What is a veneer?


A dental veneer is a thin shell-like covering that the dentist bonds to a tooth’s front surface using dental cement, to permanently change and correct a tooth’s imperfections. There is a wide range of cosmetic dental issues that can be repaired with veneers. If teeth are discoloured, misaligned, misshapen, have damaged enamel or gaps between them, veneers can transform teeth into straight, whole, attractive-looking ones. For one tooth or multiple teeth, veneers can instantly improve a smile.
While veneers offer quick, dramatic improvement to the appearance of teeth, not everyone is a good candidate for them.

  • If a tooth has decay or is in an area that has periodontal disease (gum disease). These problems must be treated first.
  • If a tooth has little enamel left, a veneer will not stick to it properly.
  • If too much of the tooth is missing, a crown may be another option.
  • If a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth. This habit is called bruxism and can chip or break porcelain veneers.

Your dentist discuss all the options, risks, and benefits for your particular dental issue, helping you decide if veneers are the right choice for you.





  • Aesthetics – they provide a natural tooth appearance
  • Gum health – gums tolerate them well
  • Instant Results – veneers can be completed in just one or two office visits
  • Ability to repair minor cosmetic problems



  • Once you have veneers, you cannot reverse the treatment because part of your enamel has been removed.
  • If the veneers are not fully placed or sealed onto your tooth, stains or cavities can form under the veneer.
  • If a veneer chips or peels off, or if a cavity forms under a veneer, the veneer must be redone. The other option is to put a crown on the tooth.
  • Constantly grinding or clenching your teeth may cause your bonding or veneers to chip or break.
  • Porcelain veneers and bonded teeth can be chipped if you are not careful when biting or tearing into hard or chewy foods. Do not bite hard objects like ice cubes or fingernails.
  • Cosmetic dental treatments like bonding or veneers might not be covered by your dental plan. You may be responsible for those costs yourself.




Types of veneers

Porcelain veneers

  • Natural-looking, white, translucent teeth
  • Stain resistant
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Instant results
  • Repair minor cosmetic problems
  • Replace damaged tooth enamel

Stronger than composite resin, porcelain veneers do not change colour or stain. White and translucent, porcelain’s light-reflecting properties make the veneer look just like a natural tooth. The layer of yellow dentin that’s under the enamel is what the dental adhesive uses to bond to the layer underneath the porcelain veneer. As a result, porcelain veneers look like natural teeth and a natural white.
As a ceramic, stain-causing substances tend to ‘roll off’ or can be easily wiped off porcelain veneers. As a result, porcelain veneers not only make your teeth look brighter initially, they will continue to look white for years. This is true even if the person regularly consumes stain-producing beverages and foods. With basic daily dental hygiene, the porcelain veneers can continue to look clean and white for decades.
Generally, porcelain veneers require at least 2 dental visits to apply and last longer than composite resin. They are custom-made and designed to blend in with the rest of your smile.

First appointment
With porcelain veneers, your dentist may give you a local anesthetic (freezing). Your dentist then removes a thin layer of the enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. Then your dentist makes a mold of your teeth. This mold is used to custom-make your porcelain veneers. In the meantime, your dentist will place temporary veneers to replace the portion of the tooth that was removed. These are worn until your porcelain veneers are ready. The temporary veneers are very fragile and need to be treated gently during eating and cleaning as they come loose very easily.

Second appointment
Your dentist removes the temporary veneers and again puts a mild chemical on your teeth to make them a little rough, enabling the porcelain veneers to better stick to your teeth. The porcelain veneers are then glued to your teeth one by one, using composite resin cement. The result is a beautiful, smooth, well-shaped improvement of your natural teeth. Veneers can dramatically transform a smile.


Composite resin veneers

As the name implies, this type of veneer is made of composite resin and also looks very much like natural teeth. Unlike porcelain, though, the colour of a resin veneer will slowly change over time and it does not have the same translucence as porcelain. A more affordable veneer option, composite veneers may be placed in as little as one dental visit.

Your dentist may give you a local anesthetic (freezing). He or she then removes a thin layer of the enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers Next, a mild chemical is placed on the front surface of the tooth to be veneered in order to make it a little rough. This helps the composite resin to stick to the enamel of the tooth. The composite resin that matches the colour of your natural teeth is chosen so that the veneer blends in with your teeth. Your dentist then puts the composite resin on your tooth in layers. A bright light is used to harden each layer of the composite resin. After the last layer of composite resin is hardened, your dentist shapes and polishes it to form your tooth. The finished tooth looks natural and smooth.



Caring for your veneers

  • Just like your natural teeth, your veneered tooth needs to be brushed and flossed daily.
  • Do not mistreat your veneers; as with natural teeth, you should never use veneer-covered teeth as tools – bottle openers will do a better job and you won’t risk damaging or displacing your veneer