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Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth that is often seen when talking or smiling. There is a direct or indirect procedure used.
The direct technique, usually referred to as bonding, involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are 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 esthetically pleasing.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.