If you aren’t happy with the look or feel of one or more of your teeth, veneers may be an option for you. Designed to mimic the enamel of a tooth, veneers are one of the most natural-looking options for teeth restoration.

When you think of a veneer, imagine wafer-thin shells. It’s small, thin, and in the shape of the surface of the tooth. Veneers are most often made from porcelain or ceramic. When ready to be placed, they are bonded to the front surface of a tooth to cover teeth that are discolored, stained, chipped, cracked or even misaligned or have gaps between them. In this way, they bring consistency and completeness to your smile.

The placement of veneers is a three-step process. Your dentist makes impressions of your teeth and then creates a mold of the way your teeth will look once the veneers are placed. The resulting mold is sent to a dental lab where the veneers are created for your individual teeth. Once the veneers are returned to your dentist’s office (typically in five to ten business days), your dentist uses a special cement to apply the veneer to your tooth or teeth. Once the veneer is placed and both you and your dentist are happy with the way it looks, a special light is used to harden the cement and permanently attach the veneer to your tooth.

Veneers are made in a tone and translucency that either matches your surrounding teeth or to whiten and improve the looks of your teeth. Veneers typically last for five to ten years and do not require any special care, just brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist.

See Smile Gallery for an example of a combination of composite and veneer.

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