Dental Veneers – Their Origins And Use Today

A long lasting technique for restoring your smile.

Dental veneers have been around for a long time now and were first used in 1928, when a dentist, Charles Pincus of California, invented them to be used in a film shoot in order to change the appearance of an actor’s teeth.

This idea soon caught on amongst the actors and actresses of Hollywood, many of whom smoked at that time and whose teeth would probably not look too great in a close up shot. This is why they are sometimes referred to when discussing a Hollywood Smile.

The early versions were simply stuck on top of the natural teeth and were easily removed, but modern versions are usually bonded more securely and also replace the damaged tooth surface. They are designed to be much more permanent and patients can generally expect them to last in the region of around ten years or so, with good care.

Who needs veneers?

At the AJ Dental Group in Woking, we generally see two types of patients who are candidates for this cosmetic dental procedure. They tend to fall into the categories of those people who simply want their teeth to look nicer, and those who have suffered enamel erosion and perhaps are experiencing uncomfortable tooth sensitivity.

Whilst a teeth whitening procedure is the most common step to improving the appearance of teeth that have become discoloured or are yellowing from age, the success of this depends largely on the degree to which the teeth have been affected. It is an excellent and non invasive method that is affordable and produces great results. It does have its limits though, and where teeth have become badly stained, say through years of smoking, it is unlikely that a teeth whitening procedure would produce the result that patients would hope for.

Where teeth have suffered small chips and cracks, insufficient to harm the teeth, but sufficient to detract from an otherwise attractive smile, a whitening treatment would do nothing for this and would probably only highlight the problem even more.

Where our Woking patients have suffered from surface enamel wear, whether from wear from overlapping teeth, brushing too hard or consumption of too many acidic foods and drinks, they are likely to notice an increased sensitivity in their teeth. This can make drinking and eating hot and cold foods quite uncomfortable or even painful. In addition to this, eroded enamel will increase not only the risk of staining due to an uneven surface, but also tooth decay due to the lack of protection on the teeth.

Fitting dental veneers

If you have badly stained teeth, teeth that are chipped or cracked, or are experiencing an uncomfortable degree of tooth sensitivity, then we may suggest that you consider dental veneers to correct this problem. This widely used corrective treatment, which through legacy is still very popular with actors and various celebrities, is a relatively straightforward one, although it usually does require some preparation of the teeth.

Essentially, rather than adding a veneer to the top surface of the tooth, a fine layer of the affected surface is removed using a tool called a dental burr. This ‘shaves’ away a fine layer of the tooth which will be the same thickness of the veneer that is produced.

Once this has been done, we will take impressions of the prepared teeth and these will be sent to a dental laboratory for the veneers to be made. In order to protect the teeth during this period of time, usually a week or two, temporary veneers will be fitted.

When your veneers are ready and have been returned to our Woking surgery, you will be recalled to have them fitted. We will first of all remove the temporary veneers and your new ones will then be attached using a special, strong dental adhesive. The veneers will then be shaped and polished to give them an attractive but natural looking appearance.

Aftercare

Teeth with veneers are straightforward to look after, but there are a few things you should remember. Your veneers can’t decay but the rest of the natural tooth still can of course. Decay of this supporting part of the tooth means that you veneer may not fit as securely; so please make sure to brush and floss all of your teeth well.

Whilst veneers are generally very secure, you should avoid habits such as nail biting, chewing pens or opening packets with your teeth (a bad idea even with natural teeth!) Doing so will increase the risk of them ‘popping’ away from the natural tooth. Veneers rarely become detached but if they do, never attempt to reattach them yourself; please call us and we will arrange an appointment to do this properly for you.

If you are unhappy with the way that your teeth look, or if you are experiencing sensitivity, why not come and see if dental veneers are a solution for you? You can make an appointment at the AJ Dental Group by calling our Parkside Woking clinic on 01483 766355 or our Waterside Practice on 01932 352333. Our teams look forward to welcoming you!

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