Porcelain Veneers

veneers.001A veneer is a general term for something that is on the outside of the tooth to make it a different shape, color, or a combination of both.  Veneers can be made from composite material (tooth colored fillings) or they can be made from porcelain.  With some exceptions, most of the time the teeth are conservatively prepared on the front of the teeth so that when the veneer is fabricated and glued on it isn’t too bulky and unnatural looking.  Porcelain veneers have the best appearance, but are still fairly delicate after they are cemented.  Afterall, porcelain is just another form of glass with some strengthening crystals in it.  Composite veneers can be done while the patient is in the chair (called bonding) with or without prepping the teeth.  Composite veneers can also be fabricated in the dental laboratory and then cemented in place, similar to the protocol of porcelain veneers.  Composite veneers are sometimes more durable than porcelain veneers, but don’t generally have the same esthetic properties of porcelain and can stain and change color over time.  Below is an example of porcelain laminate veneers: