When using veneers, the teeth's appearance can be changed with minimal tooth preparation (e.g. drilling). Many veneer procedures can be done with the use of little or no local anesthetic. Traditionally, a reduction of approximately 0.5 mm is required for a porcelain veneer. Composite veneers are becoming more popular as they are easy to repair, whereas porcelain veneers have potential to fracture. It can be very difficult to match the shade of an individual veneer to the remaining teeth, hence placing several veneers is common.

There are some veneers which do not require any drilling in order to remove tooth structure. Instead, these veneers are constructed to be placed on top of teeth. As a result, treatment is less invasive and may be less time-consuming. One such popular option is Lumineers, a very thin piece of porcelain that is placed on top of the existing tooth structure that would allow alteration of the tooth color and shape.[15] However, it is important to keep in mind that such option is not for everyone. Since little to none tooth structure is removed in the preparation of Lumineers, some cases will result in bulky teeth.

Veneers may be used cosmetically to resurface teeth such as to make them appear straighter and possess a more aesthetically pleasing alignment. This may be a quick way to improve the appearance of malposed teeth without need to use orthodontics. However, the amount of malposition of teeth may be such that veneers alone may not be enough to correct them. Instead, orthodontics would need to be used, or orthodontics combined with veneers. The dentist who places veneers must be careful since veneers could increase the thickness of the front face of the teeth. If the teeth are too thick on the face they may appear to stand out and push out the lips. The effect may be enough to give the patient a full or donkey appearance when the lips are closed. Veneers must also be created such that the patient bites into them with minimal force. Otherwise, they may chip off. Patients whose lower jaw protrudes out farther than their upper jaw (known as a class III bite) may not benefit from veneers because the teeth of the lower jaw may bite into the teeth of the upper jaw such as to dislodge the veneers.

In recent years, it has become possible to fabricate porcelain veneers in the dental practice utilizing technologies and techniques associated with CAD/CAM Dentistry. [16][17][18] In a typical multiple anterior unit case, the patients salient front teeth are bonded with composite a day or two before the procedure to ensure that the shape, form, phonetics (speech) and occlusion (bite) are appropriate. Upon returning, the practitioner queries the patient as to their satisfaction. Once consent is given and appropriate type and shade of solid porcelain blocks are acquired, the practitioner then proceeds to correlate, or copy this bonded situation utilizing an imaging camera into the computer software. The teeth are then prepared. After preparation, the imaging camera is again utilized to image the prepared teeth and draw the data into the computer software. The software then superimposes the pre-operative situation with the prepared situation and measures are taken to complete all of the veneer restorations. These 'virtual veneers' are then sent to a milling unit which uses diamonds to carve the porcelain veneers out of the appropriately shaded porcelain blocks. After trying each of the veneers in, the practitioner then proceeds to apply stains and glazes to the veneers to accomplish whatever cosmetic/aesthetic outcome the patient is after. The customized veneers are then placed in an oven under heat and pressure to both strengthen and permanently integrate the colors into the restorations. A short time later, the veneers are acid etched, silanated and bonded in place using typical resin bonding techniques used with all porcelain veneer placement. Though technically difficult to perform, some practitioners are able to generate these high quality porcelain veneers that are customized on-site the same day, eliminating the need and inconveniences associated with temporization.