Ceramic veneers are a prosthetic solution that can be used to correct the undesired colour, size, position or shape of a tooth, while preserving as much tooth enamel as possible. In contemporary dental medicine, they are often used in smile makeovers. Veneers are a quick and easy solution for minor orthodontic anomalies, such as gaps between teeth or improper positioning of teeth.
In order to install veneers, the tooth needs to be healthy and vital, either without any fillings or only with a minor filling. If the tooth has greater damage and more comprehensive loss of tooth tissue, a crown may be a better solution. Veneers are usually made of silicate ceramics or glass-ceramic material, which is very thin and almost transparent and is virtually identical in appearance to the natural tooth.
In terms of their size, and the surface of the tooth they cover, veneers can be complete or partial (chips). Partial veneers are used to replace just a part of lost tooth tissue, or to reshape the tooth.
Preparing the tooth for ceramic veneers requires minimal abrasion of the tooth (approximately 0.5 mm), just enough to make the surface rough and increase the binding surface. In certain cases, no abrasion at all is required, as the veneer is cemented onto the untouched tooth. This has been made possible through the development of ceramic systems and adhesive cementing, which gives a long-term bond. Certain veneer producers give a 10-year guarantee on their products, meaning they can be considered a long-term prosthetic solution.
The procedure of installing veneers includes several steps. The first is taking the impression of the tooth (either abraded or not) in the clinic, followed by the creation of the veneer in the dental laboratory. The veneer is then cemented to the tooth. Usually, just two visits to the clinic are required. The final result is aesthetically perfect, and the tooth structure is maximally preserved.
What are the advantages of veneers?
- minimum or no abrasion of the tooth
- less irritation of the gums in comparison to crowns
- ceramic veneers have lasting colour and are stain resistant
- in most cases, veneers last ten or more years
- quick solution for numerous aesthetic problems (chipped tooth, gap between teeth, altered tooth colour, irregular shape or position of teeth)