Veneers – what you need to know

Dental veneers are a common solution for people who are not completely happy with their smile. They are very thin shells made either from porcelain or a resin composite that adhere to the front of the tooth. Veneers change the shape, colour and size of the natural tooth. They can fix a number of dental problems.

How veneers can help to create a winning smile

Chipped, broken and worn down teeth are easily repaired and strengthened with veneers. They can also fix tooth discolouration and irregularly shaped teeth with minimal alteration to the original enamel. For people who don’t want to invest time and endure discomfort by wearing braces, veneers can be used to make an even, straight smile.

Crowns versus veneers

When deciding between a crown or veneer, the latter is a more conservative approach to changing the appearance of a tooth. A crown requires extensive shaping of the original tooth, whereas with porcelain veneers, your dentist removes approximately half a millimetre of enamel from the front of the tooth. In some cases, the application of a temporary veneer isn’t necessary while awaiting the laboratory’s completion of a patient’s custom veneer.

Veneer colour can be customised

Porcelain veneers also have a natural tooth appearance. Colour variation in the casting replicates the dynamic appearance of an original tooth. Translucent areas in the porcelain imitate the clear biting edges of enamel teeth. Patients can also custom select the colour of their veneers when using porcelain. This means dark teeth or teeth with uneven colour can be given a uniform appearance. Patients planning on whitening should complete their whitening treatment prior to the application of veneers.

Porcelain veneers are bio-compatible and durable

Porcelain veneers comfortably integrate into a patient’s mouth. Gum tissue readily accepts porcelain, as long as there isn’t pre-existing gum disease or decay. Porcelain is also highly durable, though patients should exercise caution and avoid chewing on nails, ice and other hard objects.