what are veneers

What are Veneers?

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, there are many different ways a dentist can improve the look of a smile. One such method is Veneers. In this post we’re going to look into what they are, the different types available, when they are used, how long they typically last as well as best how to care for them… 

What are Veneers?

Primarily used for aesthetic reasons, a veneer is a thin covering placed over the visible part of the tooth. They’re typically placed on the top front teeth. Think of veneers as like false fingernails, they sit on top of the natural tooth. Much like a false nail, a veneer serves a purely aesthetic purpose. They can be made ultra thin – as thin as 0.5mm – meaning minimal preparation is needed which keeps the treatment less invasive. 
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of the teeth. They can also be used to close small gaps, when braces are not suitable. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can be fitted to bring it into line with the others.
It’s important to note, your teeth and gums must be healthy before you get veneers fitted. 
They also are not always a good choice for patients who clench or grind their teeth, because the thin veneers may chip or break.

What are the different types?

There are two main types of veneers:


This is a tooth-coloured filling material, matched with your natural tooth shade, and applied in layers to the tooth surface. This is sculpted directly in your mouth, chair side, by your Dentist. 
Because of this, composite veneers typically require fewer appointments and are easier to fix if they get damaged. Less tooth enamel is usually needed to be removed too, making it a less invasive option. 


Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are thin shells that are custom made to fit directly over your teeth. These are made in a specialist laboratory, not chair-side. Porcelain veneers create a very life-like and natural tooth appearance.
This type of veneer provides strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. On the whole, they are also resistant to everyday staining such as that from smoking, tea, coffee and red wine. 

When are Veneers used by Dentists?

Veneers can be used to fix many different cosmetic issues including: 

  • Stained teeth that can’t be treated with whitening
  • Chips or cracks 
  • Crooked teeth 
  • Uneven gaps between teeth

They can solve multiple problems with one type of treatment. So, rather than whitening a stained tooth and fixing a chip, a veneer can be fitted. This means only one procedure is needed, not two. In other cases, the best option may be orthodontics and veneers. Orthodontics to align the teeth, then super thin veneers to improve aesthetics. Your dentist will be able to advise you which is the best treatment(s) for you! 

How long do they last?

Depending on how they are cared for, and the type of veneer used, they can last for anywhere between 5 and 15 years. The longevity often comes down to how a patient takes care of them after they have been fitted.

How to care for Veneers:

– Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush to prevent wearing away the coating of the veneer. 
– Continue to visit your dentist for regular checkups.
– Avoid chewing on objects such as pens or ice. These can chip the veneers.
– Floss your teeth to prevent food or plaque buildup.
– As previously mentioned, avoid clenching or grinding your teeth and wear a mouthguard where it cannot be avoided.
Considering having veneers? Why not book yourself in for a free consultation here at The Courtyard Clinic. We can talk you through the procedure, explain how veneers can improve your smile as well as give you an indication of cost. Call us on 01932 582 949 to get started!

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