Porcelain veneers, also known as dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are thin shells of porcelain or resin materials made in the color of the tooth used to cover the outer surface of the teeth for improved appearance. They can restore the size, color, strength and shape of the tooth over which they are placed.
Porcelain veneers are used by dentists to fix various teeth problems, such as discolored teeth, worn down teeth, broken teeth, irregularly shaped and misaligned or uneven teeth, as well as teeth with gaps. While the resins material can be used to make veneers, porcelain is recommended for their better resistance to stain and light reflecting capability, like that of natural teeth.
Procedure for getting a Porcelain Veneer
Before getting a dental veneer, you will have to visit the dentist for a consultation. The veneers will then be made before being applied. The veneer can be applied to a single tooth or simultaneously on many teeth in three main steps. They are described below.
The first step of veneer application is more of a consultation. You will need to explain to your dentist the result you wish to achieve after the whole process. In turn, the dentist will examine the structure of your teeth before deciding if porcelain veneers are what you need. Furthermore, you will be informed about the whole procedure as well as some of the possible limitations.
The surface of your teeth will need to undergo preparation before the veneer is applied. Your dentist will shed some part of your enamel, about half a millimeter to create room for the veneer. The amount removed almost equals the amount of veneer to be added. Since the procedure is painful, you will decide if you will need an anesthetic to numb the area.
Your dentist takes the model of your teeth to a dental laboratory where the construction of the required veneer is done per the structure of your teeth. It takes the lab an average of about one to two weeks to come up with the corresponding model.
The final step is called bonding. Your dentist will temporarily place the veneer on your tooth to check if it fits and if the color matches the color of your teeth. Several removal and placement will then follow to shape and paint the veneer to perfectly fit on your tooth. Once the veneer is ready for installation, your tooth will undergo thorough polishing, cleaning, and etch for high bonding with the veneer.
After the placement of the veneer, a light beam is applied on the veneer to activate chemicals in the veneer and cause it to harden and cure quickly. Lastly, your dentist will remove any excess cement and examine your bite and to schedule for follow-up examinations.