A veneer is a thin layer of plastic or porcelain that is bonded to a tooth, to improve its appearance. Veneers can be placed directly onto the tooth using plastic, or can be made indirectly using porcelain. Porcelain veneers are generally longer lasting, stronger, stain resistant and more esthetic in appearance.
Veneering is a type of restoration that can fix the following:
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Crooked or misshaped teeth
- Diastamas (the spaces between teeth)
- Stained or discoloured teeth
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. Although they are thin and fragile prior to insertion, however, once they are bonded to the natural tooth, they are quite strong. Porcelain veneers are custom made by a professional dental technician in a laboratory.
The placement of indirect veneers usually requires two appointments. At the first appointment, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the front surface of the teeth to make room for the veneer. An impression (mold) is taken using a tray filled with a rubber material, that fits in your mouth. This impression will give an exact replica of the prepared teeth. The impression is sent to a lab where the veneers are custom made.
Depending on the specific situation, it may be possible to fabricate temporary veneers from plastic to place over the prepared teeth until the porcelain veneers are ready from the lab. These temporary veneers are cemented or lightly bonded into place, and are only esthetic replacements.
At the second appointment, the temporary veneers are removed. The porcelain veneers are tried in and adjusted. Once we're satisfied with the fit and the appearance of the veneers, they are ready for cementation. The surface of the teeth and the veneers are prepared by using a mild chemical that roughens the surfaces. A bonding agent is placed over the roughened surfaces, to help the veneer adhere better to the teeth. The veneers are bonded using composite resin, then finished and polished. Porcelain veneers can improve the appearance of your teeth, giving you a beautiful, confident smile.