Dental Veneers

A Dental Veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is made to fit over the front surface of a tooth—in a similar fashion to how a false nail is fit over a natural fingernail.

A veneer is essentially designed to change your tooth’s shape, size and colour.

When Might You Need a Veneer?

They are often used in the following situations:

  • If you have gaps between your teeth – veneers can be used to close small gaps when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. A veneer can also be used to bring a tooth that is slightly out of position into alignment with the others.
  • When your teeth are irregularly shaped
  • Where your teeth are broken or chipped – The thin porcelain layer covers the entirety of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the damaged part.
  • If your teeth have become discoloured – This can happen from procedures such as root canals or fillings. Veneers of precisely determined shades of porcelain are used to improve the appearance of a single discoloured or stained tooth, or to brighten the front teeth, particularly the upper ones.

Dental Veneers Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from clients of Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick in relation to Dental Veneers.

Natural-coloured filling material can be used for minor repairs to front teeth. This is excellent where the tooth supports the filling, but may not work so well for broken tooth corners. There will always be a join between the tooth and the filling material. Crowns are used for teeth that need to be strengthened—either because they are broken, have been weakened by a very large filling, or have had root canal treatment.
Veneers should last for many years, but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Your dentist will tell you how long each individual veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.
Some of the shiny outer enamel surface of the tooth may be removed, to ensure that the veneer can be bonded permanently in place. The amount of enamel removed is tiny and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted, so the tooth stays the same size. A local anaesthetic (injection) may be used to minimise discomfort, but often this is not necessary. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist takes an ‘impression’, which is given to the dental technician, along with any other information required to make the veneer. The colour of the surrounding teeth is matched on a shade guide to ensure the veneer looks entirely natural.
A veneer takes at least two visits; the first for tooth preparation and shade-matching, and the second to fit it. Before bonding, your dentist will show you the veneer on your tooth to make sure you are happy with it. A veneer is bonded using a special adhesive that holds it firmly on the tooth.
Probably not, because the preparation of the tooth is so slight. The tooth looks very much the same after preparation, but feels slightly less smooth.
Only minor adjustments can be made to the veneer after fitting. It is usually best to wait and become accustomed to it before any changes are made. Your dentist will probably check and polish it a week or so after fitting, to make sure that you are happy with the treatment.

It is very important to maintain your veneers by visiting the dental hygienist every couple of months to prevent decay and gum issues. Such issues will shorten the lifetime of your veneers.

  1. One aspect of veneers is that they cannot change colour after they’re created. Therefore, even if your smile’s colour changes over time, your veneer colour won’t change. However, you can minimise this problem by staying current with your dental appointments.
  2. Veneers are also more vulnerable to cracking and chipping compared with fillings or crowns, as they are inherently delicate. Therefore, they may not be the best option for you if you have a bad habit of biting your nails, chomping on ice or grinding your teeth.
  3. Veneers also may not be a good idea if you’ve got a history of weak enamel or gum disease.