What is the porcelain veneer procedure?

Dental veneers are a very natural looking restorative option for patients who want to improve the appearance of their smile. Alexandria Porcelain veneers are very durable and can last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Veneers can fix chipped or broken teeth, gaps, crooked teeth, and worn or discolored teeth.

How are porcelain veneers applied?

There are a few steps involved in the process of placing porcelain veneers.

Step 1: Preparing Your Teeth

Placing veneers involves removing a very small amount of natural tooth structure, between .5 and .7 millimeters. If you have any decay in teeth that are receiving veneers, your dentist will remove the decay at the same time. Trimming down the tooth allows adequate space for the veneer to be seated properly.

Step 2: Making a Model of Your Teeth

After prepping your teeth for your new porcelain veneers, your dentist will make an impression of your entire mouth using impression material in a tray that is inserted into your mouth and pressed on to cover all of the teeth. Some offices may have the technology to take a digital impression which uses a scanning method instead of goopy material! A lot of patients with a sensitive gag reflex prefer this option. Digital impressions allow your doctor to use a camera on a wand to scan all of the surfaces of your teeth. Your doctor will use these impressions to fabricate a model of your teeth so that the veneers are a perfect size.

Step 3: Determining the Shade of Your Veneers

If you are just getting a few veneers, your dentist will color match the porcelain to the surrounding teeth so that there is no color discrepancy between your natural teeth and your veneers. They will also determine the translucency of your teeth to make sure that it matches with your natural teeth. If you are receiving an entire set of veneers to cover all of the teeth that show when you smile, your veneers can be whiter than your natural teeth.

Step 4: Placing Temporary Veneers

Your dentist will make temporary veneers for you to wear while your permanent porcelain veneers are being fabricated at a dental lab. These veneers will protect your prepared teeth until your permanent veneers can be placed. Temporaries are put in using temporary cement, making it easy for your dentist to remove them for your porcelain veneers.

Step 5: Placing Your Permanent Veneers

When your dentist receives your case from the lab, they will have you come in for a fitting to make sure that the veneers seat correctly and that they are perfect for you. At this appointment, it is important to pay attention to how they feel and to let your dentist know if anything is bothering you or needs to be changed. If something is not perfect, your dentist will send the veneers back to the lab for modifications and put your temps back on.

Once you are ready for your dentist to place your permanent veneers, the inside of the veneer is etched with an acidic etching solution to create a bonding surface. Permanent cement is placed on the veneer and the veneer is placed on the tooth. Your dentist will cure the cement with an ultraviolet light to create a permanent bond between the tooth and the veneer.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?