A porcelain veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is bonded on to the enamel of the tooth and are generally used to dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. This option is a more conservative treatment compared to crowns, as less tooth structure has to be removed. Like crowns, veneers usually take two appointments to complete, the first to prepare the tooth. A mould is then taken of the newly shaped tooth and sent to a dental technician who makes the veneers. The second appointment is usually two to three weeks later. The dentist will check the fit, shape and colour of the veneers before cementing them permanently in place. Veneers can be used to close unsightly gaps and change the shape and colour of teeth. Patients usually decide to do the front six teeth at once, as this gives the best cosmetic result, although it is possible to do them in pairs, or even singularly. Porcelain is beneficial as it will not stain or discolour over time. A disadvantage of porcelain veneers is that they usually cannot be repaired if they chip, break or if the gum shrinks away from joining point. Although they are slightly cheaper than porcelain crowns, they are still quite costly as they are very fragile and fiddly to prepare and make.