Veneers are facings placed on the front surfaces of teeth to enhance their shape, colour, or alignment. They are made up of either porcelain or composite resin (white filling material). In our office, we encourage our patients to seek out orthodontic treatment (like Invisalign) if all they need is to enhance the alignment of their teeth. But in cases where the teeth are stained, or very chipped, veneers can be an excellent option.
Veneers made out of porcelain are very beautiful life-like restorations. In order to make these, a small amount of enamel usually has to be removed from the teeth and an impression taken and sent to the laboratory. There, the laboratory technician will make the veneers to custom fit your teeth. The dentist will glue them to the teeth, and because they are glued onto enamel, they can be very strong. The cost of a porcelain veneer is similar to that of a crown (about $1000 per tooth). For the best results, patients usually whiten their teeth first since matching whiter teeth is easier, and placing a veneer on a lighter tooth is easier to camouflage the edges.
Resin veneers can be made by the technician in the laboratory (“indirect”), or chairside by your dentist (“direct”). When the dentist makes them, you get them that same appointment. As well, unlike porcelain veneers, you usually do not need to have any enamel removed as the thickness of the material can be kept very thin. Resin veneers can be very esthetic and their cost is about $500 per tooth. The drawback of resin veneers is that they will stain quicker than porcelain, and may chip more easily.