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What are veneers?

What’s a veneer?

Veneers are a cosmetic dental tool used to change the appearance of your teeth. They’re essentially very thin colour matched transparent life like shells made of an extremely thin layer of tooth coloured material which lays over the front surface of your tooth.

The word veneer comes from the French word ‘fournir’, which means ‘to furnish’. So, just as you might furnish your home to improve its appearance, you may choose to ‘furnish’ your smile with veneers to make your teeth look healthier, brighter and more attractive.

How do veneers work?

Patients who have considered having imperfect teeth extracted, but would like an alternative permanent solution, often ask us, ‘How do veneers work?’ And the answer to this question is very simple.

Think of veneers as working similar to fake nails. They involve a very thin layer of material being placed over the top of the original which is glued into the right position. Just like a fake nail, veneers can make the tooth appear longer, smoother, healthier, whiter and generally more attractive.

However, unlike the nails, dental veneers are a permanent cosmetic solution which can last up to 30 years when looked after by the patient and their hygienist and dentist. That’s because the veneer is bonded to your tooth with dental cement glue, using a special light beam to activate chemicals in the glue.

As your dentist may need to remove a very thin layer of enamel from the tooth before placing your veneer, in order to ensure it does not protrude above the gum line, they will also roughen up the surface of the tooth too to make it more textured. This makes the bond even stronger, meaning your veneers should last for years to come. You can read more about our own veneers procedure.

Veneers from your dentist

Click to watch the video below to help understand the process.


What are porcelain veneers?

We’re also often asked by patients, ‘what are veneers made from?’ But this can vary depending on where you go for your treatment.

Whilst some dentists may offer composite veneers to hide tooth imperfections, at Dental Perfection in Hampstead, we offer only the highest quality, custom made porcelain veneers to our patients.

Following your veneers consultation at our North London clinic, you will be asked to return for a second appointment. During this visit, your dentist will prepare the teeth receiving treatment as required, then take a mould of them.

These impressions are then sent away to a dental laboratory, where your custom veneers will be crafted from porcelain by a ceramist. When you come in for your final appointment, your dentist will ensure these porcelain veneers fit perfectly and have the desired aesthetic result before bonding them to your tooth permanently.

Unlike their composite counterparts, porcelain veneers have a much more natural looking appearance. Veneers also last longer and function more like real teeth when made of porcelain.

What are porcelain veneers used for?

Applying dental composite to mask individual imperfections is not always an adequate alternative to porcelain veneers, as the composite is used to simply paint over flaws in the teeth.

Whilst the technique can be used to cover issues such as chips or stains, they are unable to deal with more severe cosmetic issues like porcelain veneers can. Composite plastic veneers/fillings are also prone to chipping, wearing and staining which is not associated with porcelain veneers.

A deeply cracked or broken tooth will need more than just a quick cover up, and porcelain veneers can be used to completely reshape and rebuild the appearance of your front teeth. Rather than simply painting over the issues, veneers replace the surface of your tooth with a realistic and flawless new layer.

Are veneers right for you?

To help you decide if veneers are what you're looking for, you can view our before and after photos of veneers for patients that we have helped. You can also view our standard cost of veneers and frequently asked questions about veneers.

If you would like to find out more about dental veneers, or if you’re ready to book your veneers consultation, please call us today on 020 7431 2710, or pop in and see us at the Dental Perfection surgery in Hampstead, North London.

We have been working with clients from all over North London (including St Johns Wood, Belsize Park, Highgate, and Swiss Cottage) from our Hampstead clinic since 1979.

Our North London premises are less than a minute's walk away from Hampstead Underground Station.

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