What are veneers?

Veneers are thin tooth-coloured shells /facings that can be bonded to the front surfaces of natural teeth.  In the past, veneers were made from materials such as acrylic and composite resin.  Today, most veneers used are made of porcelain.  The advantages of using porcelain are the beauty and durability of the material.  Porcelain remains attractive for a much longer period of time because it does not stain like composite resin.  In addition, gum tissues tolerate porcelain well.  A significant number of long-term clinical studies confirm the excellent durability of the porcelain veneer restoration.

Porcelain veneers may be used to improve the colour and correct minor flaws (such as the size, shape and alignment) of individual teeth.  When used on multiple front teeth, porcelain veneers can help create a very natural and pleasing smile.

Tooth preparation for a veneer involves the removal of 0.5 to 0.7 mm of enamel from the front surface of the tooth.  The enamel is reduced to make room for the veneer. Once reduction is complete, an impression of the prepared tooth is made so that the porcelain veneer can be constructed in the dental laboratory.  The procedure of bonding a porcelain veneer to the tooth is simple.  The remaining enamel surface of the tooth and the inside portion of the veneer are etched and coated with a resin cement.  The veneer is then placed on the tooth.  Once placed, the veneer is cured by high-intensity light for a few seconds.  The excess cement is removed and the placement procedure is finished.