your teeth, such as crooked teeth, gaps in your teeth, discolouration, chipped or uneven teeth.  Our porcelain dental veneers come with a 5-year guarantee at our clinic, but we expect them to last for 15 years or more if you look after them well. Good oral hygiene and regular hygiene maintenance are all that are required to expect this kind of longevity. 
  2. Composite veneers – are a different material altogether – not unlike the material used for white fillings.  As such the longevity of composite is nowhere near what can be expected of porcelain dental veneers. Composite is porous, and so it can pick up staining, unlike porcelain.  If you are a smoker or drink lots of black coffee or red wine, you may find the composite teeth veneers will stain much more quickly. Composite veneers not as strong as porcelain veneers and so they can chip more easily. 
  3. Lumineers – are a great idea in principle, but unfortunately, there are very few cases where lumineers are suitable.  Lumineers are, essentially, veneers. They are fine pieces of porcelain and their only difference from dental veneers is that the teeth do not need to be ‘prepped’ or filed down at all in order to accommodate the lumineers. The porcelain just sticks on top of your own teeth. If you have any teeth that are slightly protruding or overlapping, the lumineers need to come forward to the same point in order for them all to line up correctly. This means that some of the lumineers would be quite thick, and so the end result won’t necessarily look very good. The cases where lumineers work really well, are when the teeth are slightly gapped and slightly set back. The lumineers can then be placed onto the teeth, wrap around the edges to close the little gaps and bring the teeth forward slightly – which would give a fantastic result. Sadly, there are not many cases like this, where lumineers are suitable. However, dental veneers and lumineers are often used in conjunction. Teeth that need to be prepared will be given dental veneers, teeth that do not need to be prepared will be given lumineers. They are both the same thing and it is really just a matter of whether the tooth has been prepared underneath or not.
  4. Snap-on veneers! – In a nutshell, snap-on veneers are very much like wearing a gum shield. It is a temporary measure to disguise the appearance of your own teeth. They are made of plastic and as they fit over your own teeth, if you have any protrusion, all of the teeth in the gum shield will need to protrude in the same way in order for them to be lined up. But this defeats the object of reducing the protrusion. The only way to reduce the appearance of the protrusion is by having veneers and filing the tooth, particularly in its most protruding part, to reduce its bulk. Snap-on veneers are not considered to be a viable option to improve your smile as far as dentists are concerned.
  5. Cerec veneers – can be placed in just one day. They are created by a machine and are designed according to specific instructions entered into the computer system. The veneers will only be as good looking as the design and instructions that are given by the dentist and this in itself is an art.

Many factors need to be considered in order to achieve natural looking results – where translucency may be desired, realistic teeth characteristics applied, and varying shades of colour are needed to make them blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth.

In general, dental veneers would be made in a laboratory and hand sculpted by a technician. There is no reason why Cerec veneers cannot be just as good as lab played veneers, but a great deal of skill is required to produce high-quality, natural-looking veneers in this manner.

How do I find a good cosmetic dentist to get veneers?

It may surprise you to hear that cosmetic dentistry is not a specialised field in the UK. This means that any dentist is able to call themselves a cosmetic dentist, no matter how much experience they have in this line of dentistry. If you want to make sure that you find a very good cosmetic dentist, there are a few signs to look out for which will make one stand above the other.

Any cosmetic dentist who has been practising cosmetic dentistry for a long time will have a huge portfolio of before and after treatment photographs of cosmetic dentistry cases that they have carried out. Be wary of stock photos that are not linked to the particular dentist that is carrying out your work…

You will find there are many reviews that have been written online, that will give you the confidence that you have got the right cosmetic dentist for you. It is worth googling the name of the cosmetic dentist that you are seeing so that you can find lots of glowing reviews.

It is also worth finding out whether the cosmetic dentist concentrates solely on cosmetic dentistry, or whether they generally would see patients for general dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry carried out by a general practitioner may not be as good as it could be if you saw a specialist. For example, how

long have you had to spend in the dental chair? With a highly skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist, an average treatment time to place eight upper veneers would be in the region of 2 to 3 hours. Any longer than that and it is not going to be the most comfortable experience. With experience comes skill and we like to minimise the amount of time that a patient is in the chair.

When you visit a cosmetic dentist for a consultation, with regard to having some porcelain veneers placed on your teeth, there are a few ways in which you can feel confident you have chosen the right person. Has the cosmetic dentist provided you with a simulation of how you could expect results to look? Have you seen examples of cases they have carried out? Are you able to have a trial smile prior to the treatment? Are you able to discuss the shapes of the teeth that you would like? If you have not been provided with the above, you need to make sure that you feel comfortable with the dentist in question. It is a big step to have anything done to your teeth, so it is up to you to choose the right person for you. You want to feel relaxed and so picking the right cosmetic dentist is paramount.

How long do veneers last?

We expect our cosmetic dental veneers to last for 15 years; however, if you look after them really well, they may last even longer than that. Providing the teeth veneers have been placed really well, and there are perfect seals between the veneers and the teeth, you can expect them to stay in place for decades. As with your own teeth, annual check-ups with your dental dentist would be advised, along with six monthly hygiene visits to ensure that your gums are in tiptop health. If you look after your gums, the veneers can look after themselves.

Are veneers guaranteed?

Yes, we guarantee our dental veneers for at least five years. Whilst veneers are extremely durable, they are not indestructible. Many people use their teeth as tools and, as a result, they can often break their own teeth. This is no different with your veneers. You still need to take care of them and not apply undue pressure.


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