Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin that are custom made to fit over teeth, providing a natural, attractive look. They can be used to fix chipped, stained, misaligned, worn down, uneven or abnormally spaced teeth. The two most common materials used in dental veneers are composite resin and porcelain. Both types of veneers can be fabricated by a dental technician in a laboratory and are bonded to the patient’s teeth in a dentist’s office. Dental veneers are bonded to the teeth with resin cement. Some dentists can also produce a veneer using CAD/CAM technology, where the veneer is constructed while you are in the dental chair and bonded in a single visit.
For teeth that are severely discoloured, chipped or misshapen, veneers can create excellent improvements in appearance.
Dental veneers need to be maintained like your own teeth. Flossing once a day and brushing two to three times a day with fluoride toothpaste will help to remove food debris and dental plaque bacteria. Talk to your dental practitioner about the oral care products that will help maintain a healthy mouth and maximise the longevity of your dental veneers. Porcelain is a brittle material so care must be taken to avoid the chipping or fracturing of veneers by biting off very hard foods.
Your dentist will remove a small amount of the tooth surface to permit placement of the veneer. An impression (mould) is taken of the tooth and sent to the dental laboratory where the dental veneer is made to fit the tooth. At the next appointment, the veneer is bonded to the tooth with resin cement.