Veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. Veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s colour, size or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects,such as teeth stained by tetracycline or fluorosis or damage due to an injury. They are ideal for masking discoloured fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers. If one tooth is slightly out of position, a veneer can sometimes be fitted to bring it into line with the others. Since they are very thin, very little or no preparation of the tooth may be needed. Veneers should last for many years; but they can chip or break, just as your own teeth can. Your dentist will tell you how long each individual veneer should last. Small chips can be repaired, or a new veneer fitted if necessary.