Recent public exposure via the media to various kinds of esthetic dentistry procedures has increased demand for veneers. In past years, full coverage restorations were often used to correct minor defects or to mask discoloration. However, the more conservative concept of veneering teeth has been around for some time.
In 1928, Charles Pincus introduced the porcelain “Hollywood Bridge.” These veneers were fabricated for actors and used only in front of the camera. The actors were instructed not to wear the veneers while eating since the veneers were not bonded. Nine years later, in 1937, Pincus also fabricated acrylic veneers. These veneers were retained by denture adhesive, but failed because there was no adhesion to the teeth.1 In 1955, Michael Buonocore introduced enamel etching and in 1962, Ray Bowen developed composite materials. Dr. F.R. Faunce and Dr. D.R. Myers in 1976 tried acrylic veneers luted on etched enamel surfaces. In 1983, Dr. Harold Horn etched custom porcelain veneers luted to etched enamel surfaces.2
With the introduction of composite resin, etching, and bonding techniques, minor defects can be treated conservatively. While composite veneers have improved since their introduction, they still have a few drawbacks, such as wear, marginal and incisal edge fractures, and discoloration. As a result, composites may require more frequent replacement than is necessary with porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are more stable and have better esthetics. If a porcelain veneer is bonded with a correct adhesive technique and optimal oral hygiene care is maintained, studies have shown that the long-term survival rate of veneers is very high.3