Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are attached to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. They’re often made from porcelain or resin-composite materials and are permanently bonded to your teeth.
Veneers can be used to treat a number of different cosmetic concerns, including chipped, broken, discolored, or smaller-than-average teeth.
Some people may only get one veneer in the case of a broken or chipped tooth, but many get between six to eight veneers in order to create an even, symmetrical smile. The top front eight teeth are the most commonly applied veneers.
Dental veneers are most commonly made out of porcelain. Applying traditional dental veneers requires more intensive prep work compared to alternatives that are sometimes called “no-prep veneers.” These no-prep veneers — which include options like Lumineers and Vivaneeres — take less time and are less invasive to apply.
Applying traditional dental veneers typically involves grinding down the tooth structure, sometimes removing some of the tooth even past the enamel. This allows for proper placement, but it’s also an irreversible procedure that can be painful to go through and often requires a local anesthetic.
No-prep veneers, on the other hand, may require some tooth preparation or alteration, but these alterations are minimal. Instead of removing layers of tooth under the enamel, no-prep veneers only affect the enamel. In many cases, no-prep veneers don’t require local anesthetics.
Veneers aren’t the same as tooth implants or crowns. Veneers cover the front surface of the tooth. Implants, on the other hand, replace the entire tooth. Crowns also encase the entire tooth, while veneers only cover the front surface of the tooth (which is visible with a smile).
Teeth whitening is a simple, conservative way to improve the appearance of a smile and reduce tooth discoloration. Whiter teeth can make one look younger and, as most people agree, more attractive. The options for teeth whitening today are almost endless, and one of the more popular professional options is laser teeth whitening.
Laser teeth whitening treatment is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that adds the use of a laser to in-office teeth whitening. Many people confuse other types of teeth whitening procedures performed in the dental office with laser teeth whitening.