What's the difference between a Dental Crown and a Veneer?
Before you read on, it's important to make sure you're looking at the right information. Crowns and Veneers are both related to smile design and are therefore often mistaken for one another, though the differences are great.
A Veneer is a custom-made, tooth-coloured shell that covers your teeth. They are routinely used to deal with minor, aesthetic issues such as:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Worn down teeth
- Misaligned or misshapen teeth
- Unwanted gaps
- Discoloured or deeply stained teeth
A Crown, however, may be required when your tooth has suffered from major damage, such as severe decay or breakage. It is a prosthetic tooth that allows your damaged teeth to resume functionality.
If after reading this you feel that a Dental Crown may be more suitable for you, please take a look at our Dental Crowns page.
What are the benefits of veneers?
Veneers can correct minor aesthetic issues you may be having with your teeth - such as discoloured, misshapen or chipped teeth - thereby improving your smile and raising your confidence.
Can I get a veneer on any tooth?
Though Veneers are often associated with aesthetics, getting a Dental Veneer is not to be taken lightly, as it is a serious process. Veneers are specifically suited to improve minor dental issues. They cannot be used on teeth that have extensive decay or damage, for which you would need a filling or a crown.
Are veneers visible to the naked eye?
Our Veneers are crafted from porcelain and are custom-made to blend in perfectly with the natural tone of your teeth, subtly improving your smile.
How long do Veneers last?
With the right care, a traditional porcelain Veneer can last between 10 to 15 years.
Does my Veneer need extra care?
It's important to continue taking care of your teeth as best you can. Though your tooth may look perfect, the tooth underneath is still susceptible to decay if not looked after, which could cause problems with your Veneer as well as your general oral health.
Alongside brushing and flossing daily, you can extend the lifespan of your Veneers by taking the following precautions:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects
- Try not to chew with your front teeth
- If you're prone to grinding or clenching your teeth at night, invest in a retainer
- When playing sports, always wear a Mouth Guard
- Do not use your teeth to open packaging
Walk me through the process of getting a veneer
To begin with, your dentist will assess your dental issues, listen to what sort of results you're expecting and then advise upon the best course of action. A full dental examination will take place at this stage and your dentist will let you know whether veneers are right for you. If they are, your dentist may take a CT scan of your mouth and some impressions of your teeth. A treatment plan will be put into place.
To prepare a tooth for a Veneer, your dentist must first remove around ½ a millimetre of your tooth's enamel, which is around the thickness that your Veneer will be. Next, your dentist will make a model of your teeth. This will then be sent off to a dental laboratory and used to create your veneer. It can take 2-4 weeks for the finished veneers to be received by your Dentist.
Finally, your dentist will check that the veneer fits your tooth perfectly, by gently placing it over your tooth. Once this has been confirmed, they will then fix the veneer to your tooth with a strong dental polymer. Any excess polymer will be removed, your bite will be assessed and any further adjustments will be administered.
Your dentist may ask you to return in a few weeks for a check-up, just to see how your gums are reacting to the veneers.
Will I be able to feel the veneer?
When you first get a set of Veneers, you will be able to tell the difference, but it won't be long before you get used to them. There may be some residue left behind from the polymer used to attach the tooth - this is normal and should disappear after a few days.
Will my veneer fall out?
Your Veneer will be crafted to fit your tooth perfectly and fixed to your original tooth with a strong dental polymer, which should prevent it from falling out. However, Dental Veneers do have the potential to fall out because of physical trauma and the aging process.
Should this happen, the best course of action is to place your veneer inside a small container and contact your dentist immediately to arrange an appointment. Do not try to reapply the veneer at home as this can cause damage to the porcelain and will lead to further issues in the future.
If you're prone to grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping, it would be wise to invest in a retainer.
Should I be careful when eating with my veneer?
When you first get Veneers, you may need a little time to get used to them. Be sure to chew carefully and be aware of biting your tongue or cheeks. Try to avoid biting with your front teeth too much and avoid sticky, hard to chew foods. Stick to the list of after-care precautions above for further tips on how to look after your Veneers.
Can I have veneers put on all of my teeth?
We try to avoid unnecessary extra treatment. Each tooth can vary, with some needing more attention than others. Though some patients prefer to get a row of veneers to create a symmetrical smile, some of your teeth may be completely fine without one.
Are veneers expensive?
Cosmetic dentistry can be expensive, but at Cambridge Dental we want to make all aspects of smile design available to our patients. That's why we offer the option of paying for your treatment in monthly installments, via an Interest-Free payment plan.
Take a look at our Cambridge Dental Finance page to find out more.
Do you offer a Student Discount?
We certainly do. Students can have 10% off any treatment excluding routine examinations, hygiene consultations, x-rays and laboratory work.