Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material bonded to the front teeth. Your dentist can place porcelain veneers to mask discolorations, brighten teeth, and improve a smile. These veneers are highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea or even cigarette smoking. The wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in a naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.
Why would you recommend a porcelain veneer?
In many situations porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns. They provide a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size, or shape. Porcelain veneers help mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure. They are also ideal for masking discolored fillings in front of teeth. Patients with spacing, chipping, and wear can also be corrected. Teeth stained by tetracycline or discolored from an injury, root can, or old filling, are ideal candidates for porcelain veneers. Veneers are a long-term solution to unsightly defects in the teeth.
What happens during this procedure?
Patients need three appointments for the entire procedure: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation of the teeth, and bonding of the veneer.
Step one: Diagnosis and treatment planning
It’s critical that you take an active role in the smile design. Spend time in the decision making and planning of the smile. Understand the corrective limitations of the procedure. If necessary, have more than one consultation to feel comfortable that your dentist understands your objectives.
Step two: Preparation of teeth
To prepare the teeth for the porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small-added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require anesthetic. At this appointment, your dentist takes a mold of the teeth and sends it to the lab for the fabrication of the veneers. This can take about one to three weeks. Your dentist will place temporary veneers until the permanent veneers are ready.
Step three: Bonding of veneers
This appointment will take about one to two hours. First, the dentist places the veneers with water or glycerin on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade and color. While the veneers are resting on your teeth, view the esthetic results, and pay particular attention to the color. The color of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. . Once your dentist places a special cement between the veneer and tooth, your dentist uses a visible light beam to harden the cement.
How about the maintenance?
For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your “new” teeth. Brushing and flossing daily will help keep the tissue around the veneers firm, pink and natural looking. After one or two weeks, you’ll return for a follow-up appointment.