You may recognize the term “veneer” from its colloquial use, referring to a façade or thin covering. That definition is also accurate for dental veneers! A veneer is a tooth-colored, very thin layer of material placed over the front of a tooth. While it adheres only to the front, a veneer can still significantly affect a tooth’s shape and appearance. We offer dental veneers to all of our Holly Springs and Raleigh patients.
Veneers are typically made from either resin or porcelain. Each type has its own use cases, advantages and disadvantages.
- Resin veneers are the simplest and most affordable option. They are made at the same time as application, meaning they require only one office visit. Resin veneers can also be repaired if they break.
- Porcelain veneers are extremely durable and stain-resistant. Their translucent appearance means they mimic the luster of natural enamel very well. However, porcelain veneers require separate appointments for fitting and attachment, and must be replaced entirely if they break.
Your dentist will consider your needs, financial ability, and lifestyle to select a veneer that’s right for you.
When are Veneers Useful?
Like many other cosmetic dentistry treatments, veneers are an effective way to restore missing tooth structure in the form of chips, gaps, or minor decay. They are particularly effective as a whitening solution when stains are part of the internal dentin, the inner core of a tooth below enamel.
Veneers may be used in combination with other cosmetic dentistry options, based on your specific needs. To understand when they’re useful, it may help to understand when they aren’t:
- For patients with significant missing tooth structure: Veneers require a strong surface to bond to.
- For severely misaligned teeth: A veneer may lack the proper clearance if teeth bump into each other.
- For patients who habitually bite or grind teeth: This can cause premature breakage of the veneer.
A veneer procedure is simple and painless. It begins first with a consultation, where your dentist evaluates if you’re a good candidate for veneers.
The actual procedure depends on what type of veneer you get. Both may begin with trimming parts of your teeth to ensure a strong bond, and cleaning the surface with a mild acid. Porcelain veneers also require an impression of your tooth to be made.
When the veneer is applied, your dentist uses a bonding agent to effectively glue it on. This agent is hardened with a light into a stable, rock-solid adhesive. As the final step, your veneers are polished to make sure they look great!