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A veneer is a very thin sheath of porcelain that fits over a tooth to mask stains or imperfections, creating a perfect smile. Veneers are used for cosmetic fixes instead of restorations like crowns and instantly improve the appearance of stained, damaged or misaligned teeth.

What can a veneer cover?

Veneers enhance your smile in several ways:

  • Covering crooked or misshapen teeth
  • Hiding stains or discolourations
  • Shortening or lengthening uneven teeth
  • Closing minor gaps between teeth
  • Covering up worn enamel
How does my dentist apply a veneer?

Veneers can be either non-prepared or prepared depending on the clinical situation. Minimal preparation veneers involve your dentist removes around .5 to .7 mm of enamel from the tooth to allow the veneer to adhere correctly.

Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist takes measurements and sends them to the dental lab to create a custom veneer.

At your next appointment, your dentist will permanently bond your bespoke veneer over the tooth.

How long do veneers last?

A veneer can last up to 15 years with proper care, oral hygiene, and avoiding nail-biting and teeth grinding.

How do you care for a veneer?

You treat a veneer as you would a tooth without the covering. Brush and floss regularly, and avoid staining foods or drink, and habits like tobacco use.

Are there any restrictions to having a veneer?

If you do not suffer from gum disease and have enough enamel on the tooth for the veneer, you can get a veneer.

How many teeth can I have covered by veneers?

There are no restrictions as to the number of teeth you can cover with veneers. The number of veneers depends on the cosmetic changes you want to make to your smile.

Crown Lengthening and Gum Contouring

Dentists use crown lengthening to recontour gum tissue, exposing more of the tooth’s surface so that a crown can fit over it properly. It can help correct a “gummy smile,” or it can prepare the tooth’s surface for further cosmetic or structural procedures. It can also create a gumline that appears more proportionate throughout your top and bottom teeth.

Why is crown lengthening necessary?

Sometimes some of your tooth’s surface may be hidden beneath the gumline. If too much is unexposed, there will be insufficient structure for a crown to be fitted or for a veneer to adhere correctly.

Are there other reasons for crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening is also performed for cosmetic purposes. Some patients have what is called a “gummy smile,” meaning that a significant amount of their gums are exposed when they smile.

Crown lengthening can correct this by exposing more of the teeth’s surface, pushing back the gums and evening out your smile.

What does my dentist do when performing a crown lengthening?

After applying a local anaesthetic, your dentist surgically removes very small amounts of gum tissue until the dentist achieves your desired appearance.

How long does it take to heal?

Depending on the patient, it usually takes about 3 months for the gums to completely heal but you will be able to resume normal function after a few weeks.

What can I expect after surgery?

You may have some discomfort and swelling around the area. You can use over-the-counter medication and cold compresses to relieve these after-effects.

Avoid hot food or drinks for a while to minimise bleeding, and follow a soft-food diet while your gums heal. Also, avoid alcohol and tobacco products. If there is some slight bleeding, you can apply clean gauze to the area, holding it firmly in place until the bleeding stops.

What else can I do to speed up the healing process?

You can chew and drink on the opposite sides of your mouth to avoid irritating your healing gums. You should also avoid acidic foods or anything that is sticky and might get caught around your gumline.

Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice per day. You can use this mouthwash on the tip of a cotton swab to gently brush around the surgical site.

What about brushing?

Avoid brushing the area until the stitches absorb or are removed. In addition to using a cotton swab with antiseptic mouthwash, you can use a toothpick to gently remove any trapped food particles until you can brush and floss normally.

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