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Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom tailored ceramic restorations that cover the front surface of a tooth. They are permanently bonded to your teeth. Your dentist can design and color veneers to look like your natural teeth.
Veneers can be a good option for teeth that have imperfections or that have deteriorated over time. Your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers if your teeth:
Porcelain veneers are incredibly natural-looking and can be almost indistinguishable from natural teeth.
As veneers fit on the surface of a tooth, your dentist usually does not need to remove too much of the enamel. The result is a very natural-looking tooth. Should a veneer become broken or discolored in the future, then it is replaced with a new one.
Veneers are not a good option if a tooth or multiple teeth are showing signs of advanced decay, as it can be challenging to get a strong bond. They are generally more expensive than composite resin bonding, and the procedure is irreversible.
The steps to fitting veneers usually involve three separate appointments: Diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding.
Diagnosis and treatment planning involves a description of the result you hope to achieve. Your dentist examines your teeth to ensure they are suitable for the procedure; this could include taking X-rays and impressions.
The preparation visit includes the removal of an amount of tooth similar to the thickness of the veneer. The surface amount removed is usually about 1 mm. It may require a local anesthetic; this is usually unnecessary, but you can discuss it as an option before the procedure.
Veneers are individually prepared for each patient, designed from impressions made by your dentist. The dentist sends the impression to a laboratory where the veneer is fabricated.
Bonding is the final visit. Your dentist sets the veneer on the tooth, then refines the surface through trimming until the desired fitting is achieved.
During the fitting, your dentist will check to make sure the shade of the veneer matches the surrounding teeth.