It is a thin layer of porcelain which fits over the front facing surface of the tooth, much like a false fingernail sits over a natural nail.
A veneer can be used to repair a cracked or damaged tooth to make it look full again, or to fill in natural gaps between teeth. They can also be used to improve the shape, position and colour of your natural teeth.
Because they are very thin, very little preparation is needed of your natural tooth and so veneers are a minimally invasive option. Also, because they are so thin, they can look more natural than other treatment options.
Your dentist will remove a very small amount of the top layer of your tooth surface (enamel), just enough to hold the very thin porcelain veneer, so that the tooth size remains the same. Once ‘prepped’, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth and match a shade for your veneer. The impression and colour information etc. are sent to a lab technician who will make your porcelain veneer. This process takes around two weeks, when you will return to your dentist to have your veneer fitted in place using a strong bonding adhesive.
Veneers can last for many years if taken care of correctly. They can, however, chip or break just as your natural enamel can. Upon fitting, your dentist will discuss with you how to best care for your veneer and precautionary steps to help prolong its lifespan.
Depending on the circumstances, some veneers are available on the NHS if there is a clinical need to maintain your oral health. This falls under a Band 3 treatment charge of £244.30. However, if your veneer is to improve your smile aesthetically, and there is no clinical need, then the veneer will be carried out Privately. These are priced from £475.