What are veneers?

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Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.

Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct gaps in your teeth or cover teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked.
Veneers are porcelain "slivers" that fit over your teeth. They can markedly improve the look of your smile, in several ways -- they can make your smile brighter, more uniform, hide imperfections, and similar.

Here's a good analogy -- Have you ever seen that bathroom improvement service that fits a tub and shower surround *right over* your existing one? That's the same overall concept of veneers. When you see the "movie star smile", you are usually looking at veneers.

Porcelain Laminate Veneers or simply "veneers" are custom-made porcelain wafers that the dentist  places over the fronts of the teeth to enhance their appearance and repair damage. Veneers can dramatically change a person's smile and help improve their self-confidence.

Veneers can be used to improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can whiten stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, "correct" a crooked smile without the need for braces, repair chips and imperfections, and create a more attractive or youthful looking smile. The procedure usually involves removing only a thin amount of the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel. The dentist then takes molds (impressions) of the mouth. Temporary veneers are then placed for the patient to wear while the permanent veneers are being made. Next, the laboratory carefully crafts the porcelain into veneers. The dentist then bonds the veneers onto the fronts of the teeth, improving both their appearance and strength. The procedure usually takes about two weeks from start to finish, and can be completed more quickly if necessary.

A veneer is a very thin porcelain shell that is bonded to your tooth to dramatically improve its appearance. They require little preparation. Veneers cost less than other cosmetic procedures, like crowns.

Continue Learning about Dental Veneers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.