Veneers are very commonly used to enhance the smile. To put things into perspective, for example, when an actor or an actress has had their teeth “done” they have probably had veneers fitted.
Veneers are ceramic (or occasionally composite) laminates which are approximately 1 – 1.5mm thin and are bonded over the front surfaces of teeth. They provide a dramatic aesthetic enhancement. After assessment and approval the teeth are prepared to accept the veneers. Preparation is not always necessary and can only be determined on a case by case basis. When teeth do require preparation, the facing surface of the teeth is re-contoured by 1-1.5 mm. Impressions are then taken from which the ceramist can construct the veneers. Temporary veneers are immediately placed over the teeth to protect them and maintain the smile. Once fabricated (in the laboratory) the temporary veneers are removed and the ceramic “final” veneers are fitted.
In more complex cases, trial veneers can be fitted and adjusted until there is an agreement on the final smile after which the final veneers can be constructed and fitted.
Ceramic laminate veneers can be used in a variety of clinical situations e.g. colour defects or abnormalities in enamel can be masked. Although not exhaustive, the following list gives a range of situations in which veneers can be used.