What You Need To Know...

A cosmetic dental procedure often used to help reduce the appearance of tooth damage or improve aesthetics of the smile is that of porcelain veneers. This is a restoration that is made of composite or porcelain materials and is bonded over the front of a natural tooth. In most cases, veneers are only used on the teeth that are visible when patients are smiling, talking, or laughing. There are two ways of placing veneers including indirect and direct procedures.

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The direct procedure is performed by placing composite resin on the outside area of the tooth. This particular method is also known as “dental bonding.”

The technique called indirect procedures utilize two appointments. The veneers themselves are fabricated at a dental laboratory so they require more time to complete. During the first appointment, the dentist will prepare the teeth be removing a thin portion of enamel. Impressions are made and sent out for fabrication, while a temporary covering is placed in the interim. Once the veneers are mailed back to the dental office from the laboratory, typically in two to three weeks, the dentist removes the temporaries and bonds the final veneers in place. These veneers are strong and aesthetically pleasing.

There are benefits to porcelain veneers. Veneers are better than crowns because they do not remove as much tooth material as is necessary for veneers. The procedure is relatively comfortable. Veneers are best for patients with little tooth structure or large fillings.