How Dental Veneers Work

Dental veneers are used to improve the appearance of teeth. This may be due to discolouration or oddly shaped teeth at the front of the mouth. Veneers can also be placed onto chipped teeth.

This cosmetic procedure involves a false tooth cover being bonded onto the front of the tooth, which is usually made from thin porcelain that matches the colour of the surrounding teeth. Many people liken the procedure to that of applying false nails.

The Procedure

Firstly you will have an appointment with your dentist to decide upon how you want the finished veneers to look. X-rays will be taken as well as impressions of your teeth. You can also decide upon the final colour.


In preparation, your dentist will remove roughly half a millimetre of the tooth’s surface. You may choose to have a local anaesthetic for this part of the procedure, although it is not necessary. A mould will then be taken to cast the veneer. This usually takes between one to two weeks, depending upon how busy the laboratory are and where they are situated. Before the bonding procedure can begin, the dentist will firstly check its appearance and placement in relation to your other teeth, as well as checking the gum line. Only once they are satisfied will the veneer bonding process begin.

The Bonding Process

Firstly your tooth’s surface will need to be prepared, so that the veneer can be glued to the tooth. The dentist will clean and polish your tooth, and then apply an etching solution, which will slightly roughen the surface of the tooth. The roughened surface will help with the bonding process. A special dental glue will then be applied to the veneer, which is then applied to the tooth. The dentist will then shine a special UV light onto the veneer which will make the glue harden, ensuring a tight bond. Once cemented, your dentist will then remove any excess glue and check your bite and overall appearance of the veneer.

Follow Up And Looking After Your Veneers

Your dentist may ask you back for a follow up to check on the gum surrounding the veneer. It is very important that you treat the veneer just like any normal teeth, making sure to brush your teeth well. It should also be noted that a veneer can crack or chip, just like a normal tooth.