Dental veneers or porcelain veneers are custom made wafer thin shells designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process
Diagnosis and treatment planning –
This first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth, this is then sent out to a dental laboratory, where the veneer is constructed. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for the veneers to be made.
Your dentist will temporarily place the dental veneer on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit, the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer’s placement.