A porcelain veneer is very thin piece of porcelain similar in thickness to a fingernail that attaches to the front of the tooth to improve overall appearance. Some of the problems that it can solve include chips, small holes and pits. Once in place, it looks, feels, and functions just like a regular tooth.
In what situations should veneers be used?
Porcelain veneers can be used to change the shape and esthetics of the front surface of the teeth. They can also be used to lighten the tooth. When a tooth is not a similar to the remaining teeth in shade, veneers can correct this problem.
What are some other alternatives?
If dark color of the tooth is the only concern, tooth whitening may be the best alternative.
If the teeth are mal-positioned creating overlap or spaces between the teeth, orthodontic treatment (braces) may be the treatment of choice.
In most cases, where both the overall shape and color of the tooth need improvement, porcelain crowns may be the best option. If surfaces other than the facial surface (front of tooth) need repair, crowns can best be used to correct the problem. In most cases, porcelain crowns are better than veneers in masking out dark colors and lightening teeth. They are also stronger and longer lasting than veneers.