A veneer is a wafer-thin shell which is firmly and permanently glued to the tooth. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain. Veneers are manufactured in dental laboratories, whereby a dental technician will carry out delicate work in producing the thin shell. The resulting veneer is both high individualized and aesthetic.

When should veneers be considered?

As a rule of thumb, veneers are generally used for aesthetic purposes, including to correct
minor blemishes on the front teeth. The shells can be used to improve the appearance of chipped, worn down or broken teeth, or to hide discoloration (caused perhaps by root canal therapy, or stains from tetracycline or other drugs). The results are generally highly impressive, leaving the patient with even and naturally looking teeth.

Do veneers look like artificial dentures?

Veneers are designed to look inconspicuous and beautiful. The materials used offer
optical properties (tooth color) that are a very close match to natural teeth. In consultation with the dentist, the dental technician creates an individual “design” for the
anterior teeth and fits the shells in ordered colors which blend with those of neighboring teeth, or according to the patient’s request. A talented dental technician will make veneers that take into account many patient-related criteria, such as facial expressions, phonetics, aesthetic parameters, resulting in a natural looking, beautiful result.

Can veneers damage healthy teeth?

The dental technician uses high-quality, biocompatible materials when creating veneers. With an exact fit, neither the gums nor teeth should be damaged in any way. In order to bond a veneer permanently and aesthetically on the tooth, in
in most cases, some tooth structure is removed. As the shells are so thin, they can still appear bulky if bonded to an unprepared tooth. Therefore it is often necessary to remove some of the tooth enamel to accommodate their width. Leading dentists will use precise techniques in order to do this.

How long does a veneer last?

Veneers are very thin and fragile – on average, a veneer is only 0.5 mm thick. The shell gets its actual strength after gluing to the tooth. With care, veneers can last over ten years.

What is the treatment process?

Firstly, the dentist removes a thin layer of the enamel, which he or she then sends to the dental laboratory. In close consultation with the patient, the the dental technician produces the veneer with a high degree of precision. Once these shells come back from the laboratory, the dentist will fit them in the patient’s mouth. The dentist does this by bonding the veneers to the tooth with a composite plastic adhesive. It is essential that the dentist does this with a high degree of precision. Improper fastening can cause discoloration, marginal gaps, fractures or veneers falling out earlier.

Are there candidates who are not suitable for veneers?

Certain patients make less ideal candidates for a successful veneers treatment. For example, those who grind their teeth or have a habit of chewing objects are more likely to cause damage to their veneers. In addition, patients with poor oral hygiene should avoid veneers as well. Finally, those who play contact sports such as martial arts should delay treatment until they have retired from the sport!