A veneer is a thin tooth-coloured shell fixed to the front of a tooth to mask discolouration, an irregular shape, damage or small gaps. They are usually fitted to the front upper and lower teeth and are made from ceramic, porcelain or a composite material. They can be used to enhance your smile and help to protect an affected tooth from further damage.

Veneers offer a minimally invasive way to transform a tooth as only a very thin layer (if any) of enamel is removed in the tooth preparation.

Veneers can be used as part of a smile re-design. They are excellent and beautiful restorations but remember it is always best to have non-invasive treatments especially if it’s for cosmetic (rather than clinical need) purposes. If teeth do not need restoration, or the replacement of old restorations, it is often better to use orthodontic alignment (e.g. Invisalign), whitening and composite bonding to improve the smile. Veneers or crowns require more on-going maintenance and possible future replacement and so are best used only when restorative work is clinically needed.


Treatment steps

The restorations are usually designed and planned on models of the teeth before there is any tooth preparation in the mouth.

If necessary, a thin layer of enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth to accommodate the veneer.

Once prepared, impressions are taken so a customised veneer can be produced in a laboratory. The colour of your teeth is also noted to enable the best possible match. If tooth-whitening is planned it is best to complete this first and then choose a shade-match to the whitened dentition.

When ready, the veneer is bonded to the tooth using a strong dental adhesive under very precise working conditions.


After fitting, it is important to keep your veneer well-maintained with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist and hygienist will show you how to keep on top of your dental hygiene and keep a close eye on the health of your teeth and gums.

Although veneers are resilient, it is important to treat them with care, so try not to bite your fingernails or chew pen tops, or use your teeth to open anything. Also, it is probably best to steer clear of very hard foods that could cause damage to the veneer.

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