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What are dental veneers?

Female patient in dental chair

Dental veneers are thin coverings applied to teeth to improve the appearance of chipped, cracked, discolored, gapped or misshapen teeth. Your dentist bonds tooth-colored dental veneers to your teeth with cement. Dental veneers are made of composite or porcelain (ceramic) materials and are often applied without an anesthetic.

Dental veneers can last from five to 15 years depending on the type of material used. They are typically used on the front teeth, which experience less wear and tear and biting forces than teeth farther back in the mouth, such as molars.

A dental veneer procedure is generally very safe, but it does have risks and potential complications. It is only one method used to improve the appearance of teeth. Discuss all of your options with your dentist to understand which options are right for you.  

Medical Reviewers: Nicole Holland DDS, MS Last Review Date: Mar 4, 2013

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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Medical References

  1. Are There Other Alternatives for Improving My Smile? Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center.
  2. Cosmetic Dentistry. The American Society for Dental Aesthetics.
  3. Here comes the bride… American Dental Association.
  4. Veneers. Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association.
  5. What are veneers? Academy of General Dentistry.

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