What is the Porcelain Veneer Procedure?
When you have talked to the dentist about the cosmetic changes you are hoping to address with veneers and you have determined that porcelain veneers are the best option, you can plan on the next few steps over a few appointments. To your surprise and delight, the whole process should be pain free and faster than you think.
1. Tooth Trimming
The dentist will need to prepare the tooth where the veneer is going to be placed and will usually start with the area of the tooth with any decay. The enamel layer of your tooth needs to be adjusted in order for the veneer to be set in place securely. The dentist may need to remove any fillings older than two weeks to ensure the veneer is cemented securely.
Depending on the tooth where the dentist is placing the veneer, the dentist may offer you a sedative if the veneer is placed below the gumline. Additionally, if you have anxiety or phobias at dental appointments in general, you may want to talk to the dentist about options so you are more comfortable.
3. Veneer Shade Selection
You and the dentist can select a shade for your porcelain that is based on the color of the natural teeth on either side of the veneer. The dentist will also design the area of the porcelain that will be more translucent to mimic your natural teeth.
4. Tooth Impression
The impression from your tooth, gums and teeth on either side of the veneer will help determine the final veneer’s appearance. There are a number of ways to capture the impression, but traditionally the dentist will use a paste to lock an impression while you bite. The dentist may even use photographs to help create the impression.
5. Temporary Veneer
Before the dentist can apply the final porcelain veneer, the dentist may place a temporary veneer to protect the tooth.
6. Refining the Fit
After the final porcelain veneer is ready, the dentist will need to place it in your mouth to ensure that it is as accurate as possible. You may need to close your mouth, open your mouth, talk, bite down and move your mouth to confirm it is a perfect fit.
7. Cementing the Veneer
The veneer should be the right color and shape at this point so the dentist can bond the veneer on your tooth. After an acid gel sits on your tooth surface for less than a minute the gel is removed so a bonding agent can be set. Color is applied to the inside of the veneer and then the veneer is bonded to your tooth with a blue light.
At this point, you will have your porcelain veneer in place and you will be able to leave the dentist’s office with your new smile to share with the world. Not all dentists are trained and experienced with porcelain veneers so be sure to ask many questions and bring photos of examples at your next appointment.