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When we think of a perfect smile we think of a Hollywood smile, perfectly aligned bright white teeth. Interestingly enough, Hollywood paved the way for this much loved cosmetic treatment back in 1928.

A dentist by the name Dr Charles Pincus came up with veneers as a way to enhance the smile of the on screen actors during this era.

At the time, they were temporary solutions that were stuck to the natural teeth of the actors. The look soon became a trademark of Hollywood. At the time technology had not yet come up with a way of making them anything more than a temporary solution and they simply did not stay attached.

In the 1960s a dentist by the name of Dr Michael Bunocore discovered a process called ‘etching.  This is the use of a mild acidic solution to roughen the surface of the tooth and remove debris often not seen by the naked eye.  This makes for a stronger surface onto which dentists can bond or stick things down.

Initially, this was applicable only to other dental procedures such as sealing and restorations. However, in 1982 J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen applied DrBunocore’s techniques to the application of porcelain veneers.  Using hydrofluoric acid the adhesion of porcelain veneers was achieved.

Since then the popularity of veneers has increased and much more research has been completed.

Modern bonding agents (glues) can help keep veneers in place for long periods of time.


What are dental veneers?

Veneers are wafer-thin laminates or shells of tooth-coloured material (which can be either porcelain, ceramic or composite bonding material). They are bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic appearance.

The principle is much the same as a false fingernail or nail extension.

Veneers are made to fit over the front surface of the tooth and then stuck in place to offer up a new artificial, yet natural looking layer.

These man-made products are designed to improve the look of teeth. They do not repair or strengthen the tooth, like a crown might.

Veneers can be attached to a single tooth or a number of teeth. Most commonly veneers are used on the front teeth to get the smile that you desire.


What are some of the benefits of Veneers?

Veneers are one of the most effective cosmetic dentistry treatments, when it comes to improving the look of your smile, as it is a solution that offers quite a bit of flexibility.

Where a cosmetic whitening process can only adjust the tooth colour, veneers can change the tooth colour, look, shape and size, essentially offering an all in one solution for those who want to alter their smile.  Some of the reasons you might decide on veneers are:


Veneers change tooth colour

Whilst cosmetic tooth whitening may well work for some, it is not the solution for all.

Tooth whitening makes your teeth whiter in colour, but will not change the appearance of fillings – white or metal.  And depending on the treatment selected, tooth whitening may reverse or not last for all that long.  This is particularly the case if your diet and lifestyle contain choices that are known to stain the teeth; smoking, tea, coffee and red wine being just a few examples.

Exposure to certain medical treatments and antibiotics is known to cause tooth discolouration.  Sometimes this discolouration cannot be fully removed, even with whitening treatments.

Sensitivity in the teeth may mean that traditional whitening techniques are not suitable for you.

With the right veneers, you can achieve a brighter and whiter smile.


Veneers Improve alignment

Wonky, crooked, angled, however you consider the teeth in your smile to be positioned, you may think that braces are the necessary solution.

For both children and even young adults, braces are a good long term option to change the position of your teeth.  Thanks to advances it may not even need to be an all metal brace as you might have thought.  There are even invisible looking braces available today.

Veneers can be used to make your smile appear more aligned, without physically moving the teeth.  The dental veneers are moulded and positioned in the front of the tooth in such a way that post fitting you would never know that behind the veneer sits an angled or wonky tooth.


Veneers close small gaps between teeth

As veneers are shaped to your teeth, mouth and personal desires, if small gaps exist between teeth, the veneers can be designed and fitted in such a way that the gap is no longer present once fitted. The veneer can essentially act as a filling for a gap in your teeth.  This may do away with the need for and orthodontic work, such as wearing braces which is a common option for closing a gap.


Veneers change the tooth shape

Veneers are shaped to your requirements.  This means that if you have naturally short teeth but want longer teeth, then veneers give this option.  The veneers can be shaped in such a way that the tooth has more curvature, length or a more fanged look to it if you desire.


Veneers can repair chipped teeth

Life and the ageing process our bodies go through make the teeth susceptible to wear and damage.

If a tooth has been chipped, whilst it remains functional, it may affect your smile and your confidence to smile. You may have had a number of fillings to repair the tooth, but they keep coming out.

Veneers can be used to repair the chipped tooth and give the look almost identical to that of the tooth prior to being chipped.

Veneers are a less intrusive option

Compared to crowns or braces, the use of veneers is a less intrusive option.

Can veneers be whitened?

No veneers cannot be whitened.

The materials from which they are made will not react with the chemicals that would normally whiten teeth, therefore making it virtually impossible to whiten the veneer.

Generally speaking, veneers will not stain, so it will stay the same colour for the whole time it is fitted within your mouth.

However, diet, lifestyle and materials can be different and some may discolour.  It is possible that the professional cleaning of the veneer will restore its natural colour.

If you are concerned about the colour of your veneers, speak to your dentist as they can advise based on your specific circumstances.  It may well be the discolouration you are noticing is due to natural ageing and cosmetic whitening treatment, that changes the colour of the internal tooth structure, may be appropriate.

Veneers can offer subtle or more dramatic changes to your smile.

When you have a look to your smile that you are happy with it can radically improve your self-confidence and the quality of life that you lead.

If you wish to consider veneers or any other cosmetic dental treatment, speak to one of our dentists today on 03 9878 1597, they’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Any dental procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, please seek an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.