Dental Veneers: Something to Smile About

close up of dentist with tooth color samples choosing shade for male patient teeth at dental clinic


A radiant smile and perfect teeth could be just a trip to the dentist away.

These days all you have to do is turn on your TV and watch popular programmes like Love Island to see people with not only beautiful bodies but dazzling teeth too. And the media is full of stories of Islanders’ before-and-after pictures, showing their dramatic dental transformations.

People go from having crooked and off-white teeth with big gaps between them to having a perfect set of pearly whites that shine and make them look amazing. How are they achieving such an oral feat? With veneers. Due to the soaring popularity of this procedure — now widely available as part of cosmetic dentistry in Ireland — we’re going to explain in this post what exactly veneers are, so you can consider having them yourself and getting your own smile makeover.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers come under cosmetic dentistry and are similar to another type of teeth transformation you may have heard of: crowns, or caps. The difference is veneers are less invasive and relatively easy to fit compared to crowns because there’s less material involved and also less preparation of the tooth, or teeth, required.

Essentially, dental veneers are a thin piece of material — usually porcelain — fitted to the front of the teeth. Porcelain is widely used because it’s hard-wearing and durable, and also doesn’t absorb stains from food and drink the way tooth enamel does, so it stays white. Plus, porcelain is well-tolerated by the body and doesn’t present rejection or other issues when it’s in contact with the teeth and gums.

The whole point of dental veneers is that they’re placed over teeth to not only give a brilliantly white smile — and you can choose what level of bright white you want, in consultation with your dentist — but to mask, or correct, flaws and defects. There isn’t one size or shape of dental veneers that fits everyone; instead, they’re made to suit and perfectly match an individual’s mouth and teeth. When they’re in place, you no longer have teeth of different lengths, sticking out at angles or gnashers that are far from white: now, they’re all aligned, uniform and sparkling white.

The Dental Veneer Procedure

Before you can have dental veneers fitted, your dentist will do a careful examination of your mouth and teeth to see if you’re a suitable candidate. They want to see if your teeth and gums are in good condition and that you don’t have any problems that might impact having veneers, such as tooth decay or gum disease. Your dentist may take an X-ray, so they’re sure everything is fine.

If you get the go-ahead to have veneers, the procedure involves shaving or filing back a small portion of the front of the teeth, where the enamel is. You’ll receive a local anaesthetic so the area is numb and you don’t experience any discomfort. Filing provides space for the veneers to be fitted. When it’s done, you’ll have an impression, or mould, taken of your teeth, so the veneers can be made to fit the spaces.

You may have to wait a week or so for your veneers to be made, at a manufacturing facility somewhere in the country, or even abroad. But if you’re lucky, they can be made right in your dentist’s clinic — on the same day and fitted straight afterwards. This is due to CEREC digital technology, which we have at our clinics.

CEREC also eliminates the need for a mould because the system uses a sophisticated camera to take images of your teeth. Then a software program works out the correct size of veneers. From there, a milling machine makes your new veneers, and they’re fitted to your teeth with dental bonding or cement, hardened with ultraviolet light.

And now you have an amazing smile, just like those celebrities on TV — and with proper care, your veneers will last for years.

Thinking about cosmetic dentistry in Ireland and perhaps want to have dental veneers? Make an appointment with The James Clinic today and soon you could have your own smile makeover.