Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth to transform teeth into a beautiful smile. These cosmetic enhancements are custom made for each patient. Their appearance closely resembles the natural enamel of teeth.
Porcelain Veneers also known as dental veneers or porcelain laminates, are very thin shells that are bonded to teeth to change color, shape, size, or length.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth.
Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
Veneers are routinely used for the following dental issues:
- Teeth that are discolored
- Teeth that are worn down
- Teeth that are chipped or broken
- Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
- Teeth with gaps between them
- Teeth too close the space between these teeth
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist. The first visit is for a consultation. It is important to discuss with your dentist the desire result you desire. During this time your dentist can explain the entire procedure and answer your questions and concerns.
At the following two more appointments your veneers will be fitted and made. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. A local anesthetic may be necessary to numb the area.
Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory where the veneer will be created. . It usually takes 1-2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed for an additional cost.
During the application of the veneer, your dentist will place the veneer on your teeth repeatedly to trim and fit the veneer precisely to your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, a special cement is used along with a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly.
The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. 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.
The result is a beautiful smile and a more confident you.