A veneer refers to a type of restoration that covers the whole front surface of a tooth. Veneers are placed purely for cosmetic reasons. They can be used to hide tooth discolouration and change the shape and size of teeth so they appear more symmetrical and well aligned. Veneers are typically made from porcelain and are made in a dental laboratory.
Two appointments are generally required for this procedure. At the first visit, a small amount of tooth structure is shaved off the front surface of the teeth and impressions, which are also known as moulds, are taken of the teeth. All the required information is then sent to the dental laboratory for the veneers to be made. To ensure aesthetics and function are not compromised between visits, the dentist places a temporary filling material on the teeth receiving veneers. At the second visit, the temporary veneers are removed and the teeth are cleaned and chemically prepared before the veneers are permanently bonded to the teeth.
For patients with a heavy bite or for those who clench and grind their teeth, veneers may be at risk of chipping or cracking. Your dentist will help decide if veneers are appropriate for you.