In dentistry, a veneer is a thin layer of extremely strong porcelain that substitutes for natural tooth enamel. When bonded to your teeth, veneers can create a natural-looking, beautiful new surface. Dental porcelain, like natural tooth enamel, is translucent and tough. Dental veneers, however, don’t stain like tooth enamel does.
Veneers can be used to improve any of the following characteristics of your teeth:
- Color — Teeth can become stained by the foods and drinks we like, from smoking, and even normal aging. Veneers are available in shades ranging from natural to Hollywood white.
- Size and Shape — Teeth can become worn down from grinding habits, or may not have the shape or size you want to begin with. Veneers can be shaped and sized to best flatter your face.
- Alignment and Spacing — Veneers can be used to close small gaps between teeth or make slight corrections in alignment while improving tooth color and shape.
The first step in creating a new smile with porcelain veneers is to communicate exactly what you don’t like about your current smile. It helps to bring pictures of smiles you like to start the discussion.
To prepare your teeth, your dentist may need to remove a small amount of enamel. Molds of your teeth will be used by a skilled dental laboratory to create your veneers, and you will wear a temporary set of veneers during the few weeks it takes to create your permanent veneers. When the veneers come back from the lab, they will be cemented onto your teeth.
Just like the teeth nature gave you, teeth restored with veneers need gentle brushing and flossing every day to remove dental plaque and ensure good gum tissue health. Regular checkups at the dental office will remain as important as always to your oral and general health.