Cosmetic Porcelain Veneers & Crowns
Veneers can be used to make the teeth look absolutely beautiful. They are still cosmetically the best and most predictable way of creating the perfect looking smile if your teeth have a combination of problems such as being misshapen, crooked and discoloured. They are a thin piece of porcelain which are bonded to the front surface of your teeth with improvement in techniques and dental materials veneers can be made thinner than ever and so removal of tooth structure is kept to a minimum. However it should be appreciated that provision of veneers often involves permanent removal of tooth tissue and once veneers are provided, life long maintenance of the veneers are required which at some stage will involve replacing them. The average lifespan of a porcelain veneer is about 10 years. The alternatives to porcelain veneers should be considered first depending on the circumstances. These are Orthodontic treatment- Invisalign, generic clear aligners, conventional orthodontic treatment, lingual appliance or composite bonding. If Veneers are the only option we are always as conservative of tooth structure as possible and would try and use a system such as the Lumineers system.
If teeth are very badly broken down, heavily filled or worn and it is necessary to improve the function or appearance of the teeth then crowns would be considered as an option. These days the quality of the ceramic that is used is superb and cosmetic crowns can look absolutely superb. The finished result will depend on careful planning by the dentist, using a good quality ceramist/dental technician and using a tried and tested porcelain system that works consistently to produce beautiful results. The systems we use at the practice are Emax, Procera and Empress. Please click on the links below for more information on these ceramic systems.
Sometimes prior to having veneers or crowns it may be necessary to alter the position of the gum so that the best cosmetic result can be achieved. This can be done by grafting gum (gingival grafting) onto a site where the gum has severely receeded. The opposite to this can be carried out if the gum around the teeth is irregular or there are short, worn teeth remaining or if the patient has a very gummy smile (crown lengthening procedure). Our periodontal specialist Dr Steve Bassi would carry out these procedures prior to preparation for cosmetic veneers or crowns.
If you do have veneers or crowns for cosmetic the case should be managed carefully. Study models should be taken and the relationship between the jaws recorded. A wax replica of the finished result can be produced prior to preparing the teeth. The appearance of these finished crowns or veneers can then be based on the appearance of the wax replicas. The shade of the crowns or veneers should be agreed and the shade can be recorded either by the dentist or more often by the laboratory technician for cosmetic cases.