A veneer is a layer a of tooth-coloured material attached to and covering the surface of a tooth.
Veneers are usually made of porcelain or composite resin. Composite resin veneers can be built up directly on to the tooth, while porcelain veneers are made in the laboratory and are later glued on to the tooth.
The tooth will need a very small amount of enamel removed from its surface. This is usually completely pain free. A mould (impression) will be made of the tooth. The dentist will also record the colour that the new veneer will need to be in order to match the neighbouring teeth. At the next appointment the veneer will be bonded to the teeth.
Veneers can be placed for a range of dental problems:
- Tooth discoloration that cannot be cleaned away
- To mask abnormal structure or texture, including chipping, fractures, or wear (erosion) of teeth
- To aid closure of spaces between the front teeth
- To create the illusion of straight teeth with the desired colour and shape when the front teeth are slightly crowded
- To camouflage front teeth that have multiple, shallow and unsightly fillings
Certain factors can increase their risk of failure, such as grinding of teeth, excessively worn teeth, very large fillings and an unfavourable bite (occlusion)