The use of veneers is a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The process can either be direct or indirect.
The porcelain (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 are 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 new veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally more comfortable. Crowns are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.