What are dental veneers?

Put simply, veneers are wafer-thin slices of porcelain that are put over your teeth. What they do is make the appearance of your teeth more uniform, hide discolorations and imperfections, and similar. Think of a movie-star: that "red carpet smile" is almost always veneers.
Todd A. Welch, DMD
Porcelain dental veneers are a beautiful way to correct stained, chipped, or crooked teeth. By placing glass-like ceramic porcelain on the surface of teeth, dentists can provide patients with bright, straight, and natural looking smiles. If you are considering dental veneers but would like more information about the process of placing porcelain veneers and the cost of treatment, please read the information below and contact a dentist in your area.

Placement of porcelain veneers is one that requires the skill, precision, and artistry of a talented cosmetic dentist. Having your smile made over with veneers usually takes about three office visits.

In the first visit, a dentist will first plan your new smile by determining what size, shape, and type of veneers will best complement your smile, face shape, and aesthetic desires. Next, he will carefully prepare the teeth by removing a small amount of enamel to accommodate the veneer. He will then place temporary veneers to protect the teeth while the permanent version is crafted in a dental laboratory.

When the permanent veneers are ready, you will return for your third visit to have your permanent veneers placed. This is the final step in your smile transformation, and you can leave the dentist’s office with a brand new, beautiful smile.

The glass-like ceramic that forms porcelain veneers closely resembles natural tooth enamel. This is because, much like real tooth enamel, porcelain veneers are translucent. When light strikes a natural tooth’s surface, it is not immediately reflected off. Instead, it penetrates the tooth enamel and reflects off the opaque dental dentin that lies just beneath. This translucent effect is what gives teeth their luster. By replicating this, porcelain dental veneers provide patients with bright, natural looking smiles.

Porcelain dental veneers can also cover and repair cracked and chipped teeth. Because porcelain veneers are custom made and fitted to your teeth by a skilled cosmetic dentist, you can customize and improve much more than just the color of your teeth. Crooked and chipped teeth can have their appearances improved to give you a beautiful new smile. Any broken teeth can be repaired using dental crowns, or caps, that can be color matched to your dental veneers.

Veneers can be used to fix smiles in people of all ages. Listen as Dr. Maria Lopez Howell explains how veneers are custom fit to your mouth to help correct gaps or fix broken teeth.

Dental Veneers are also called porcelain laminate veneers or simply "veneers" and 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.
Ruchi K. Sahota
A veneer is a thin covering that is placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. Veneers can correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
  • to lighten front teeth that can't be whitened by bleaching
  • to correct some cases of chipped or worn teeth
  • to fill in uneven spaces or a large gap between the upper front teeth, called a diastema
Veneers are made of either ceramic, porcelain or composite resin material. Your dentist will help you choose the material best for you based on strength, stain resistance, color and appearance. Each type of veneer has its own benefits.

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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.