Barnton Dental Spa - Edinburgh


Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are designed to fit perfectly over a tooth’s front surface, in the same way that a false nail will fit over a fingernail. In some cases, a naturally coloured ‘composite’ material can be used. They can make the teeth look healthy and natural. Also, due to the fact that they are extremely thin and kept in position with a strong bonding agent (similar to super-glue), they do not require much tooth preparation.

When would veneers be needed?

Veneers improve the position, colour and shape of teeth. A specific shade of porcelain may be selected to improve one stained or discoloured tooth, or to lighten the front (usually upper) teeth in general. They can make chipped teeth appear intact again. Porcelain will cover the front tooth entirely while a thicker part will replace the broken section. A veneer may also be used to close tiny gaps if braces are not appropriate. If a single tooth is slightly out of place veneers may be fitted so that it is brought in line with the other teeth.

Are there any alternatives?

Tooth-coloured filling material can repair minor faults affecting the front teeth. This is ideal where a filling is being supported by a tooth, but will not work as well for corners of teeth that are broken. There is always a join between the filling material and the tooth. Teeth that require straightening will often benefit from the use of crowns, either due to the fact that they are broken, have undergone root canal treatment or been weakened by a big filling.

How long do veneers last?

Although veneers have the potential to last for years they can break or chip in the same way as natural teeth. The dentist will be let you know about how long each veneer lasts and they can repair any small chips, or even fit a new one if required.

How will teeth be prepared?

The dentist may remove part of the enamel so that the veneer can be permanently fixed in place. Only a tiny amount is removed and this will match the thickness of the veneer. An injection of local anaesthetic is sometimes used to ensure there is no pain or discomfort, although in most cases this will not be necessary. After your tooth has been prepared an impression will be taken and passed to dental technicians for the fabrication of your veneer. It will be made to look natural by matching the shade to that of your natural teeth.

How long does treatment take?

At least two appointments will be required for the treatment to be a success. During the first visit the tooth will be prepared and the shade matched, and the veneer will then be fitted at the second appointment. Special adhesive will be used to fix it in place.

Will a temporary veneer be needed?

A temporary veneer will not be needed in most cases as there is so little tooth preparation involved. The tooth will appear pretty much the same once it has been prepared, but will not feel quite as smooth.

What will happen once a veneer is fitted?

Some adjustments may be made but it will normally be best for you to wait a while before asking for any changes, to allow you to grow used to it. The dentist will ordinarily want you to visit a week after the veneer is fitted so that it can be checked and polished.