Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells or coverings made of porcelain and designed to be placed directly on the surface of your tooth to hide cracks, chips, stains and other cosmetic issues that can make your smile look old, worn and dingy. Veneers can also be used to close gaps between teeth, to correct the appearance of worn or uneven edges, and to make small teeth look larger and more uniform.
Veneers are placed in two visits. During the first visit, the tooth surface is prepared by removing a very small amount of tooth material to make sure there's enough room for the veneer and to prevent the veneer from overlapping the neighboring teeth. An impression is made of your teeth and sent to a lab where the porcelain veneer is made. Temporary veneers will be placed over your tooth to protect it. At your second appointment, the temporary veneers will be removed, the surface of the tooth will be cleaned and the finished porcelain veneer will be attached to the tooth surface using a strong adhesive. Finally, the veneer will be polished for a comfortable fit.
Bonding uses composite materials that are shaped right on the tooth in a single visit. They're less costly than porcelain veneers, but they're also not as durable and they're more prone to staining.
Veneers can last up to 10 years with proper care, and sometimes longer. It's important to have regular dental visits to ensure your veneers remain strongly bonded and in good shape.
No, they can be cared for with regular brushing and flossing, just like your natural teeth.