A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material, usually made from composite resin or porcelain which is bonded onto the tooth. It is used to cover the visible portion of the tooth in order to improve the shape, colour, strength and appearance of the tooth. Because of their thin nature veneers can emulate the translucency of the underlying natural tooth, thereby giving a very natural appearance.
The process usually takes two appointments and the quality of the material, the laboratory used in their construction, and the ability of the dentist to “map out” the desired appearance all contribute to the final result. So too does the bonding system used, and the attention to detail to ensure it does not come under excessive loading from the opposing teeth also ensure a result that will function predictably and comfortably for the lifespan of the veneer!
In an aesthetic case, it is, as previously noted, preferable to avoid excessive destruction of tooth material so this is a big reason why veneers are preferred over crowns when appropriate conditions are met. Usually, it is in the order of approximately 0.5-1.5mm of enamel reduction that is needed to prepare a tooth for a veneer and in some cases tooth reduction is almost nil. The average lifespan of a veneer is 10-12 years and in certain cases of failure it may be a cementation failure only; which means using proper procedure it can even be re-cemented back on.
Other causes of failure include chipping, cracking, marginal discolouration and damage due to tooth wear! However, in the main, veneers can provide a very good appearance for many years of service without excessive loss of tooth structure! Again, if you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your case.