Dental Veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their colour, shape, size, or length.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials.
- Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth.
- Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface
You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
To apply a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed, usually less than a millimetre. This is essential as it creates room for the porcelain veneer to fit within the mouth and restore natural tooth function most accurately, while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth.
Veneers are routinely used to fix:
- Teeth that are discoloured – either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discoloured the tooth
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth those are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
- Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
Patients may need up to three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation and bonding.
It is critical that you take an active role in the smile design. Spend time in the planning of the smile. Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. Have more than one consultation, if necessary, to feel comfortable that your dentist understands your objectives.
To prepare the teeth for the veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about half a millimetre of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anaesthetic.
Composite resin veneers are generally done in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material onto your teeth.
For Ceramic Veneers, A mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This may take several days. If the teeth are too unsightly, a temporary veneer can be placed for the time being.