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Can someone talk to me about dental veneers please?

(7 Posts)
workatemylife Fri 09-Nov-12 12:13:35

Thank you very much!

I've had wonky teeth since I was a teenager. For various reasons I never went down the orthodontic route, but now I'd love to have a smile that I was a bit less embarassed about.

I had a chat with my NHS dentist who referred me to a local orthodontist. He was lovely, very supportive and full of advice, but the basic position is that it would not be an easy fix - probably upper and lower traintracks (he thought my 'bite was too shallow' for invisalign and the like), 2-3 year wait for results, maybe an extraction to make space. Total cost would be in excess of £3500, depending on type / colour of braces.

I decided against, on grounds of costs, time, other dental work required, sheer panic etc. I reported back to my own dentist, only does NHS work for the practice, but that he could pass me on to a colleague who does cosmetic and private work if I wanted to go. I'm tempted, but I don't know what to ask / expect,and what is possible.

Basically, my two front teeth are fine - unfilled, and straight. Going round from there, the next tooth on each side is out of position. One side only slightly out of line, but on the other side the tooth sits well back to the point that from the front it almost looks not there. Going further back, teeth are not perfectly straight, but again I don't mind how they look. It really is just that one tooth, the second from the middle, that looks dreadful. Would that be something that could be fixed, even partially, with a veneer? I'm not after a 'hollywood' smile - just a bit of symmetry.

Has anybody had something similar done? I suppose there's no harm in making an appointment to see another dentist within the practice, but it would be useful to hear some 'real-life' experiences with veneers and alignment issues too.

cassgate Fri 09-Nov-12 14:00:09

I am no dentist but from your description I would say that braces are your best option. I have a veneer on one of my my front teeth but this is because I broke it when I was 18 and only have half a tooth so it is noticably shorter than the one next to it. I have a veneer on it to make it look the same as the one next to it. To warn you veneers are not cheap and dont last forever, I have just had mine replaced because the old one cracked and chipped and it cost me £500 for 1 tooth. The previous one cost me £200.

Willdoitinaminute Sun 11-Nov-12 13:28:18

Veneers may be cheaper (only marginally) initially but will need replacing every 10 years or so. Orthodontics expensive but once done will not need to be done again.

HullaBalloo Sun 11-Nov-12 13:59:47

What put me off veneers was that in most cases your teeth have to be filed down for them to be fitted so that you will always need veneers. Also my dentist told me that you can end up with severe sensitivity and even need root canal work if the filing down affects the nerves. I was also concerned about getting a natural look.
I ended up having traintrack braces that I have to say I found uncomfortable and ended up having to have taken out after 18 months, but most people, including my ds, seem to cope with without the problems I had. Several years later I then had Invisalign braces which were brilliant. If you are interested in them it might be worth getting a second opinion as the first dentist I saw about them told me I wasn't a suitablt candidate.
It is not strictly true to say that once orthodontics are done they won;t need to be done again as once the braces/Invisalign are off the teeth can move and this can be made worse when wisdom teeth come through as they can push the teeth out of alignment again. To try and stop this happening you may need to have a retainer which you wear at night or something fitted to the back of your teeth to stop them moving.
I would say if you have generally good teeth that are just a bit wonky it would be a shame to have them filed down for veneers and I would go the orthodontic route to preserve my teeth.

Feckbox Sun 11-Nov-12 14:16:19

never diagnose without seeing the patient...but...if it is just the instanding tooth that bothers you you might be able to get a no prep veneer that just bonds onto the tooth with no drilling of the tooth first. I have seen lots of these be a very effective and simple fix. The tooth obviously ends up thicker from front to back but this is not noticeable when viewed from the front. it is also narrower width wise than the real tooth but this is not obvious on a tooth second from the front.

workatemylife Mon 12-Nov-12 10:32:10

Brilliant - thanks for the advice folks.

I'm seeing the dentist for a regular check-up next month anyway so will see if we can have a proper chat about options, and / or make a visit to the other dentist in the practice who does cosmetic work - seems like there are a few things we would need to think about.
Feckbox - I'll ask about the no-prep veneers too. Not come across those in my 'googling' but it sounds tempting. But as you say, all stuff that it would be best to discuss face to face.
Maybe I should just put up with the smile I have - tis the one I've been smiling for a long time!!

brighterfuture Mon 12-Nov-12 13:48:27

My two teeth on either side of my front teeth were sideways on. I had a brace as a teen that didn't work. Over 20 years ago I had two veneers stuck on which corrected them visually. They've been great ever since and its only now with a bit of gum shrinkage that one could do with replacing.

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