Veneers may be used to improve teeth that are badly stained, shaped, or crooked, by placing them on the surface of the affected teeth.

These are thin pieces of plastic or porcelain, used to change the color or shape of your teeth. They are cemented over the front of you teeth and are used on teeth with uneven, chipped, discolored, oddly shaped, or crooked surfaces. Veneers require little or no anesthesia to be used and last longer and have a better color stability than bonding. Veneers provide high resistance to permanent coffee, tea or smoking stains.

Dental lab technicians make veneers by following a model provided by your dentist. Veneers are irreversible, since they require a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.

Porcelain veneers can mask teeth stained by tetracycline, injury or because of a root canal procedure effectively. These are also ideal to mask discolored fillings in the front teeth. Individuals who may have a gap between front teeth, have chipped or worn teeth can consider porcelain veneers.

Typically, three appointments entail a veneers procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation and bonding.

A tooth preparation visit lasts between one to two hours. The teeth are lightly buffed during this visit, to allow for the small added thickness of veneers. About a half millimeter of the tooth is usually removed, and may require a local anesthesia. A mold is taken of the teeth during the same visit and sent to the laboratory for fabrication of the veneer.

The final “bonding” visit also usually lasts for about an hour or two, in which veneers are placed on the tooth surface with water or glycerin on the teeth to ensure their fit and obtain a sense of shade or color. The veneers, while they rest on your teeth can be adjusted with various shades of cement to match the original color of your teeth. The tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals, to apply the veneer and achieve a bond. Once special cement is fixed between veneer and tooth, a visible light beam or laser releases a catalyst, hardening the cement.

Adjustments follow for at least a two-week period, during which a change in shape and size of your teeth may be felt. Brushing and flossing daily, is important. A follow-up appointment is necessary after two weeks. Porcelain veneers are not perfect replacements but rather reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth. It is not unusual to notice a slight variation of color in porcelain veneers upon close inspection, as this also occurs in natural teeth.

There may be no preparation of the teeth necessary for certain patients. Please visit our specialties page for more information.