Cosmetic dentistry isn’t always purely cosmetic. Teeth that are crowded, chipped, cracked, or gapped affect eating and speaking in addition to compromising the beauty of a smile. To correct these issues, we offer porcelain veneers.
Here is an overview of the procedure:
Consultation and Trimming
After a consultation, if the patient is deemed to be the right candidate for a veneer, the dentist removes approximately one-half millimeter of enamel from the front of the tooth to be veneered. It’s about the same thickness as the veneer. It can usually be done without anesthesia, but the dentist numbs the area if the patient requests it.
Determining Veneer Color
After the tooth is trimmed, the dentist uses a shade guide to determine the shade of veneer that closely matches the patient’s teeth.
Taking an Impression
The dentist takes an impression of the tooth being treated, as well as the gums and nearby teeth. The impression is used to make the veneer.
To take the impression, the patient is fitted with a tray filled with dental putty. To improve the accuracy of the impression, a retraction cord may be placed between the tooth and the gum to move the gum away from the tooth gently.
Placing a Temporary Veneer
Because veneers take one to two weeks to make, a temporary veneer made of wax or plaster may be placed over the treated tooth. This is discussed in advance because the temporary veneer must be created ahead of time.
A temporary veneer may be desirable to:
• Prevent a single treated tooth from standing out from others around it
• Abate the sensitivity to hot and cold that treated teeth experience
• Eliminate the rough feel of a treated tooth
Some dentists prefer to avoid using temporary veneers because of they:
• Can be difficult to remove
• Make dental hygiene more challenging
• May irritate the gums
In the case of an entire row of teeth being treated, it is less noticeable, and temporary veneers may not be necessary.
Placing the Veneer
When the veneer is ready, the patient returns for placement. The dentist places the veneer against the tooth to see how it fits and trims it until it is perfect. Anesthesia isn’t necessary for setting
Veneer color is also checked. If it’s not an exact match to the other teeth, the color is fine-tuned using shaded dental cement.
Before the veneer is permanently affixed, the dentist uses trial pastes that are the same color as the cement. When the perfect color is achieved, the trial paste is washed from the tooth. The patient’s tooth is cleaned, polished, and etched with acidic gel. This takes about 15 seconds and creates a rough surface for the cement can adhere to.
The etching gel is washed off, and the tooth is dried. Next, the dentist applies a bonding agent to the tooth and places dental cement inside the veneer. The veneer is placed on the tooth and positioned. Excess adhesive is removed, and the veneer is cured with UV light.