Porcelain veneers are thin facings for front teeth which are used to disguise dark or discoloured teeth. Veneers can make your teeth look natural and clean and bright and so improve your smile.
In addition to improving discoloured teeth, porcelain veneers can also be provided for a number of other reasons, for example:
To improve the appearance of a misshapen tooth, a chipped tooth or a tooth that is slightly crooked.
To close small gaps between teeth when orthodontic treatment (braces) is not suitable.
Porcelain veneers are not suitable if the discoloured tooth is very heavily filled or broken down. In this situation, a crown is a better restoration.
If you are having veneers placed, your dentist will usually drill the teeth requiring treatment but only a thin layer of the tooth is removed. There will still be a substantial amount of your natural tooth remaining. An impression (mould) is taken which is sent to the laboratory where the veneers will be fabricated by a dental technician. At a second appointment, your dentist will carefully fit each veneer in place with a special adhesive.
Porcelain veneers are generally not available on the NHS as they are regarded as a cosmetic treatment.