If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile due to permanent staining, aging, unsightly spaces or crooked teeth, Porcelain Veneers may be your solution for reinvigorating your smile. Veneers are an excellent alternative to placing crowns in certain cosmetic circumstances because the veneer procedure is far less invasive than the crown alternative.
Veneers are designed to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth providing you with a custom-made and beautiful smile. Made from porcelain, veneers are very strong and durable and can easily last for 10 to 15 years.
The full procedure for Porcelain Veneers:
- Step one: Treatment Planning
The first step involved with veneers is an evaluation appointment. At this appointment, you and your dentist will discuss your desired outcome from this cosmetic procedure. He will then examine your teeth and discuss the treatment plan and any potential limitations to the treatment. He will also outline the procedure in detail.
- Step two: Site Preparation
At your next appointment, your dentist will prepare your tooth for the veneer by removing approximately 0.5mm of enamel from the tooth surface. An impression of your freshly prepared tooth will be taken; a model is made from the impression and then sent off to the dental laboratory. The lab will construct the veneer and send it back to your dentist for your bonding appointment (This typically takes 1-2 weeks). In the meantime, your dentist may create a temporary veneer for you to wear while you wait for your final to be seated.
- Step three: Bonding the Veneer
At your final appointment, the veneer is temporarily placed on your tooth for final approval by you and the dentist. It may need to be trimmed to achieve the proper fit and contour. Your tooth is then prepared through a thorough cleaning, polishing and a mild acid etching—this creates a rough surface for the bonding agent to secure the veneer onto your tooth. A special cement is used to adhere the veneer to your tooth, and then cured using a specialized light that activates the chemicals in the cement, creating a very strong bond. All excess cement will be removed, your bite will be checked to make sure everything aligns properly and any necessary final adjustments will be made. A follow-up visit may be recommended to check on the progress of your gum tissue to acclimate to the new veneer.
Common Questions About Porcelain Veneers:
A veneer is a shell of porcelain that is custom designed to fit the front of your tooth, creating a more esthetically pleasing appearance.
Yes, a small portion of the enamel is removed from the surface of the tooth during the preparation process. This is a permanent change to the structure of the tooth.
Veneers will typically last for ten to fifteen years. Because veneers are subjected to the same stresses that natural teeth are, you may find some “wear and tear” on your veneers. At that point, you may desire to replace your veneers.
Most people can enjoy the benefits of porcelain veneers, however there are some factors that may need to be addressed prior to pursuing this cosmetic procedure. You may be a great veneer candidate unless you:
- Grind or clench your teeth
- Have poor oral hygiene habits
- Have teeth with insufficient tooth enamel or extremely sensitive teeth
- Have untreated tooth decay
- Have gum disease