Patients ask all the time about veneers, cosmetics and "facings." At KTD we are of a very conservative nature. Not every patient is a candidate and not every patient should consider veneers, however for those that are candidates these can be a great way to lighten teeth, change the shape of teeth, position, change a smile.
A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain applied to the front of the tooth to essentially mask it. Many times patients have decay on the front of their teeth, discoloration from water supply when the teeth were forming, discoloration from medication when they were younger, discoloration from genetics, decay from around braces, slight size and shape differences. Generally, I first like to try and align the teeth. This involves closing any gaps, twisting teeth to make sure they are in the "right" position, eliminating crowding. Then we can get a good view of the tooth. Sometimes all we had to do is close a space to make the smile look more conventional. However, sometimes there are size or shape differences that catch our attention. No two teeth are alike and asymmetries happen as well. When other options are exhausted we can talk about veneers and facings as cosmetic dentistry.
Generally we take a mold of the teeth and have our laboratory wax up a sample of what the teeth could look like given our input and desires from our patient. From their we introduce our patient to the potential size and shape of their teeth. Once approved we ask the lab to make a set of temporaries and our patient returns to our office for the veneering procedure. We reduce the tooth as conservatively as possible and with the newest materials we rarely have to reduce much of the tooth to make room for our veneer material. We take an impression of the prepared teeth that are ready for their veneers and send that to the lab while we temporarily glue the provisional veneers in. You wear those for about 2-3 weeks while the porcelain ones are being made, stained and glazed in the lab. Then you return for the final seating of the new porcelain veneers. I would obstain from biting into an apple but aside from that you are good to go! You'd wear a night time appliance to protect your new pearly whites and maitain your regular check ups to have them inspected and enjoy your new smile!