Porcelain veneers (also referred to as dental laminates), are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front side of teeth.
They're generally about 0.5 to 0.6 mm thick. That's about 1/2 the thickness of a dime or twice the thickness of an eggshell.
The primary purpose for placing veneers is to improve the appearance of teeth.
They're routinely used as a way of making changes for those teeth that are discolored, worn, chipped or malformed, have spaces between them or are slightly misaligned.
How do veneers differ from dental crowns?
While both of these restorations give the same cosmetic end result, a crown completely encases a tooth and involves far more tooth trimming when it's placed.
What are direct and indirect laminates?
Direct laminates are the ones that are made directly inside the patient’s mouth. Whereas, indirect laminates are made in the laboratory on a replica of the patient’s teeth acquired by making the impression of the teeth.
They create a very natural-looking appearance.
They resist staining.
What are laminates made from?
There are various materials from which laminates or veneers can be fabricated as is the case with metal-free crowns. Some of them are –
Some of the reasons why patients may opt for treatment with dental veneers are:
Spaces between the teeth - Spaces or gaps between your front teeth also called as diastemas, can easily be closed using dental veneers, giving you a beautifully aligned smile.
Stained/discoloured teeth : stains that cannot be removed by cleaning or teeth whitening. In such a case dental veneers or laminates, can hide any existing stains on your teeth thus improving the shade.
Broken/Damaged teeth - teeth that have become badly worn or are chipped/broken, can benefit from veneers. This can be done both with composite bonding as well as porcelain laminates if a more long term solution is required.
Crooked teeth - the ideal treatment for severely crooked teeth would actually be orthodontics or braces. However, such treatments are long term treatments and may go on for a year or more. If the teeth are mildly crooked then veneers can be placed over them to achieve a straight aligned-looking smile.