What are Veneers?
Veneers are a thin layer of either Porcelain or Composite (white filling material) that is placed on the facial (lip or cheek side) of the anterior teeth.
They are done to improve the cosmetic appearance of the teeth and are attached to the teeth by the same "bonding" process that is used for many types of dental fillings.
What is involved in having Veneers done?
I will tell you how I do the porcelain type of veneer. Porcelain verneers are the primary type of verneer that is done today because of their superior properties.
A thin layer of tooth enamel is removed from the facial surface of the tooth. An impression is then made similar to the type that is done when a crown is made. A high quality dental laboratory then custom makes the thin verneer of porcelain that will fit over the facial surface of the tooth. The veneer can be made to make the tooth a different shape or to change the shade of the tooth.
Are Veneers safe?
Any time you cut on a natural tooth there is risk involved. Of all the major cosmetic proceedures that can be done, Porcelain Veneers are the least invasive (that is there is the least cutting on the tooth). Once the veneers are bonded to the tooth, they are incredibly strong - I have never had one come off!
Remember, however, that once you have had veneers placed, you will always have to have veneers on those teeth since tooth structure was removed!
Are Veneers expensive?
Each veneer has to be custom made by a skilled ceramist and then placed individually by a skilled dentist. Each one costs about the same as a crown.