Direct composite veneers


What do you mean by “direct composite veneers”?

We admit that it is a bit confusing so we will break it up as so:

  • Direct = something which is not outsourced to a dental lab (aka made and placed in house bespoke to you).
  • Composite = white fillings
  • Veneer = A thin decorative covering. Examples of veneers used other than in dentistry are used mainly in the building industry where they place a think layer of either wood, bricks or masonry to make the facing of the wall or floor more attractive.

 

How do I know which colour and which shape is right for me?

In short: we will discuss this with you individually to see what your goals are so that we may cater the treatment for you. We understand that this is a big step for you to take forward towards improving the look of your teeth.

In general, these are the steps which we will go through with you to make sure that we are on the same page as you

  • Discuss with you (after a consultation and examination) of your options and what can be achieved and what are the limitations of this treatment
  • Go through with you a colour wheel of what kind of colour you want to change your teeth to (if you chose to do so)
  • Discuss with you on how straight or what kind of shape you want your teeth to change to in this veneering process

Once this is done, we will make an diagnostic wax up (a physical mock up of the results of the treatment as a preview) prior to executing your treatment plan. This allows us to give you a better idea on what your outcome can be like as you can physically see and touch the previewed results based on your tooth model.

 

How do you place it?

  • After numbing your gums, we will start off by roughening your teeth with a dental drill so that the composite material will be able to bond to your teeth.
  • Then, separating Teflon tapes or small plastic separators are placed between your teeth (so that you can still floss in between your teeth afterwards!).
  • Composites are then placed (in very thin increments) on the surfaces of your teeth, a blue light will be used to cure (or harden) the composites in between the placements
  • After this, the Teflon tape or plastic separators are removed, we will then start to reshape your composite veneers by mixture of dental drills, sandpapers and polishing agents
  • Once that is done, we will show you what your new smile is like to see if you are satisfied with the outcome (we will reserve some time for immediate adjustments)

We will generally book a further 1-2 appointments for you in order to:

  1. Make sure that you are happy and getting used to your new smile
  2. Address any concerns including minor adjustments and polishing

 

How long does it usually last?

If looked after well, we’ve seen cases personally that has lasted for 5+ years (excluding minor repairs and maintenance).

 

What’s the difference between this and indirect porcelain veneers:

Here’s a table to summarize it for you:

Treatment optionSimilaritiesDifferences
Direct composite veneers

  • It will be planned and made by a dentist

  • Will require your input and feedback to know what you would like to achieve

  • A material will be placed on the facial surface (the surface which people see when you smile) in order to improve your teeth's colour and/or shape

  • Both are considered very conservative (minimal tooth cutting) and relatively long lasting.


  • Easy to repair and or polish on the day of the appointment.

  • Because of this, if we see that your bite is heavy or deep we will generally recommend this.

  • The downside is that it loses it polish and shine quicker compared to porcelain.


Indirect porcelain veneers

  • It will be planned and made by a dentist

  • Will require your input and feedback to know what you would like to achieve

  • A material will be placed on the facial surface (the surface which people see when you smile) in order to improve your teeth's colour and/or shape

  • Both are considered very conservative (minimal tooth cutting) and relatively long lasting.


  • When compared to direct composite veneers, generally do not lose its polish and shine due to the properties of porcelain

  • Harder to repair when you chip or break the porcelain as the dental lab techinician will need to remake a new veneer from scratch (don't worry, we have a way to repair it temporary.)

  • For the more discerning eye, it generally offers better aesthetics and more "life-like".

 

Anything I need to be careful after having it?

Here are some tips: (For the full information of what to look out for after treatment, check out our after care series: AC – Cosmetic direct dental veneers or build-up)

  • Your gums may also be sore for several days. Rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a tsp of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit) to reduce pain and swelling. Mild pain medication should ease your discomfort during the adjustment period.
  • Any food that could chip, crack, or damage your natural teeth can do the same to your new cosmetic restorations. Avoid sticky candies, any unusually hard foods substances, (such as peanut brittle, fingernails, pencils, or ice).
  • Avoid or minimize your use of foods that stain such as tea, coffee, red wine and berries. Smoking will quickly yellow your teeth.
  • Note that your direct veneers can lose its shine, chip or break depending on our own habits and how well you look after your teeth. The good news is that they can be repaired relatively easily. If this does happen to you over the course of time please contact our office and we will schedule a appointment to help you.

 

Maintenance

As mentioned above: direct veneers can lose its shine, chip or break depending on your own habits and how well you look after your teeth.

The best way to maintain your smile for the long terms is to attend your regular check ups, so that any of your concerns can be addressed in a timely manner including re-polishing your veneers to minor repairs.

 

Ready to change the way which you smile? Click here to contact our office