When the front surface of an anterior tooth – incisor or canine, has a poor appearance it is possible improve the look of the tooth by placing a porcelain veneer.
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain which mimics the natural appearance of the anterior surface of a tooth, once made it is fixed permanently to the tooth. Porcelain veneers are made by dental technicians; therefore a patient will need two separate appointments in order to complete this course of treatment.
An in surgery equivalent is possible where the veneer is made of composite but this should only be used as a temporary measure due to risk of cairies at the restorations edges and because composite stains easily unlike porcelain.
The occlusion of a patients teeth must be carefully considered before deciding that veneers are a suitable form of treatment, for example if the patient has a class III bite (where lower incisors sit in front of upper incisors), or if the incisors meet edge to edge, then a veneer is unlikely to be successful. Veneers are reasonably strong, once cemented in place if;
- they are placed on appropriate teeth
- are well -made
- are a good fit
However, they cannot withstand particularly heavy forces like crowns can, they can fracture or become separated from the tooth if used in inappropriate circumstances.
Only a small amount of tooth tissue is removed during a veneer preparation, so it is a fairly conservative course of treatment which can have fantastic results.