Porcelain veneers are custom tooth shells that conceal physical dental flaws, like those stains incurred by your teeth from years of sipping grande macchiatos.
Porcelain veneers are shaped from a mold of your mouth. You might also hear them called dental porcelain laminates. Veneers are thin, tooth-like slips that are secured to the outsides of your teeth with a strong, light activated gel.
Porcelain veneers can modify the color, shape, size, and length of your teeth.
What It's Good For
Once they're attached to the fronts of your natural teeth, porcelain veneers can do more than shield yellow marks and gray tints. They also hide teeth with malformations like chips, cracks, and rough edges by altering the shape of each tooth they cover.
Who it works for: Porcelain veneers (or any veneers for that matter) won't straighten teeth, but they will improve the appearance of damaged or discolored teeth. They can also close small gaps between teeth.
Recommended age range: Porcelain veneers should be placed on adult teeth only. When gums recede with age, teeth can look dark along the gum line when unveneered tooth enamel is revealed.
When will I see results?: Porcelain veneers take up to two weeks to manufacture, so don't pop in to see the dentist and expect to get porcelain veneers the same day as your appointment.
How long it lasts: Porcelain veneers are not reversible. After veneering, the tooth underneath can no longer properly function without a covering. Porcelain is the most durable of the available veneers, and when properly attached, they can last 10 to 15 years before requiring maintenance work. Still, all veneers must eventually be replaced.
Key benefits of porcelain veneers: Porcelain is resistant to stains. Light can penetrate porcelain just like it can shine through natural tooth enamel, so unlike their composite resin counterparts, porcelain veneers reflect light naturally and look like regular teeth. Pressed porcelain veneers are denser and reflect less light than feldspathic veneers, which means pressed porcelain veneers make teeth look very even and white. This is the classic "Hollywood smile."