Veneers are used in dental restoration procedures to either improve aesthetics or as a form of protection on tooth surfaces that have been damaged. Veneers are generally fabricated from one of two main types of material. Dental veneers may be produced from composite material or dental porcelain.
Composite materials are used when a veneer is directly placed and built up on the tooth’s surface. Composite materials may also be used when veneers are indirectly fabricated, then bonded to the tooth. This is accomplished using resin cement, designed to permanently adhere the veneer to the surface of the existing tooth.
In the early years of veneer technology, dental veneers had a reputation of lacking longevity and would easily fall off. They were initially popular in Hollywood as a way to alter an actor’s teeth for a scene. Dental Veneer technology has come a long way since its early development and now can last anywhere from 10 - 30 years depending on the quality of material and application.
Veneers are easily applied and do not require much preparation or alteration to the existing tooth. Porcelain veneers have the potential to fracture and decay over time and, as a result, composite veneers are becoming more common. Veneers can appear bulky if not applied carefully and with minimal use of material. For this reason, veneers are only used for very specific applications.