A dental veneer is a shell, or layer of tooth-colored porcelain or composite that is placed over the front surface of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks.
Although veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth, they also protect the surface of damaged teeth and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatments. Other benefits include durability, an improved smile appearance, and the need for minimal tooth structure compared to crowns.
Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:
- Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, hard translucent substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or result from a genetic predisposition. However, it often results from consuming soft drinks, tea or coffee; smoking; using certain medications, etc.
- Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance.
- Genetics: Certain people are born with abnormal spacing between their teeth that widens with age.
- Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.
- Whitening: Even with all the new whitening options available to us, certain people can’t obtain the color of teeth they desire.
Learn more about dental veneers in the Patient Education Library on our website.