Porcelain Veneer on fingertip
A dental veneer is a thin layer of material placed over a tooth, either to improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth or to protect the tooth’s surface from damage. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite resin or dental porcelain. A composite resin veneer is typically built up directly in the mouth by the dentist whilst a porcelain veneer is typically manufactured by a dental technician, from impressions taken by the dentist, in a laboratory and cemented onto the tooth by the dentist.
Veneers are an important tool in cosmetic dentistry. A dentist may use one veneer to restore a single tooth that may have been fractured or discoloured, or multiple teeth to create a total smile makeover. Some people have small teeth with wide gaps that may not be easily closed by orthodontics. Some people have worn away the edges of their teeth resulting in a prematurely aged appearance, while others may have badly positioned teeth that appear crooked. Multiple veneers can close these spaces, lengthen teeth that have been shortened by wear, fill the black triangles between teeth caused by gum recession, provide a uniform colour, shape, and symmetry, and make the teeth appear straight. Dentists sometimes also recommend using thin porcelain veneers to strengthen worn teeth. Thin veneers are an effective option for ageing patients with worn dentition. In many cases, minimal or no tooth preparation is needed when using porcelain veneers.
Each situation is different and the dentist should assess what is best for each case. Veneers are in reality partial crowns and in some situations a fair amount of tooth structure needs to be removed to get the ideal result. In many cases a combination of orthodontics (dental braces), whitening (bleaching) and bonding composite resin can get a great result without the need for veneers.