Porcelain veneers are tiny shells of tooth-coloured porcelain that are bonded onto the front of the teeth. Veneers are used to improve stained, chipped or crooked teeth. They are a far more conservative alternative to full crowns because only a small amount of enamel has to be taken away.
In a typical case, a small amount of enamel is removed from the front of each tooth. An impression is taken so a cast can be made of the prepared teeth. A temporary covering is usually placed over the teeth whilst the veneers are being made at the laboratory. At the next visit the veneers are tried in for fit, shape and colour.
Once the veneers are ready to be placed, the surfaces of the teeth are washed and slightly etched by the application of a mild acid. The teeth are washed and dried. A special resin is applied to the inner surface of each veneer and the veneers are seated in place. Once the resin has set, any excess is trimmed away and the final polishing carried out.