Composite Resin Veneers

Composite resin is a tooth-coloured restorative material composed of plastic and small glass or ceramic particles; usually “cured” or hardened with filtered light or chemical catalyst.

Composite resin veneers are composed of thin layers of composite resin material that cover the front visible parts of your teeth.

They are placed directly on teeth that are crooked, dark, chipped or unsightly.  Veneers change the colour, shape, length and size of your teeth to give you a marked improvement in appearance.

They are similar in concept to fake nails that are stuck onto your real ones.
Veneers can be used to restore a single fractured or discoloured tooth, a few unsightly teeth,  or even provide a complete Hollywood style makeover.

Veneers are popular because of their ability to change your smile, their durability and they provide a very natural look.

How long will veneers last?

Many times I am asked “How long will my veneers last? Most things have a finite life-span. This is a difficult question to answer.

Certain factors that need to be considered that dictate the success of veneers.

Success Factor 1 - Your Teeth

  1. How much natural tooth structure is available to build a veneer upon – the more enamel the better the outcome;
  2. The darkness of the tooth – the darker the tooth, the more tooth structure that will need to be removed in order to achieve a satisfactory aesthetic outcome.  The strength of the remaining tooth is affected by this;
  3. The position of the tooth – if a tooth is sticking out, more tooth structure will need to be removed in order to achieve a satisfactory aesthetic outcome. Again the strength of the tooth is affected;
  4. The bite – We need to see how your teeth come together. Are they hitting each other with excessive force when you bite? This has a direct influence on the success of the veneers. Also, if teeth are missing at the back, more stress is placed on the front teeth increasing the risk of fracture. A crooked bite can also produce unfavourable stresses on the bonded material;
  5. Teeth that are root filled have a higher chance of fracture. They do not have the moisture that a vital tooth has and therefore are more brittle. Root-filled teeth are usually heavily restored and therefore have less natural tooth structure. (The more remaining natural tooth structure the better);
  6. Existing fillings in a tooth generally means that there is less natural tooth structure to bond new composite material to;
  7. Your mouth is always changing. Teeth are always moving, The muscles and gums around your teeth are exerting forces that influence tooth stability. With age, teeth become more brittle and more likely to fracture or chip. So what might be an exceptional outcome today may present with problems down the track simply due to wear, tear and other presenting issues that were not there initially.

Success Factor 2 - You

  1. Bad habits like grinding and clenching ( these are called para functional movements and forces). These forces are unnatural and overload the teeth and veneers considerably, increasing the risk of fracture and excessive wear. Small chips however, can be repaired quite easily;
  2. Other bad habits like chewing fingernails, pencils etc. increase the chances of fracturing the composite material;
  3. Smoking and coffee/tea drinking increases the likelihood of stains accumulating on the composite material and around the teeth. This however can be polished away easily;
  4. General oral hygiene care – daily brushing and flossing the teeth around the veneers ensures they remain free of decay and the gums stay healthy;
  5. Regular dental visits means that the condition of the veneers can be monitored and if any small chips are present they can easily be attended to.

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