Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. The procedure can be direct (resin composite) or indirect (ceramic or porcelain), and our team is here to help determine the best options for you.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding. This method is typically more conservative than the ceramic veneers and is a more reversible procedure. Often times, little to no tooth structure is removed. The tooth is gently prepared and the resin composite is placed and shaped directly on the tooth.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment, we prepare the teeth, take impressions, and give a temporary covering. In one to two weeks, the veneers come back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed, and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic. Because of the specific requirements for these lab made veneers, often times some tooth structure needs to be removed to make space for the veneers to be strong, but still look natural. The amount of tooth structure that needs to be removed depends on the position of the teeth.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed. Because the veneers only cover the lip-side of the tooth, they are slightly more prone to becoming de-bonded from the tooth. If this happens, they can almost always be re-bonded without needing to be replaced. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large unaesthetic fillings, are misshapen, or you want a more permanent solution to constantly whitening your teeth.