In dentistry, a veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth. Veneersveneers can improve the aesthetics of a smile and protect the tooth’s surface from damage.
There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental lab, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement. They are typically used for the treatment of adolescent patients who will require a more permanent design once they are fully grown. The lifespan of a composite veneer is approximately four years. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. A full veneer crown is described as “a restoration that covers all the coronal tooth surfaces (mesial, distal, facial, lingual and occlusal)”.Laminate veneer, on the other hand, is a thin layer that covers only the surface of the tooth and is generally used for aesthetic purposes. These typically have better performance and aesthetics and are less plaque retentive.
Veneers are prosthetic devices, by prescription only, used by cosmetic dentists. A dentist may use one veneer to restore a single tooth or veneer with high quality that may have been fractured or discolored, or in most cases multiple teeth on the upper arch to create a big bright “Hollywood” type of smile makeover. Many people have small teeth resulting in spaces that may not be easily closed by orthodontics. Some people have worn away the edges of their teeth resulting in a prematurely aged appearance, while others may have a malpositioned tooth or teeth that appear crooked. Multiple veneers can close these spaces, lengthen teeth that have been shortened by wear, fill the black triangles between teeth caused by gum recession, provide a uniform color, shape, and symmetry, and make the teeth appear straight. Dentists also recommend using thin porcelain veneers to strengthen worn teeth. They are also applied to yellow teeth that won’t whiten. Thin veneers are an effective option for aging patients with worn dentition. In many cases, minimal to no tooth preparation is needed when using porcelain veneers.
When preparing, in between prep and fit appointments of the veneer, the dentist can make temporaries, usually out of composite. These are not normally indicated but can be used if the patient is complaining of sensitivity or aesthetics. According to a leading Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, temporaries are really important to design and finalizing the aesthetics of the final veneers. Temporaries help patients and the dentist decides on the right color, length, and shape of the veneers.
Discolored teeth, malformed teeth, enamel hypoplasia (not enough enamel), enamel hypo calcification (enamel not fully mineralized), fluorosis, tetracycline staining, non-vital tooth discoloration, malposition, enamel fractures, enamel loss by erosion, modifying the shape of the tooth. Additional contraindications include but are not limited to the following: poor oral hygiene, uncontrolled gingival disease, high cavities rate, parafunction, no enamel, unreasonable patient expectations, and large existing restorations.