Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dental procedure used to improve the appearance of teeth. They are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front of the teeth to change their shape, size, and color. The process of placing porcelain veneers involves several steps, from grinding the teeth to making impressions and finally attaching the veneers. The first step in the process is grinding down the teeth.
This is done to make room for the veneers and ensure a proper fit. After grinding, an impression is taken of the teeth and sent to a laboratory for the porcelain veneer to be made. Once the veneer is ready, your dentist can place it over the prepared tooth and stick it in place. Your dentist will then place the veneer on your tooth to examine its fit and color, repeatedly removing and trimming the veneer to achieve the proper fit before permanently gluing it to your tooth.
The color of the veneer can be adjusted to match the shade of the cement used for adhesion. To prepare the tooth for receiving the veneer, it will be cleaned, polished, and etched. This etching hardens the tooth and allows for a strong adhesion process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and then placed on the tooth.
Once positioned correctly, your dentist will shine a special beam of light on it to activate the chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden very quickly. The final steps consist of removing any excess cement, checking the bite, and making any necessary adjustments. Your dentist may ask you to come back for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check your gums and veneer placement. On your first visit to the dentist for veneers, a very thin layer of enamel is removed from your teeth - less than the thickness of a nail. The dentist then makes impressions to create a mold so that your permanent veneer can be made. Porcelain veneers are attached to teeth with a dental adhesive, glue or cement.
Although they are very thin, once they are attached to the teeth they become strong. The process is fast and conservative. First, your teeth are prepared and impressions are sent to a dental laboratory along with instructions for creating your new smile. Veneers may be recommended along with other cosmetic procedures such as whitening or bonding in order to produce optimal results. There may also be a charge for an initial consultation on your cosmetic veneers, but this can often be applied to the final total if you decide to continue with placement. If your dental veneers are cracked or damaged in any way, contact your dentist immediately to assess the damage and repair or replace them.
Once you and your dentist have determined that veneers are a good course of action and an appropriate solution for your needs, you will have a series of appointments. They are applied by removing 0.3-0.5 millimeters from the tooth surface in order to preserve its nerve and maintain maximum strength, ensuring that your veneers last a long time with few or no problems requiring replacement in future. Before they are actually glued in place, your dentist will place them over your teeth and make final adjustments to their shape, fit, and even color (which can be adjusted by using different shades of dental cement). Some dentists who offer veneers may also provide 3D images so you can see what your potential new smile might look like. There are various options available when it comes to dental veneers depending on your needs, desired appearance, budget, etc. Some of their main advantages include being relatively non-invasive and less painful than braces or other orthodontic treatments. Porcelain veneers are considered best for resisting stains and mimicking natural healthy teeth's light-reflecting shine while composite resin veneers are less expensive but don't always last as long as porcelain ones. Veneers may be your best option if you want more than just minor changes in shape (as done with bonding) but not enough for needing a crown. You will have a follow-up visit after living with permanent dental veneers for several weeks in order to make sure that everything is healing well and that your gums and bite respond correctly. During this time with temporary veneers (usually 2-3 weeks), you will be able to review them and “live with” them before they are cemented onto your teeth on third appointment.