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Veneers are thin shells that are laid onto the teeth and bonded to the surface. Although they can be made of different materials, porcelain is generally used because of its durability and realistic appearance. Veneers are a more conservative alternative to crowns since they require less removal of the tooth's original surface. With veneers in place, patients can expect straighter, whiter, and more even looking teeth.

The Procedure

During the first visit, the dentist removes a very small layer of each tooth's outer enamel. A local anesthesia may be used, but is not always necessary. The dentist makes a mold of the teeth and sends it to a dental lab where customized veneers are created. The lab procedures generally take seven to ten days. Many dentist place temporary restorations on the teeth. Once the veneers are returned from the lab, the dentist bonds the veneers onto the tooth with a composite material. Given the proper care, veneers can keep you smiling for decades to come.