What is a Porcelain Veneer? A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain which is bonded over your front teeth. Sometimes they are used to fix badly broken down teeth. But they are also used for cosmetic cases, to change the size, shape, color and apparent position of front teeth.
“Smile makeovers” usually involve veneers on most or all of the teeth in the “esthetic zone”. They can be very natural looking.
Veneers usually require only minimal tooth reduction, since the veneers can be made very thin. We prefer not to do “no prep” veneers because they tend to leave bulky margins at the gumline which can lead to excessive plaque formation.
If the natural tooth is dark and we’re trying to lighten it with a veneer, it will need to be reduced a little more so the porcelain can be made thicker. And if part of a tooth is sticking out a bit, it will also need more reduction to make the veneer even with its neighbors.
Porcelain veneers by themselves are thin and brittle. If you squish it between your fingers, it would break. When we bond them onto the teeth however, they become much more fracture resistant. You can bite and chew with them just like natural teeth.
Nighttime clenching and grinding can wear or crack a veneer, however. So if we’re using a veneer to fix a tooth which has been worn because of clenching and grinding, we recommend getting a night guard to help protect it.