Veneers are a type of dental restoration which is bonded to the surface of teeth to improve the appearance of a single tooth or several teeth. These restorations can mask discoloured, eroded, chipped or uneven looking teeth. Teeth which are slightly malaligned may also be masked by this technique.
The dental procedure can be carried out by either two methods; direct or indirect. The direct method involves building up layers of composite resin material on the surface of the teeth in the dental surgery. This can often be achieved in one visit. The indirect method requires at least two visits. The initial appointment is for preparation of the teeth and impressions. At a subsequent appointment the restorations (which have been made in the laboratory) are bonded onto the tooth surface.
Both procedures often involve removing a small amount of the outer surface (facial surface) of the tooth including a small portion of the biting edge. This procedure allows for the thickness of veneer. Occasionally, very little preparation and drilling is necessary.
Composite resin veneers placed by the direct method may take one or two dental visits to complete. They will require polishing and maintenance on a regular basis to maintain their appearance and very good oral hygiene at home.
Ceramic veneers can achieve a very nice aesthetic result but are more expensive. They may not be always suitable for every patient, depending on the bite relationship between the upper and lower teeth.