There is no getting away from the fact that dental veneers can dramatically change a smile using non-surgical, minimally invasive techniques. Given that we live in an image-conscious world, it’s no surprise that there has been a massive explosion of people seeking cosmetic veneer treatment over the last decade.
If you aren’t happy with the way that your smile looks, you’ve no doubt considered composite or porcelain veneers as an option. If so, you may also be wondering how they are fitted. Don’t worry because, in this post, we’ll answer the question, how are veneers done so you can make a fully informed decision about whether you want to go ahead with this popular treatment.
Before we dive headfirst into the particulars of tooth veneers, you should know that dental veneers are not to be confused with composite bonding. While both treatments cosmetically alter the face of the tooth, composite bonding is a tooth-coloured resin that is applied to the tooth and hardened.
Dental (porcelain) veneers, on the other hand, are thin shells of custom-designed porcelain fabricated either in a dental lab or in the dental office that fit permanently onto the teeth.
As you can imagine, porcelain veneers are the more expensive treatment, but they’re also considerably longer lasting, typically 10-15 years with proper care instead of 5-7 years for composite bonding.
So now we’ve cleared that up, let’s get on with the topic in question, how are veneers done?
All you need to know about getting porcelain veneers
The first step of the procedure is to attend a smile consultation.
A consultation of this nature is where you get to meet your cosmetic dentist and talk about your smile goals. In other words, how you want your smile to look.
Here at Beyond Infinity Dental, we use state-of-the-art smile design software to give you an on-screen view of how your smile will look – a kind of try before you buy. This technology allows patients to communicate their desired or expected outcomes better.
Once you’ve agreed on your finished smile, your dentist will develop a treatment plan and a final cost.
Here’s what you should know about getting porcelain veneers, and it’s an important fact. Even though dental veneers are ultra-thin, a small layer of your natural tooth enamel may need to be removed. This is so that once the veneers are placed onto the front surface of the teeth, they sit perfectly flush within the smile line.
Unfortunately, tooth enamel doesn’t grow back, so once you commit to porcelain veneers, you will always have to wear them. In other words, there’s no going back!
This is where the preparation part comes in. The teeth that are undergoing dental veneers treatment will need to be prepared. So usually, under a local anaesthetic, the cosmetic dentist will remove a tiny sliver of tooth enamel (around 0.5mm). Next, a putty-like mould is taken of the teeth with the enamel removed. For those dental practices with CEREC technology, veneer impressions can be handled in-house using specialised 3D mapping/scanning equipment.
During the same appointment, temporary dental veneers are made and applied to protect the teeth. Patients should know that temporaries will feel more unnatural and cumbersome than their permanent porcelain veneers. But also, temporaries give the patient the chance to see how they feel in the mouth. As a result, any adjustments to the teeth regarding further enamel removal can be made before permanent dental veneers are attached.
Note – if your dentist has CEREC technology, temporary veneers will not be required as your permanent porcelain veneers will be milled in-house and fitted during the same appointment.
If your dental veneers need to be outsourced to a dental lab, they will take several weeks to make. Once they are ready, your dentist will call you back for your final fit. Firstly, any temporaries are removed, and an acid gel is applied to the enamel. The appliance of the gel does not hurt and is done to roughen up the tooth’s surface to enable your porcelain veneers to bond better.
Next, your porcelain veneers are permanently cemented into position. The cement is applied to the internal surface of the veneer and attached to the tooth’s front surface. In some cases, but not always, a hardening light is used to speed up the process. Typically bonding takes just a few minutes, although patients should allow 1 -1.5 hours for the porcelain veneers to set permanently. Therefore you mustn’t eat or chew anything immediately after your dental veneers are fitted.
So there you have it, that’s how veneers are done! The good news is that porcelain veneers can cover up a variety of sins, including
- Heavy staining or blemishes and
- Slight chips or cracks
But also, veneers can be used to disguise a crooked or gapped tooth making your smile look straighter and even. It’s no wonder then that, given what we now know, dental veneers can make such a dramatic, instant, and long-lasting smile transformation.
Considering porcelain veneers? Talk to the team at Beyond Infinity Dental
If you aren’t happy with your current smile, we can help. Our cosmetic dentist Dr Jack Yang is highly experienced in blending porcelain to give the exacting shade you require. He will also whiten your remaining teeth to match the shade of your veneers for a flawless look. So why not ask the question, how are veneers done, and let us design your perfect smile today!
He’ll take the time to go through the treatment with you and show you how your smile could look using digital simulation technology. Book your smile consultation or call us on , and let us show you what we can do.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
The Atlantic – Why Does Everyone Suddenly Have Fancy Fake Teeth?
Healthline.com – How Long Can You Expect Veneers To Last?