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A veneer can be made of either porcelain or composite. It is essentially a cover used to change the colour, alter the shape or close gaps of your teeth, to then give you the best possible smile. Veneers can either be bonded directly to your teeth but in some instances your tooth surface may need to be abraded to provide a more effective bond.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are of a stronger material that is made at the lab. This method does require some tooth abrasion to allow for a flush fit of the veneer. It offers complete coverage of the tooth, and is often chosen for teeth that are slightly out of place, but orthodontic treatment is not desired, or have heavy staining / trauma that require more coverage. This can be done to several teeth at the same time to ensure aesthetic continuity of the teeth.


Strong material, less likely to fracture or chip
Low maintenance for staining
Can sometimes replace the need for orthodontics


Requires two visits
More costly due to lab fees
Tooth abrasion is required

Composite veneers

Composite veneers can be made directly whilst you are in the chair, since the material is accessible for the dentist and does not require lab intervention. This method requires minimal, if any, tooth abrasion, and the shape and shade of the veneer dictated throughout the process by you and your dentist. This can be done to several teeth at the same time to ensure aesthetic continuity of the teeth.


One visit
Minimal tooth abrasion
Control of appearance throughout the process


More chance of fracture or chip
Higher maintenance for stain removal

What happens

during a veneer?

Your dentist will have discussed your desires about the appearance of your smile at your consultation. A treatment plan should now be in place, outlining the method and pricing of the Veneer appointment.
We want you to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible during every treatment, so local anaesthetic will be available if necessary to ensure there is no pain / sensitivity. There is also an option for sedation for those with dental anxiety.

The tooth / teeth are prepared accordingly. If you are having porcelain, this will involve some removal of enamel to accommodate the veneer. A digital scan is then taken of the area and sent to the lab. A shade is taken from adjacent teeth using a shade guide and pictures, and sent to the lab for precise shade matching. A temporary veneer is then made to protect the tooth from sensitivity, potential damage and for aesthetic reasons.

A second appointment is made for approximately 10 days later to have your new porcelain veneers fitted. Local anaesthetic is offered if required, and the temporary veneers are gently removed. The tooth is cleansed, and the new Veneers are fitted with permanent cement and adjusted if necessary to perfect the fit and appearance.

If you are having composite, the tooth is cleansed with a special gel that creates a surface on the tooth suitable for bonding of composite. The composite is shade matched against your natural teeth, then placed onto the area and moulded over the tooth surface, being manipulated into the desired shape. It is then set hard with a special light. Adjustments are made to perfect the shape and fit.


Anything new in the mouth can take a while to get used to, or may feel alien for a while, here is some advice and tips to follow for after you have had a veneer

  • If you have had local anaesthetic, it may take up to 4-6 hours for the effects to wear off. During this time, please ensure that you refrain from chewing your lip, inner cheek, tongue or soft tissues and drinking hot drinks to avoid unwittingly causing trauma to the area.
    Your mouth has been worked on, so there may naturally be a small amount of tenderness, bruising and sensitivity to the area for a couple of days. If there are still worsening symptoms of pain after 7 days, contact the practice for advice.
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold are relatively normal for a short period of time after dentine has been exposed, and you should find that this settles after a few weeks. However, if you experience a prolonged period of sensitivity to temperature, or it worsens, please contact the practice for advice.
  • Your temporary veneer is designed to be just that, temporary! This is to ensure the ease of removal for when it is time to place your permanent veneer. Because of this, sometimes the temporary veneer can come off prior to your second appointment. If this happens, call the practice for advice – we can normally see you within the day to place back on and keep your tooth protected.
  • In the unlikely event your permanent veneer debonds and comes off, we can usually see you within 24 hours to assess what has happened and re cement your veneer back on.
  • If your composite veneer chips or fractures, we can usually see you within 48 hours to assess what has happened and restore.
  • To preserve your veneers, you should maintain a good oral health routine at home, brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and limiting stain rich food and drinks such as red wine, black coffee, turmeric and oil based tomato sauce.

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