What is a veneer?
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a natural-colour ‘composite' material is used instead of porcelain.
When would I need a veneer?
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten your front teeth. A veneer can make a chipped tooth look whole again.
The porcelain covers the whole of the front of the tooth, with a thicker section replacing the broken part. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
What are the advantages of veneers?
Veneers make teeth look natural and healthy. Because they are very thin and are held in place by a special, strong adhesive, very little preparation of the tooth is needed. Some types of veneers don't need any preparation at all.
What is a Lumineer or NO-PREP veneer?
Lumineers are cerinate porcelain done by Den Mat company and the thickness is claimed to be as little as 0.3 mm, but usually it is thicker. Lumineers are supposed to go over your existing teeth, without any reshaping done by your dentist. If any reshaping is necessary then they are not called lumineer or no prep veneers, they will be considered veneers which has a different fee structure that is higher than no prep veneers. The benefit of lumineers, or no prep veneers, for the patient is that they do not require any shots or anesthetics, no drilling or contouring is required by the lumineer dentist, and the end result is conservation of tooth structure, changing the shape and the color of your smile. Due to the contact lens thickness of lumineer, if you do have an existing dark, yellow color, do not expect the color to get to paper white, if you do not mind a little bulkier tooth. The thinner the lumineer, the more your existing color can show, and it can not be hided by very thin layer of lumineer.