Porcelain veneers are the preferred method for fixing a chipped, permanently stained, or uneven front tooth. This is because veneers are permanent and they look and act just like a natural tooth. The issue you may face is if only one tooth is damaged. Should you get a single veneer or a full set? The following guide can help you decide.
Is discoloration an issue?
Do your teeth yellow quickly, perhaps because you are a smoker or enjoy staining beverages, like coffee, tea, or red wine? Then you may want to consider a full set of veneers. Porcelain veneers aren't porous like your natural enamel, so they don't stain. This means that any discoloration of your teeth that happens between dental cleanings or teeth whitening sessions will be more apparent when judged against the pristine veneer. Getting a full set could actually save you money in the long run, since you won't be investing in additional whitening treatments to keep your teeth matched in color.
Where is the tooth located?
Veneers are primarily used on the teeth that show when you smile, so molars aren't usually fixed with a veneer, but instead with a crown or bonding. You can usually get away with a single veneer if you need it for one of the less prominent "smile" teeth, which are those located between the canines and the back molars. These are somewhat visible when you smile, but are not front and center so any small differences with color or shape aren't likely to be noticed.
Do you have the budget for a full set?
Naturally, finances will also play into your decision. You may need to get the single veneer that you need to start with, and then you can upgrade to a full set later. Another option is to get veneers only on the upper or lower teeth. For example, if your top canine is chipped, then get veneers on all of the front teeth on the top jaw. Any differences in color or shape between top and lower teeth won't be very noticeable, so you may not need to ever get a lower set of veneers. Yet another option is to have veneers placed only on the top and lower teeth between the canines. Since tooth shape changes naturally at the canines, the untrained eye is less likely to notice small differences between these and the other teeth.
For more help, talk with a cosmetic dentist in your area, such as Michael G Landy DDS.