Veneers are wafer-thin, shells of tooth-coloured materials, designed to cover the front of your teeth to improve their appearance.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials.
What problems do dental veneers fix?
Veneers are routinely used to fix:
✓ Teeth that are discoloured
✓ Teeth that are worn down
✓ Teeth that are chipped or broken
✓ Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
✓ Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
What’s the procedure for getting a dental veneer?
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers.
Diagnosis and treatment planning. During this appointment your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about half a millimetre of enamel from the tooth surface. Your dentist will then make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory.
Bonding. Your dentist will temporarily place the veneer on your tooth to examine its fit and colour. Your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched. A glue cement is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly.
How long do dental veneers last?
Veneers generally last between five and ten years.