Veneers are an ideal solution to cosmetically enhance a smile while still maintaining healthy tooth structure. Veneers are shells that can be used to restore chipped, gapped, stained, or misaligned teeth. Bonded to the front of your teeth, veneers close gaps, mask chips and discoloration. There are two forms of veneers – porcelain and composite.
Porcelain (indirect) veneers, which must first be created to fit your teeth in a dental laboratory and require two visits to the dentist. Porcelain veneers last from 10 to 15 years or more
Composite (direct) veneers, in which enamel is bonded to your tooth in a single visit. Composite veneers cost significantly less, but only last five to seven years
What are Veneers used For?
Veneers are used to correct cosmetic defects on teeth or to correct the bite (the way the teeth come together). Cosmetic imperfections that can be corrected with veneers include teeth that are slightly crooked or stained. There may be gaps or chips or the teeth may be uneven. In the past, the only way to correct these or other imperfections was to cover the tooth with a crown.
The advantage of veneers over crowns is that the teeth don't require extensive shaping prior to the procedure. Sometimes this means that little or no anesthetic is required. However, some teeth will require more extensive shaping prior to receiving veneers.
Veneers made from porcelain or resin look natural. Porcelain veneers resist stains from coffee, tea or smoking better than resin veneers. On the other hand, resin veneers may be able to be made thinner and require less tooth structure to be removed before they are applied. The decision to use resin or porcelain should be made on an individual basis.
Veneers usually require three dental visits: one for a consultation and two to complete the veneers.