A veneer is a thin layer of ceramic, composite or porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, in a similar way a false nail fits over a fingernail.
Veneers can improve the colour, shape, size and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten your front teeth.
A veneer can make a chipped tooth look whole again. The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If a tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to give the appearance that it is in-line with the others.
In order to ensure that the tooth stays the same size; some of the outer layer of the tooth surface (enamel) is removed. The amount of enamel removed is small and will be the same as the thickness of the veneer to be fitted.
Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth. This will be sent to a dental laboratory where the veneer is carefully and precisely manufactured. When the veneer arrives back to the dentist it will be tried and checked to ensure the colour and fit are correct. Once you and the dentist are both happy, it will then be cemented into place.