Porcelain veneers are typically used to correct the esthetics of the teeth which show when a person smiles. Since each person has a different sized smile, and some show more upper or lower teeth, the number and location of teeth which need treatment vary. Most people use 6-10 veneers on each arch being treated, but some fewer or more.
A porcelain veneer is a very thin sheet of porcelain that resembles a fingernail before it is cemented to a Patient’s natural tooth. To make space for veneers, a Patient’s teeth need to first be prepared. This entails shaving natural material of the face of the tooth. Once this is done, there is no turning back. The next restoration required, hopefully many years down the road, will be new veneers; composite material to try and restore the remaining natural tooth, or crowns once the tooth has degraded beyond a certain point and needs other sides of the tooth to help support the structure.
Cosmetic Dentists also use composite veneers which are built directly onto natural teeth, layer by layer. Well trained Cosmetic Dentists can mimic the natural look of a tooth with composite veneers better than they can with porcelain as porcelain looks less flawed than natural teeth. The decision of natural vs perfect looking teeth can be a difficult decision for many people. There is no right look for your teeth, it is a personal preference. That said, the anatomy of a Patient and the condition of the surrounding teeth that may or may not be treated will help the Dentist and Patient determine the best type of veneers to be used.