Veneers are custom-made shells that cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. Made from very thin tooth-colored materials, veneers can change the shape, size, length or color of teeth.
Veneers are made from porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are long-lasting, feature a natural-looking surface and are stain-resistant, so they look great for years. Composite resin veneers are easy to repair and cost less than porcelain veneers.
Dentists recommend veneers to correct the appearance of:
- Misshapen teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Broken teeth
- Slightly misaligned or uneven teeth
- Small gaps between teeth
Veneers typically require three trips to the dentist. During the first appointment, the dentist evaluates the teeth to determine if veneers are the right treatment. At the next visit, the dentist prepares the teeth by removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the veneer; the dentist may provide temporary veneers to protect the prepared teeth. The dentist also makes impressions of the teeth and sends them to the laboratory that makes the veneers.
The patient returns to the dentist when the veneers are ready. During this third appointment, the dentist places the veneers onto the teeth to examine their fit and color. Once properly positioned, the dentist bonds the veneer to the teeth with cement, and uses a special light to activate and harden the cement.
Once in place, veneers should provide a lifetime of smiles.