Dentists get this question a lot. While most people have heard of veneers, many do not really know what they are. In dentistry, a veneer refers to a thin piece of porcelain which is bonded to the front of a tooth (kind of like a false fingernail). Porcelain is brittle like glass. But when it is bonded to a tooth, it becomes much harder to break, similar to a slab of glass sitting on a dining room table.
I’ve been placing veneers since 1987, and I have one on one of my front teeth which was placed that same year. Veneers are used for many different situations. They can be used to repair worn, chipped or broken teeth, as long as there is enough natural tooth left to support them. They can close gaps between teeth. They can make small teeth larger. They can cover dark stained teeth. And they can make teeth appear straighter than they are. This is why they are often used in cosmetic dentistry.
How thin are veneers? Well, it depends on what they are being used for. I’ll discuss more about this in an upcoming blog post.