Porcelain veneers 

If you enter into cosmetic treatment with a less than healthy mouth, be prepared. Be prepared for problems along the way and be prepared for it not to last very well. Undoubtedly, dentists do take on jobs that are a compromise.Often there is little choice - but get into your head that the further from healthy the start point, potentially the greater the problems.


Let's start with basics

A veneer is, by definition, an extremely thin sheet of something. When veneers hit the British market in the mid 1980s they really were extremely thin. The teeth were prepared by almost grazing the surface to remove a small amount of tooth substance before the veneer was stuck to the front of the tooth. The process was irreversible but the amount of tooth removed was minimal. The problem was that many of them looked bulky and we still see examples today. This technique is perfect for a tooth that's undersized, such as a "peg shaped" front tooth, but if a tooth is the correct size and we glue on a front, we risk it looking bulky. These teeth have four veneers on the front teeth. It's a pity the gum heights aren't symmetrical.dental veneers, venners

Now we move to the 21st century. Many "veneers" involve totally destroying the front and sides of a tooth, so that three-quarters of the tooth has been cut - and quite deeply. So, is veneer the correct term? We would suggest not. This is NOT a conservative technique and is utterly irreversible, despite the commonly used term, particularly by the media. If we're going to prepare what is effectively a crown, let's call it a crown! Here's the teeth above without the veneers - not exactly minimalist!

dental veneers, tooth preparation 



Veneers are good - in the right place. They're not a universal solution to every mouth that walks in the door. They're a specific technique for specific teeth. The bite's got to be good. The gum condition has to be good. And if the tooth underneath is a horrible colour, you're going to have to disguise it with something opaque - get it wrong and it'll look like chewing gum.

Joey Essex of TOWIE fame had his teeth "veneered" in December 2011. He had a perfectly good set of teeth. Indeed, I'd say he already had a good look. £4000+ later he has a different look. Personally, I think it's significantly worse. He has publicly stated that he didn't want his teeth cutting - so he has one of two options - the teeth HAVE been cut in a fashion like the ones above, or the veneers have been stuck straight onto the teeth, so the teeth are too large. Have a look at before and after photos of him (I resisted the temptation to post some here) and ask yourself -

  • Do the shapes look better or worse

  • He elected to go for ultra white, could he have achieved a better look with a little whitening of his natural teeth?
  • Does he look older or younger?

  • Does he look better or worse?

Follow this link to information on veneers.


© Hesslewood Lodge Dental Practice, 16th November 2015