It would not be untrue to refer to this time as ‘the era of veneers.’ They’re everywhere and more accessible than ever before. Even though veneers have been around in the dental field since the 1930s, the aesthetically pleasing smile they offer today is better than ever before. Using porcelain or resin composite material, they promise a smile solution for a range of dental appearance issues. When deciding to opt for veneers, it is important to be fully aware of the process and what it entails for a well-informed decision.
Talking to your dental professional is crucial before embarking on the journey of veneers, as some patients require extra measures such as a dental gum graft for best results. Continue reading to learn about what’s involved in preparing your teeth for veneers, and the eventual process of putting your veneers in place.
On average, three appointments are required for the whole procedure. The first appointment will be a consultation. This is your opportunity to have all of your questions answered. In addition, your dental professional will determine your specifications, including your preferred color shade for your veneers. At your second appointment, your dentist will prepare your teeth for veneers. The final appointment will cater to the placement of the veneers and bonding them in position.
To add the veneers, which take up some room in your mouth, extra space will need to be created. If this were not considered, the end result would be bulgy, odd looking – certainly not what you’re after! To create this necessary space, a dental professional will reshape the tooth’s surface, harmonizing it to match a future veneer. This is done using special dental burs. The process goes as follows:
- Teeth are cleaned either manually or by scaling
- Bleaching (i.e. whitening) of teeth may be considered in some cases to achieve better results or to conserve tooth enamel
- A “mock-up” may be carried out to give the patient a preview of what their teeth will look like with veneers. This creates an opportunity to address patient concerns before finalizing the veneer design.
- Numbing agents may be used for patients with tooth or gum hypersensitivity
- A dental bur is used to remove a small amount of enamel necessary for the placement of veneers, which depends on the type and design of the veneer
- Preparation guides may be used to ensure appropriate reshaping is done
- The modified tooth surfaces are smoothed and polished
- A final impression of the teeth is taken for veneer fabrication
- Temporary veneers are placed
Once the veneers have been fabricated by the dental laboratory based on your impressions, mouth models and specifications, you’ll make your final visit to the dentist. At this appointment, the new veneers will be placed onto your teeth in the following manner:
- Temporary veneers are removed and the mouth is rinsed
- The new veneers are checked and placed on the teeth temporarily to make any final adjustments
- Once the patient is confirms they are happy with the veneer design, the new veneers set aside, and a rubber dam is placed in the mouth to isolate the teeth
- The teeth are then inspected of any remaining temporary material and it is removed if present
- An etching material is placed on the teeth to roughen the surface for better adhesiveness; this is done for a designated amount of time and then rinsed off
- The teeth are dried by a high vacuum suction
- A bonding material is placed on the teeth following the manufacturer’s instructions
- The veneers are cemented into place and cured by a special light that hardens them in their position
- Excess material is removed, the bite relationship is checked and any other concerns are addressed during this final step
So What Now?
The overall procedure is painless, simple to sit through and yields excellent results in a short amount of time; changing your smile almost overnight. For aesthetic concerns, gaps between teeth, discolorations and abnormally shaped teeth, veneers can be a great option. Convinced that veneers are the right option for you teeth? Book an appointment with a dental practitioner for professional advice and treat yourself to the smile you want.
You Know You Best
Consider your needs, finances and oral hygiene maintenance/habits before getting veneers. Being aware of your requirements and preferences beforehand is important, as veneer treatment is usually costly, and sometimes permanent. Your dentist is your best guide for a custom treatment plan that is perfect for you, but the final decisions are ultimately yours!