Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer thin, custom made shells of tooth-coloured materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth. changing their colour, shape, size or length. Dental veneers made from porcelain resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth.
What Types of Problems do Dental Veneers Fix?
Veneers are routinely used to fix:
- Teeth that are discoloured – either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drug, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discoloured the tooth
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
- Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
What are the advantages of dental veneers?
- They provide a natural tooth appearance
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
- Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant
- The color of porcelain can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter
- Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s colour and shape; veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative
What are the disadvantages of dental veneers?
- The process is not reversible
- Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack
- A veneer’s colour cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers
- Although veneers can dislodge and fall off, to minimize the chance of this occurring, do not bite your nails, chew on pencils ice or other hard objects; or otherwise put excessive pressure on your teeth
- Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip
Dental veneers do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing as you normally would.