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1. Veneers in Dentistry

In essence, a veneer is a thin layer of material that is placed over a tooth to improve its aesthetic appeal and to protect the tooth’s surface from damage. There are two primary types of materials used to create a veneer: Composite and dental porcelain.

Composite veneers can be either directly placed (built up in the mouth) or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a lab, followed by bonding to the tooth using a resin cement. These types of veneers are often used in adolescent patients who will eventually require a more permanent design as they mature. The average lifespan of a composite veneer is approximately four years.

In contrast, porcelain Veneers in Dentistry can only be indirectly fabricated. They are described as a restoration that covers all the coronal tooth surfaces. Laminate veneer, a thin layer that only covers the tooth surface, is typically used for aesthetic purposes. They are less plaque retentive and have better performance and aesthetics.

laminate veneers

2. What are some indications for veneer placement? 

Veneers are a aesthetic dentistry procedure that can significantly enhance one’s appearance by addressing a variety of dental issues. However, not everyone is a suitable candidate for veneers, and there are certain indications and contraindications for their placement.

So, what are some indications for veneer placement?

2.1. Discoloured Teeth

Veneers in Dentistry are often used to address teeth that are stained or discoloured. This could be due to factors such as ageing, medication, excessive fluoride, or certain foods and drinks. Teeth whitening might not always be an effective solution, especially for deep-rooted stains, thus making veneers a better alternative.

2.2. Malformed Teeth

If a person has teeth that are irregular or abnormally shaped, veneers in dentistry can help to enhance their appearance. They can be customized to any shape or size for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

2.3. Enamel Hypoplasia and Hypocalcification.

These conditions involve the insufficient development or mineralization of tooth enamel. As a result, the teeth may look discoloured or be more susceptible to decay. Veneers can be placed to safeguard the teeth from further damage and improve their appearance.

2.4. Fractured or Chipped Teeth.

Teeth that have been chipped or fractured can be restored using veneers. They can cover the damaged area and provide a natural-looking appearance, while also preventing further damage to the tooth.

2.5. Teeth with Gaps.

Veneers can be used to close gaps or spaces between the teeth. This is particularly beneficial for those who have small teeth, resulting in spaces that may not be quickly closed by orthodontics.

2.6. Worn Teeth.

Over time, the teeth can wear down and appear shorter. This can result in a prematurely aged appearance. veneers in dentistry can be used to lengthen these teeth, restoring a more youthful look.

2.7. Crooked or Misaligned Teeth.

Veneers in dentistry can be an alternative to orthodontics for people with crooked or misaligned teeth. They are often called ‘instant orthodontics’ because they can provide a straighter appearance in much less time than traditional braces.

However, veneer placement involves a certain degree of tooth preparation, possibly leading to sensitivity or decay if not done properly. Therefore, veneer placement should be limited to individuals with significant aesthetic problems, such as badly cracked or broken teeth, that do not meet the requirements for a crown or complete replacement.

LAminate veneers

3. What are some contraindications for veneer placement?

While Veneers in Dentistry can greatly enhance the aesthetics of a smile, they are not suitable for everyone. The placement of veneers in dentistry involves the removal of a small amount of tooth structure to accommodate the veneer. This process is irreversible and may lead to sensitivity or tooth decay if not properly managed. Therefore, it is essential to understand who is a suitable candidate for this treatment and when veneers in dentistry might be contraindicated. We will outline some of the main contraindications for veneer placement.

Firstly, poor oral hygiene is a significant contraindication for veneer placement. Veneers require meticulous dental hygiene to maintain their appearance and prevent decay or gum disease developing around the veneer edges. Therefore, individuals with poor oral hygiene or those who are unwilling to commit to a comprehensive oral hygiene routine may not be suitable candidates for veneers in dentistry.

Uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease is another important contraindication. This is because veneers are bonded to the tooth and gum tissues, so any underlying gum disease can compromise the bonding process and the long-term success of the veneer. Therefore, any existing gum disease must be treated and controlled before veneer placement.

People with a high rate of dental caries (cavities) or those who frequently require dental restorations are not ideal candidates for veneers. This is because the placement of veneers involves the removal of some tooth structure, which can make the tooth more vulnerable to decay. Additionally, if a tooth with a veneer develops a cavity, the entire veneer may need to be replaced.

veneers in dentistry

Parafunction, such as bruxism (teeth grinding), can also contraindicate veneer placement. The forces exerted on the teeth during grinding can cause veneers to chip or crack. While there are ways to manage bruxism, such as wearing a nightguard, individuals with severe bruxism may be better suited to other types of dental restorations.

If a patient has no enamel on the tooth surface, veneers may not be recommended. Veneers are typically bonded to the enamel layer of the tooth. If there is no enamel present, it can be difficult to achieve a strong bond, compromising the long-term success of the veneer.

Lastly, the presence of large existing restorations may also contraindicate veneer placement. If a significant portion of the tooth has been replaced with a filling or other restoration, there may not be enough natural tooth structure remaining to support a veneer. In these cases, other types of restorations such as crowns may be more appropriate.

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