A veneer is a facing which is cemented onto the front surface of a tooth. It can be made of porcelain or composite (white filling material) so it can blend in with the adjacent teeth.
The veneer can be made by a dental technician and cemented by the dentist or it can be built up directly on the tooth by the dentist, using composite.
Reasons for having a tooth veneered include:
- Discolouration. If a tooth has been knocked due to trauma, it may discolour and a veneer could be placed on it to disguise the discolouration. Some genetic conditions can cause patchy discolouration of the teeth and veneers could be used in these cases also.
- Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear over time and these teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance. Veneers can be used very successfully in these situations.
- Spacing and small teeth. Veneers can be used to fill the gaps caused by spaced out teeth. They can also be placed on small or peg-shaped teeth to give them a normal appearance.
- Uneven teeth. Veneers can be used to even out irregularities in tooth shape and alignment.