Frequently Asked Questions

Veneers are a bit like the teeth's equivalent of false nails. They can enhance the shape, colour and size of your teeth to give you a fuller, whiter and more balanced smile. They are essentially thin 'covers' made from either a ceramic or composite material which is then placed on top of the natural and existing tooth or teeth, and they are designed to give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Composite is a resin reinforced with glass particles and has been used as 'white fillings' for many years in Dentistry. New technologies now allow dentists to use this same material for your front teeth, and they can transform your smile with very minimal underlying tooth surface preparation. Composite is an excellent choice for those on a reduced budget and for those people who just need some minimal tooth enhancement, be it in size, shape or even colour. It certainly does help if you complete some home-tooth whitening before composite placement, as that way your dentist will be able to get your teeth as healthy looking as possible before the composite resin is placed. The Smile Fast Direct system allows your dentist to exactly copy the same shape and size of the teeth you will have already trialled at the Refine stage of treatment, so you can be assured that the final composite smile you get is the same as what you have already agreed upon.

Ceramics are a family of glass-like materials which can be made to resemble natural teeth. This process is completed by a skilled technician and is made outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory. Ceramics are then bonded to the surfaces of your teeth using a dental cement. This allows your dentist to enhance the shape, size and colour of your teeth to create the perfect smile. Ceramics are stronger than composite and they allow for more complex treatments and can be the preferred treatment choice in more challenging situations. They are more costly than the composite option, but they also last longer too.
‘Composite bonding’, ‘Composite veneers’ and ‘Composite edge bonding’ are all terms used interchangeably in Dentistry and more-or-less mean the same thing.

Composite is a dental material more often known as 'white fillings' and has been used for many years in Dentistry. It is made from a resin, reinforced with glass particles, and has a variety of uses. Modern ‘cosmetic’ dental procedures use this composite resin to improve the way your teeth look by adding the composite to your natural teeth, shaping it, then setting it hard with a high-intensity blue light. After polishing it looks like natural teeth and can give you a perfect smile.
There are two materials used for veneering teeth, being composite and ceramic.

Composite is a beautiful material that is bonded to your teeth and can create a lovely natural result. Composite can last very well, however this is dependent on how well you follow the aftercare guidance. Composite does require more maintenance than ceramics as it is not as strong, and therefore there are some clinical situations where this material may not be a suitable option. On average a composite can last approximately 7 years.

Ceramic veneers are more expensive but do last longer as they are a stronger material compared to composite. They are made by a skilled ceramic technician in a dental laboratory and then precisely fitted to your teeth by your dentist. Due to the enhanced properties of ceramic material, they can achieve things that composite is unable to, allowing more flexibility and a greater range of uses within dental treatment. We would expect a life-span of 10-15 years from your ceramic veneers.

The longevity of a SmileFast makeover can be impacted and affected by each individual’s aftercare. There are various factors that can significantly decrease the life span of a composite veneer. These reasons are:

• Diet - if you eat or drink foods such as beetroot, red wine or curry regularly, the composite can get severely stained over time and may need replacing in the future. Ceramics will be less affected by dietary substances
• Smoking - as with natural teeth, both ceramics and composite can also stain from smoking over time, even with regular hygiene visits.
• Trauma- If you were to unfortunately suffer any trauma to the mouth due to an accident or taking up hobbies such as boxing, then your new restorations may be at risk of breaking or chipping.

Most modern dental treatments are completed using dental anaesthetic which, once carefully administered, will mean that there is no pain at all throughout the procedure. After treatment is completed, you may get some slight sensitivity which may last for a few days, but your dentist will go through all these details with you beforehand and well before any planned appointments. Making sure you are fully informed, well-supported, comfortable and ready to receive your perfect new smile is very important to the SmileFast family.
It is recommended that local anaesthetic is used when carrying out SmileFast treatments. This is to ensure the process is as relaxed and comfortable for you as possible. Your SmileFast dentist will always check with you beforehand and discuss any concerns you may have.
After smile makeover treatments it is advised to have a soft diet for approximately 2 weeks whilst you get used to the new shape and feel of your teeth. During this 2-week period it is advised that the following foods are avoided to ensure no trauma or staining damages your new veneers:

• Beetroot
• Turmeric
• Red Wine
• Be cautious when eating hard foods such a apples or pizza crust.

*Remember, if it would stain a white T-shirt then it is likely to stain your veneers*
Composite Smile makeover are generally cheaper than using ceramic material, but the choice is very much dependent on both the clinical situation as well as the end-aesthetics you are trying to achieve with your new smile. Prices vary depending on how many teeth are being treated and the complexity of the treatment. Prices start from £1500 for 4 teeth using the SmileFast Direct composite smile makeover system.
In general there are 4 appointments with your dentist necessary to complete your journey to a new and confident smile.

SmileFast uses 3D-Augmented technology to design the perfect smile that is bespoke to you and fits your teeth and face perfectly. This begins at your first consultation with your dentist. The SmileFast team then manufacture a transfer-medium called a ‘stent' to temporarily place your new smile onto your own teeth so you get to see and trial your new smile before you make any further decisions.

Once you have seen and agreed the plan for your new smile then your dentist will arrange one or two appointments to have your teeth ready for placement of your new smile a few weeks later. Extra appointments may be needed if you decided to do some tooth whitening, or had to have any other remedial dentistry completed ahead of any cosmetic dental procedures.
After any dental veneer treatments, it is advised that you return to your dentist for routine check-ups twice yearly. Regarding the health of your new restorations and your gums, we would recommend that you visit the Hygienist at least 3 times per year to ensure that your new smile is professionally cared for to the very best standard. Your dentist may also advise that you wear a thin protective shield over your teeth at night, called a night guard, which will protect your teeth from possible damage as a consequence of night grinding.
Nothing in dentistry lasts forever, and future damage to veneers is certainly something that you must consider before beginning treatment. Depending on the severity of any restoration fracture, the SmileFast Direct stent can be re-used to mend the composite, or the dentist can do this by hand if preferred. If ceramic veneers fracture, then the broken veneer usually will require replacement. Any additional repair/replacement services will be at additional charges as set by your dentist.
Composite cannot be whitened. It is recommended that any whitening is to be done before the treatment is complete to ensure that the composite shade matches the rest of your teeth.
It is rare that either ceramics or composite veneers can be placed onto teeth without any tooth preparation at all, as in most circumstances there will be some minimal surface preparation of your underlying teeth. Gentle preparation is normal, safe and predictable, and is unlikely to affect the health of your teeth. Depending on whether you choose a composite or ceramic smile makeover option, there are slight differences in the way the teeth are prepared.

For composite veneers, the dentist may need to do a minimal amount of preparation to your natural tooth surface. This entails bevelling a small amount of the tooth surface enamel to ensure that the composite can be bonded effectively.

With ceramic veneers it is usually also necessary for some underlying tooth preparation to facilitate the design and placement of your new dental restorations. This is a planned and measured process, meaning that the teeth are placed at minimal risk. Your dentist will be able to explain modern techniques to you and how they can avoid unnecessary damage to your teeth during dental veneer treatments.
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