Porcelain Veneers are akin to false fingernails, that actually cover the front surface of the teeth. The veneers are made from a strong and very durable ceramic (porcelain), that a dental technician builds up to match the shape and color requirements of the patient.
Porcelain is used because it is a hard wearing and a non-porous material. A shade can be created to match the surrounding teeth or improve the overall color of teeth. Porcelain veneers are often used in cosmetic situations and where the front teeth are heavily broken down and/or filled.
The porcelain veneers not only improve the physical look of the teeth, but can also improve the strength of the teeth, due to the ceramic used being able to be bonded to the underlying tooth structure. The bonding is literally super-gluing the ceramic to the teeth and the glue forms a medium between tooth and ceramic which adds strength both to the teeth but also to the porcelain veneer.
In preparation, a very small amount of tooth structure is removed. Impressions are then taken, which are sent to a technician to make the porcelain veneer. At the second appointment, the veneer is tried in and, if perfect in shade and fit, it is bonded to the tooth surface.
Using the Porcelain Veneers enables dentist to reshape, rebuild, straighten and modify teeth, without the need for orthodontics. If well maintained, they will last for many years.