Veneers are thin shells of material (porcelain or composite) that are bonded onto the front side of a tooth to improve its appearance ( shade, shape or alignment). They are commonly used for aesthetic reasons. They can be fabricated in clinic or sent to laboratory. Veneers are not for everyone. Your dentist will do a thorough assessment to decide if you are a good candidate for veneers and also for which material is best suited for you, porcelain or composite. Porcelain veneers require a minimal amount of tooth reduction and don’t compromise the strength of tooth. They are tooth like in appearance and it is possible to obtain good shades with these veneers. They require care and maintenance. The procedure involves two visits. First visit is for preparation of tooth which involves removal of a minimal amount of tooth structure from front of tooth to make room for veneer. An impression is obtained and sent to lab. At second visit, veneers are bonded on the tooth.
Composite veneers are tooth colored resin which is bonded to tooth. They are used for cosmetic reasons or to fill decayed and broken down teeth. Composite veneers can be placed directly in the clinic or sent to lab. They make need one or two visits. The procedure is similar to porcelain in that, it too involves removing a minimal amount of tooth structure from the front surface. Then either composite is directly bonded on the prepared surface or an impression is taken to be sent to the lab. At the second visit, veneers are bonded. They are advantages and disadvantages of both materials which will be discussed with you.