Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (facial surface) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using a tooth colored composite material. This method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique 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. The impressions are sent to a laboratory where porcelain veneers are fabricated. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth.
When preparing teeth for veneers, very little tooth structure is removed (usually about the thickness of a contact lens) and patients experience little to no sensitivity after treatment.