Reshape your smile with Veneers
Veneers are thin slices of either porcelain or composite which are designed to cover the front of a tooth. Porcelain veneers are made by a dental technician to exactly match an impression of your tooth, whereas composite veneers are shaped to your tooth in one visit. Once bonded to the tooth, a veneer becomes strong, natural looking and is long-lasting. Designed to mimic the appearance of a natural, healthy tooth, porcelain veneers are an excellent option for restoring teeth that are crooked, broken, deformed or ground down, and can even brighten severely discolored teeth. Porcelain veneers can also be used to close spaces and correct alignment — a great alternative to braces for slight orthodontic problems, that can give you a beautiful smile in a short amount of time. Many models and film personalities have benefited from veneers.
What's the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three appointments to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
- Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
- Preparation. 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. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic 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, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1 to 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.
- Bonding . Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched -- which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply 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.