Veneers are thin layers of tooth coloured material, either resin or porcelain, bonded on the surface of the teeth to improve the colour, size and shape , for a overall aesthetic improvement of the smile. These are usually applied on the front surface of teeth in the aesthetic smile zone but its not uncommon to have veneers bonded to the back surfaces of the teeth as well as on the biting surfaces of the back teeth, to protect these surfaces from further wear and erosion.

Because they are usually very thin, it makes this treatment favorable as a minimally invasive option, where minimal or no tooth structure is being removed in order for the veneers to be placed.

When bonded on well, its properties will produce a strong, durable, translucent and aesthetic outcome.

Veneers can be done using tooth coloured resin materials or with dental ceramics or porcelain.

Resin veneers or direct veneers are done chair-side in the dental clinic where your dentist will spend time to build ,shape and bond these materials overĀ  your existing teeth with or without preparing the surfaces with a diamond coated bur. The results when planned and done well ,can be very aesthetic, durable and functional. And direct veneers are always more economical compared to ceramic veneers.The downside is the fact that it is a resin material, hence there is the wear and tear that comes with the material ,hence its important for a regular maintenance of these veneers.

Ceramic veneers are the fabricated in the laboratory where the material is either hand-built from a certain ceramic material onto the model of the patient into its final form and then placed in the furnace to set the material; or it can a certain ceramic treated with high heat and pressed into the mould of the desired end result; or it can be milled from a block into the final form, in the likes of CAD-CAM or 3D printing.

The choice of material and method is dependant on each individual situation and it is the dentist’s role to understand and know these materials and methods before planning and deciding on what is the best option for every case.

Ceramic veneers when fitted and bonded well onto the tooth surface which are minimally prepared by the dentist , can produce a very aesthetic and durable outcome which lasts a long time. The material is resistant to stains and wear unlike the resin veneers.

And because these are done indirectly outside the mouth in the lab, and the complex process of the entire treatment, they are significantly pricier compared to their resin counterparts.

As with all dental procedures done, it is important that they are regularly checked during the routine dental check-up.