By comparison, composite veneers can be done in one appointment, with a follow up appointment for fine tuning and/or teeth whitening.
Dr Rita adds, "A soft blob of composite material (with a similar texture to dough) is shaped onto each tooth, cured with a setting light to make it strong and hard, shaped as desired and then polished."
Are Veneers Permanent?
"Both composite and porcelain veneers are considered to be irreversible, permanent procedures. You can't ever 'go back', but I’ve never had a client ever regret getting veneers."
How Long Do Veneers Last?
"Porcelain veneers are expected to last on average for 15 years, and composite veneers are expected to last on average for three years."
How Many Veneers Do You Need?
Dr Rita reckons this is one of the most common questions she gets asked, "and the answer is always 'it depends on how white you want your new smile to be.'"
You can get veneers on your top teeth, or bottom teeth, or both, depending on your concerns and budget.
Dr Rita recommends a minimum of four veneers to get the most natural-looking result.
For context, here's the difference in overall appearance achieved with just four composite veneers on my front four teeth.
Does It Hurt to Get Veneers?
Personally, I didn't find the process of getting veneers painful at all. A little uncomfortable at times? Sure. But no pain.
I chose not to use any numbing products, however Dental & Skin Clinic give clients the option of DentaPen, a numbing device Dr Rita says is "a pain-free alternative to the traditional dental injection."
The treatment took a couple of hours and was fairly relaxing. Probably the worst bit was me dribbling on myself thanks to this sexy mouthpiece.
How Much Are Veneers?
How much do veneers cost, you ask? Depends on the type of veneers (composite vs porcelain) and how many teeth are involved.
Specifically, how much are porcelain veneers and how much are composite veneers?
Every clinic will have their own veneers price, but to compare, Dr Rita explains a set of four composite veneers could cost $4,000 versus $8,000 for a set of four porcelain veneers.
What Do Teeth Look Like Under Veneers?
The actual question in my DMs was "are your natural teeth filed into little triangles?", but Dr Rita says that's a misconception.
"How your teeth look under veneers depends on the starting point of your smile and the results you're after. Factors include things like: Are your front teeth protruding forwards or tucked in? Are your front teeth healthy or do you have old fillings? Do you have a gappy or gummy smile? Is your smile crooked?"
In my experience, a small amount of each tooth was shaved or smoothed back to give the composite material an optimal surface to bind to.
But no pointy triangles here. Phew.
Do Veneers Ruin Your Natural Teeth?
"It's a myth that veneers damage your natural teeth, because they in fact protect them."
Veneers Before & After.
Again, your veneers before and after results depend on how many veneers you get and in what material.
After my consultation, we decided composite veneers best suited my budget and needs.
I had a set of four composite veneers to improve the appearance of my front four teeth that were chipped and discoloured.
Here's a look at my composite veneers before and after results.
The main thing I worried about prior to the treatment was whether my teeth would look fake or overly white/perfect.
But Dr Rita assured me 'good' veneers shouldn't look or feel chunky, thick, uncomfortable, fake-looking or bulky.
Rather than looking like you've 'had veneers', the goal is a result that's natural-looking and undetectable (depending on your starting point).
I was shocked by how much of a difference the subtle results made to my smile. I even asked friends and colleagues to guess what I'd had done, and no one picked it.
Everyone was surprised by how much the veneers looked like my teeth, but better.
Can You Whiten Veneers?
Dr Rita says you can't actually whiten veneers, because the process would damage them.
In my case, the desired colour of the composite material was chosen a few shades whiter than my natural teeth. Then, I had a follow up appointment with in-chair hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening to match the rest of my natural teeth to the shade of my veneers.
Can Veneers Get Stained?
Dr Rita adds, "The colour of porcelain veneers won't change, but if you have old composite veneers that have stained over the years, the only way to make them whiter is to replace them with either a new set of composite veneers, or with porcelain veneers."
"Also, be aware of celebrities with super white smiles marketing teeth whitening products, because most of them have porcelain veneers. It’s false advertising. When you whiten your teeth at the dentist, we’re aiming for a 20 per cent improvement in colour. Anything more than that can only be achieved with porcelain veneers."
Veneers Side Effects.
The most common complication is the teeth can temporarily feel sensitive, which is "totally normal and expected," and often occurs in teeth with previous fillings.
Dr Rita told me sensitivity could feel a bit like a lightening bolt in your tooth, but that 90 per cent of the time, the sensitivity goes away on its own.
How to Look After Veneers.
"Maintenance is no different to what we recommend for our teeth generally: A professional dental clean two to three times per year and good oral hygiene practice at home."
Can You Eat & Drink Normally After Getting Veneers?
One of the most common questions around veneers is whether you'll have to avoid any foods forever.
Aside from very hard foods (e.g. hard sugar lollies or toffies), it's less about the types of foods you eat and more about how you eat them.
"We have a saying at Dental & Skin Clinic, ‘jewels at the front, tools at the back', meaning your front teeth are for looking good and your back teeth are for chewing and biting."
"We recommend cutting hard foods like carrots and apples into wedges and using your side teeth to bite into them. It’s a small adjustment but our clients get used to it almost immediately."
Who Can Get Veneers?