Porcelain veneers are a versatile solution for aesthetic problems with teeth such as chips, cracks and discolouration, and they are usually placed on the front of the front teeth. As a result they often play a key role in transformative smile makeovers and, given that they are a relatively minor treatment, they offer patients good value.
When are porcelain veneers suitable?
Porcelain resists staining better than the resin composite used for composite veneers and it more accurately approximates the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth. However some healthy tooth tissue must be removed to create space for porcelain veneers. Another point to consider is that porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite veneers because the material is costlier and they are crafted by skilled dental technicians.
What happens in a consultation for porcelain veneers?
The patient will be assessed by Dr Sherif Elbarbary, who is experienced at aesthetically challenging, complex work. Dr Elbarbary teaches at Bristol Dental School and Hospital and is an examiner at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
He will talk with the patient at length about what they would like to achieve and will be able to offer Digital Smile Design, an advanced patient consent tool that enables patients to see what the outcome of treatment will look like on digital mock-ups that blend digital photographs, video and treatment planning software.
Dr Elbarbary will provide a considered recommendation and explain whether porcelain or composite veneers are most suitable given the patient’s clinical case, personal preferences and budget.
Do veneers need to be specially cared for?
Neither porcelain or composite veneers require any special care, but like with any dental treatment, patients should stick to the oral hygiene instructions their dentist has provided, which will be based around regular brushing and flossing.
Some patients who suffer from teeth grinding, or bruxism, may have been told that they are not suitable for porcelain veneers, however studies show there is no problem provided they are given a Michigan splint to wear while they are sleeping to protect their dental restorations.
How long do porcelain veneers last?
Most veneers — 95% according to one study — last at least 10 years, and their longevity has been linked to the skill and experience of the clinician who is placing them. Some natural tooth will need to be removed in order to produce a suitable surface for the veneer to adhere to, so patients should be aware that a future replacement may be necessary if the veneer ever becomes damaged or the patient decides they want to change the aesthetics of their smile.
Benefits of veneers at The Bristol Dental Practice
- they look natural, shine and don’t lose their lustre over time
- hundreds of cases treated
- they are durable yet beautiful
- they receive the craftsmanship of a skilled lab technician
- they can play a key role in smile makeovers, being used on the upper and lower front teeth that are visible while smiling
- they can be used with Digital Smile Design, where treatment is designed around the patient’s face while they are smiling, and digital mock-ups of the outcome are shown to the patient before they begin treatment
- they can be used in multi-disciplinary smile makeovers
Dr Sherif Elbarbary – Dentist (GDC No: 260014)
BDS, MFDS RCS, MPros RCS (Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics), MJDF RCS
- Member of two Royal College of Surgeons; Edinburgh and England
- Special interests in Tooth Wear Management, Dental Implants and Smile Makeovers
Dr Devin Vaghela – Dentist (GDC No: 85948)
BDS, MFDS RCS, Cert. Adv Aesthetic Dentistry (UCL)
- Member of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
- Special interests in Aesthetic Dentistry, TMD and Dental Sleep Medicine