Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored ceramic materials designed to cover the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth, changing their color, shape, size, or length.
You should know that because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell this process is usually irreversible
Only porcelain can provide the perfect mix of durability, strength and beauty you desire, making veneers an unmatched, permanent solution for the smile you always wanted.
Porcelain veneers are typically used to fix:
- Teeth that are discolored — either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs; excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
- Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
What is the Procedure for Getting a Porcelain Veneer?
Getting a porcelain veneer usually requires three trips to our office – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
- Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves your active participation. X-rays will be taken and diagnostic impressions of your mouth will be made at this time to assist in properly designing the ultimate cosmetic outcome. It is important that we know what you would like to accomplish. If veneers cannot enable us to achieve your desired outcome, or if veneers don’t look to be an appropriate method based off of your mouth impressions, then other options can be discussed at that time.
- How do I know what I will look like when the veneers are done?
There are a number of different methods available to comprehensive family dentistry for giving you a clear idea of what you will look like after the veneers are placed. We always work with models of your mouth and fabricate the veneers in wax before we start treatment. Not only is this an excellent way for you to see what you will look like, but it helps us determine what we can and cannot accomplish with veneers. Sometimes we can translate that into a resin “overlay” that goes over your own teeth and provides an even better review.
- Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, we need to remove a small but appropriate amount of enamel from the surface of the tooth, roughly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added. Detailed impressions of your prepared teeth will be fabricated and sent to a dental laboratory that then constructs your restorations. While the final restorations are being prepared, temporary veneers will be placed for your convenience and comfort.
- Placement of the veneers: We will first place the restoration temporarily on your tooth to examine its fit, color, and cosmetic outcome before we permanently bond it to them. During the placement both you and your dentist have the opportunity to evaluate the result. If both of you are pleased with the result, then the veneer will be bonded to the tooth. To prepare your tooth for the bonding process, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched in order to roughen the tooth. This allows for a strong bonding process. A special adhesive is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates the bonding chemicals in the adhesive, causing it to harden quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess adhesive, evaluating your bite, and making any final adjustments necessary to the veneer. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement.
Feel free to contact us with any questions about veneers or to schedule a consultation with one of our restorative dentists.