A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of ceramic material placed over the natural tooth surface. The dentist will first prepare the tooth by removing half a millimeter of the natural tooth, to allow for the thickness of the veneer. Next the dentist will take a mold of the teeth, and the veneers will be fabricated from the mold. Finally, the veneers are permanently bonded or cemented to the natural tooth.
Veneers are used to cover discoloration and imperfections. Porcelain veneers are also an effective substitution for crowns for the front teeth, as they can aesthetically change the size, color and shape of the teeth. The dentist can mount the veneer using little or no anesthesia. Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining – including stains from coffee, tea, and cigarettes, and last for years.