Composite bonded veneers use an aesthetic, tooth-coloured resin material to partially or fully cover the visible part of your tooth. They can be applied to individual chipped or broken teeth, or across many teeth to produce a wider uniform improvement.
Usually the tooth surface is initially cleaned and polished. Any existing visible fillings may have to be removed or reduced. Once polished, a gel is applied to the enamel before the dental bond (glue) is placed. This bond is set using a strong blue light, before the composite material is built on to the tooth enamel, often in layers with each layer being set individually with the light. Each veneer is then shaped and polished before the process continues on the next tooth.
In most instances composite veneers are applied with no obvious drilling to the natural tooth enamel. In the case that there is existing large tooth position problems, the option of some tooth adjustment will be discussed with you at your consultation if it results in an improved final alignment. For cases that require tooth adjustment you will be advised beforehand and any alternative solutions (braces) will be suggested as an option.
The majority of all cases are completed pain-free and without the need for local anaesthetic. Exceptions to this are when we are combining treatment with some filling replacements or situations requiring gum contouring.
As with any changes to the teeth, the composite veneers will feel new and you may feel aware of the surfaces for a few days. Take extra care on biting during this period until you are used to chewing with your new smile. The composite resin is fully hardened instantly on placement and no extra care need be taken in this respect. You should be able to eat, drink, brush and floss with confidence the same day!
We ask that you arrange a follow-up appointment within the next month after having your veneers placed. This will allow us to confirm you have had no difficulties and advise you on any ongoing home care. At this appointment there may be small adjustments requested or required before a final polish is carried out.
You should brush your veneers as normal the same day, and at least twice daily from then on. Take extra care to ensure the edges at the gum line are cleaned well to prevent any staining or gum irritation. Flossing is advised, as is the use of a routine daily mouthwash (e.g. Listerine Total). We recommend brushing with a good electric toothbrush (e.g. Braun Oral B or Philips Sonicare) together with a main brand fluoride toothpaste.
If you have been advised and provided with a night-time protector against tooth grinding this should be routinely worn, and should be brought with you at any subsequent appointments to allow us to review any potential problems.
Many cases may be provided with a ‘retainer’ after treatment. This is a very thin, clear plastic night-time appliance worn to prevent any movement of your underlying natural teeth. If not regularly worn, your veneered teeth will move out of alignment. The retainer will also help prevent against any damage caused by sleep tooth grinding. It is usual to need a new retainer every couple of years.
Although composite cannot actually be whitened, stain reduction is improved with careful daily cleaning and the occasional use of dental whitening products.
Teeth whitening on any teeth planned to be left untreated is usually carried out before the bonding appointment, and the veneer shade can be chosen later. The most suitable system to whiten your teeth will be discussed at your consultation. All whitening results WILL NATURALLY FADE, and occasional whitening top-ups may be required using at home use products.
Any tooth whitening products MUST BE AVOIDED on teeth that are to be bonded FOR AT LEAST 10 DAYS leading up to your veneer placement as the whitening products may affect the strength of the bond. This would result in early failure of the veneer.
As with any cosmetic dental procedure composite veneers will not last forever, and will eventually need to be replaced. Reasons for replacement may include chipping, colour fade, natural underlying tooth movement or veneer loss. Composite veneer removal must be carried out carefully and using magnification to prevent any damage to the natural enamel. Further veneers may then be placed or other treatment choices sought at that stage.
Porcelain can be used in a similar fashion to composite. Modern techniques rarely need to heavily adjust the teeth to ‘stumps’, as many people are worried about. We carry out many NO-PREPARATION porcelain veneers. Porcelain provides a stronger, more stain-resistant surface, which will tend to survive 10-15 years. Although usually more expensive, porcelain is often the cheaper long-term solution for larger smile makeovers.
Braces have improved enormously in recent years, and often treatment is completed in just a few weeks. Ultra-cosmetic systems are now available. Braces are used to correct tooth position problems and will be discussed as an option at your consultation if appropriate.
Early replacement risk factors include tooth grinding, accidental damage, poor daily hygiene routines or tooth movement due to retainer not being worn.
Typically we see good results of up to 5 years, dependent upon care. Any problems encountered during the life of the veneers should be brought to our attention as soon as is practical to allow advice and necessary action to resolve the issue.
Although an unusual option, you may choose not to go ahead with any treatment choice. You can always contact the clinic at a later date if you wish to reconsider.
I consent to the attached dental treatment plan using directly bonded composite veneers.
I understand the nature of the treatment required as discussed at my consultation/ with my treatment co-ordinator. I have had the opportunity to ask questions regarding my treatment, and am happy that I understand my plan, any risks or tooth adjustments required, and my alternative treatment options/alternatives.
I have been advised on the upkeep and ongoing care required and agree to maintain regular yearly dental examinations and cleaning as advised. I understand the nature of composite materials may require repair and/or re-polishing within the veneer lifespan. There may be additional costs incurred.
Composite veneers are fully guaranteed for 12 months from placement, except in the case of trauma damage.
I understand the costs incurred in this treatment, and agree to pay / finance in full the total costs as specified on my plan.