A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the esthetics of a tooth, or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite and porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated at the lab and cemented to the tooth at a subsequent appointment.
When choosing veneers, the teeth’s appearance can be changed with minimal tooth preparation or drilling. Many veneer procedures can be done with the use of little or no local anesthetic. Traditionally, a reduction of approximately 0.5 mm is required for a porcelain veneer causing them to be thin and to allow some light to reflect through. This gives a natural enamel appearance. There are some veneers which do not require any preparation. Instead, these veneers are constructed to be placed on top of teeth. As a result, treatment is less invasive and may be less time-consuming.
Veneers are used cosmetically to resurface teeth to make them appear straighter and possess a more esthetically pleasing alignment, color, and contour. They are especially ideal in cases where whitening will not mask the deep internal staining of the teeth. Veneers are also a quick way to improve the appearance of mal-positioned teeth without need for orthodontics or braces. We encourage you to be involved in the new smile design as we go through the process. The doctors here at Molina Dentistry will review the benefits and limitations of treatment and let you know if you are a candidate for the procedure. We know you will enjoy your new veneers and with proper home care instructions and regular office visits, they will be beautiful for years to come.