In dentistry, a veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth. Veneers can improve the aesthetics of a smile and protect the tooth's surface from damage.
There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental lab, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement. Usually used for treatment of adolescent patients who will require a more permanent design once they are fully grown. The lifespan of a composite veneer is approximately 4 years. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. A full veneer crown is described as a restoration that covers all the coronal tooth surfaces. Laminate veneer, on the other hand, is a thin layer that covers only the surface of the tooth and generally used for aesthetic purposes. These typically have better performance and aesthetics and are less plaque retentive.