A Veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural colour ‘composite’ material is used instead of porcelain.
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten the front teeth. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look intact again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
You will need two appointments to prepare the tooth and fit the veneer. These will be approximately two weeks apart. During your first appointment your dentist will adjust your tooth slightly and then take very accurate impressions that will be sent to a laboratory. At this stage a shade will be chosen and you will work with the dentist to choose a colour you are happy with.
During your second appointment your will be shown your new veneer and the dentist will put it in place and together you can confirm you are happy with the appearance. Once you and the dentist have decided the veneers are perfect they will be permanently cemented to your natural tooth. Only very minor adjustments can be made to a porcelain veneer once it has been fitted.