A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain or plastic that is bonded to a tooth
to improve its color and shape. A veneer generally covers only the front and
top of a tooth. Veneers can be used to close spaces between teeth, lengthen
small or misshapen teeth, or whiten stained or dark teeth. When teeth are
chipped or beginning to wear, veneers can protect them from damage and restore
their original appearance.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Veneers?
Veneers offer the following advantages:
- They provide a natural tooth
- Gum tissue tolerates
- Porcelain veneers are stain
- The color of a porcelain
veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
- Veneers offer a conservative
approach to changing a tooth's color and shape-veneers generally don't
require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet
offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to bonding.
What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Veneers?
The downside to dental veneers include:
- The process is not
- Veneers are more costly than
composite resin bonding.
- Veneers are usually not
repairable should they chip or crack.
- Because enamel has been
removed, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and
- Veneers may not exactly match
the color of your other teeth. Also, the veneer's color cannot be altered
once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so
before getting veneers.
- Though not likely, veneers
can dislodge and fall off. To minimize the chance of this occurring, do
not bite your nails; chew on pencils, ice, or other hard objects; or
otherwise put pressure on your teeth.
- Teeth with veneers can still
experience decay, possibly necessitating full coverage of the tooth with a
- Veneers are not a good choice
for individuals with unhealthy teeth (for example, those with decay or active
periodontal disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture,
large dental fillings) or for those who have an inadequate amount of
existing enamel on the tooth surface.
- Individuals who clench and
grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these
activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.