Porcelain Veneers Procedure
Creating Porcelain Veneers is a multiple step process. First you you will meet with your dentist for a detailed consultation. As with any dental procedure, your dentist will perform a thorough oral examination to ensure that you are a candidate for Porcelain Veneers. You should be open and upfront with your dentist about your goals and expectations during this first consultation. Your dentist may also take x-rays and/or impressions of your teeth once it is determined that Porcelain Veneers are the right choice for you.
Next, your dentist will prepare your teeth for Porcelain Veneers. With traditional Porcelain Veneers an amount of enamel roughly equal to the thickness of your new Porcelain Veneer will be ground away from your existing tooth or teeth. You and your dentist will decide together whether a local anesthetic is necessary before your dentist begins the tooth grinding procedure. Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth or teeth, and these will be sent to a laboratory which will create the Porcelain Veneer based on your dentist’s specifications.
It generally takes one to two weeks for the laboratory to create your new Porcelain Veneers. In the meantime, if your tooth or teeth are very unsightly, your dentist may create a temporary veneer for an additional cost. These temporary veneers are applied to your prepared teeth with a temporary bonding agent. Once your permanent Porcelain Veneers arrive, you will once again meet with your dentist for the final application of your Porcelain Veneers.
After removing your temporary veneer, if one was used, your dentist will first place your Porcelain Veneers on your teeth with no cement to ensure proper fit and shape. Your dentist should allow you to see the Porcelain Veneers in your mouth before bonding them permanently to your teeth. Next, your dentist will clean and polish your prepared tooth before “etching” it – a process by which the surface of your tooth is roughened to help the bonding agent adhere more securely. If the color of the Porcelain Veneer needs to be adjusted, your dentist will alter the shade of the bonding cement to be used before placing the bonding cement on the Porcelain Veneer and applying the Porcelain Veneer to your prepared tooth. Your dentist will then shine a special light onto the Porcelain Veneer to activate the bonding cement and cause it to quickly harden into a permanent, secure bond. Finally, your dentist will remove any excess bonding cement and perform final adjustments to your bite before sending you home with your new Porcelain Veneers. Your dentist may also schedule a follow up visit in a few weeks to check on the fit and placement of your Porcelain Veneer, to see how your gums are adjusting to the new Porcelain Veneers, and to make any necessary final adjustments to your bite.