Veneers are like false-fingernails – a thin material that sits over the top of your teeth. In order to make room for the veneers, the teeth must be shaved-down slightly, so that the veneer does not stick out too thickly. Veneers can help to cover a tooth and restore aesthetics when a tooth is either defective (often during formation from injury or antibiotics), has a number of un-aesthetic fillings, or is worn or poorly shaped. It can even help to close gaps and disguise small rotations in the teeth.
There are two main materials for veneers:
- Composite resin: This is the “plastic white” filling material that bonds to the tooth. It can be used in a thin layer and polished very finely to give a good aesthetic result. This can often be achieved in one appointment and is cheaper than porcelain veneers.
- Porcelain: This is a lab-made porcelain material which is bonded to the tooth. Aesthetic results are excellent. This requires two appointments – one for the preparation of the tooth and one for the bonding of the veneer.