A "veneer" is a wafer-thin layer of material molded to the surface of a tooth to correct a chip or crack, or to enhance its cosmetic appearance. They are made of either porcelain, or a composite synthetic resin, such as acrylic polymer or polymethyl methacrylate. These synthetic resins are liquid materials that can be converted into a permanent hardened material, and are used in dentistry because of their ability to create a strong bond with the tooth, and their ability to mimic the natural color of adjacent teeth. Lastly, a veneer can either be layered directly onto a tooth at the dentist office, or fabricated off-site in a dental laboratory.
With this dental procedure code, the veneer is prepared in a lab with resin, and performed on the labial surface of one of the front six teeth in either jaw. This surface is identified as “labial” because it comes in direct contact with the lips, and the word “labial” means “pertaining to the lips.” Because of the front-facing nature of the teeth in this area of the mouth, this procedure is often used to correct a gap, or what is known technically, as “diastema,” between the front teeth.
The pre-fabricated labial veneer process is fairly simple, and first includes removing any decayed or weak areas of the tooth that may exist. Your dentist would then make an impression of the teeth in the area, and send that impression to a lab so it can be custom fabricated off-site. At this point, your dentist may decide to fit you with a temporary veneer until your custom veneer arrives.
Once the veneer arrives, you would schedule an appointment to return and have it bonded to your tooth. This final step is done by preparing the tooth for bonding by etching it with a mild acid solution, and then cementing the veneer to the tooth. Should any additional customizing need to be completed, this shaping and polishing would be done at this time.
To look up and find more cdt dental codes from the American Dental Association, please visit our complete Dental Procedure Code Library.