Dental veneers, also known as porcelain veneers or composite veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored, translucent porcelain or composite resin. Veneers are custom made to fit and over teeth and improve their color, shape and overall appearance. Placement of dental veneers can dramatically improve your smile and appearance.
Veneers are wafer-thin (approximately 0.5 mm) translucent porcelain/ceramic facings made in a dental laboratory from an impression taken of your existing teeth. They are fixed permanently to your tooth's front surface using a special adhesive method. The veneer covers the visible surface of the tooth completely.
Placement of dental veneers is sometimes referred to as "instant orthodontics" because they can be used to cover a variety of dental problems involving teeth in the "smile zone" including:
- Spaces between the teeth.
- Poorly shaped or crooked teeth.
- Broken or chipped teeth.
- Permanently stained teeth.
- Unsightly or stained fillings.
Dental veneers can improve the appearance of the teeth but they cannot realign the jaw or correct overbites and under-bites. Orthodontics are required to correct these more complicated problems.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Composite Veneers
- Porcelain veneers resist staining. Unlike other cosmetic dental bonding materials, porcelain is a smooth, impervious ceramic and therefore will not pick up permanent stain from cigarette smoking or from dark or richly colored liquids or spices.
- Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers. The placement of porcelain veneers requires more time, expertise and resources to fabricate and bond.
- Porcelain veneers cannot be repaired. If they break, they must be replaced.
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