Dental veneers are like false fingernails and require little or no tooth reduction. They are the same size and thickness as your own teeth and the color, size, and shape can be changed if so desired. Many times no shots are needed. When applied over the surface of a tooth, they can cover worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing and chips or cracks. Dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Even better, the translucent ceramic quality of today’s veneers provides a more natural look than what’s been available in the past.
Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:
worn enamel Over time, the thin, hard white substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled, and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or the result of a genetic predisposition; however, it is often a result of your habits (soft drink, tea, or coffee consumption, smoking, medication use, etc.)
wear and tear Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.
genetics Certain people may be born with abnormal spacing between the teeth that grows wider as they age.
uneven teeth Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.
Porcelain Veneers and Composite
The two most common materials used in the manufacture of dental veneers are composite resin and porcelain veneers. Both porcelain veneers and composite veneers can be fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory; composite veneers can also be directly fabricated inside your mouth at the dental office.
Dental veneers that are indirectly fabricated—fabricated in a dental laboratory—are bonded to the teeth with various types of resin cement. Of the two options, porcelain veneers are longer lasting and more expensive.
A Restorative Benefit to Veneers
In addition to being esthetically pleasing, dental veneers can also serve a functional purpose by protecting the surface of a damaged tooth. In some cases, veneers may replace the need for a dental crown, eliminating the need for more invasive tooth preparation.
Because dental veneers are so thin, they might require little-to-no tooth reshaping when bonded onto the tooth. Once veneers are bonded into place, they are relatively strong and durable.