Veneers are small pieces of dental grade ceramic or porcelain that are designed to be placed over the top of the tooth to create a new surface. Veneers are often used to close gaps between teeth, improve discolorations, create a smile or line of teeth that has uniformly sized teeth and correct any abnormalities that may cause a person’s smile to be slightly off. In order to bond the veneer to the teeth, the dentist must file away the enamel to create a surface that is suitable for bonding. The bonding material does not adhere well to a smooth surface so the enamel is removed, exposing the rougher material below it.
Because implanting veneers calls for the removal of the delicate enamel that covers the surface of the tooth, veneers are designed to be permanently bonded to the tooth. If something happens that the veneer is damaged in any way, the dentist must remove the veneer without breaking the tooth or causing any damage to the teeth that are in the general area. Veneers are made of a high-grade porcelain and will look and feel just like regular teeth for many years. Porcelain is extremely hard to damage and can last for years once they have been properly bonded to the surface of the tooth.
The majority of veneers are made of a very high grade of porcelain. Porcelain is the strongest, most reliable material used in the creation of replacement teeth and appliances. While porcelain is the most common, ceramic comes in a close second. Although it is not quite as durable, ceramic can last for several years and still remain looking its best. Ceramic tends to chip and discolor easier than porcelain but will withstand almost as much pressure as the porcelain veneers. Composite materials can be used to make temporary veneers if need be, but they are not as strong as porcelain and must be replaced in a short period of time.