Cosmetic dentistry is transforming lives through complete smile makeovers, and porcelain veneers lead the list of aesthetic treatments as a wildly popular procedure. If you’re considering porcelain veneers for a new smile, here’s what you can expect…
The First Appointment
You will need to schedule an hour or two for your initial appointment, and you may want to take photos or magazine clippings to show your dentist the kind of smile you prefer. After a thorough examination to assess your oral health and existing dentition, your dentist will discuss with you the kind of smile you envision. Be prepared to discuss the color and shape of your ideal smile at this appointment.
The dentist will take notes on the shade of your teeth, your facial features, and measurements of your face. He’ll consider your skin tone and facial symmetry when designing your veneers. If you have questions about your veneers or the procedure, your dentist should be happy to give comprehensive answers. You may want to ask to see his portfolio or inquire about digital imaging, which is software that manipulates a photo to predict what you will look like after your smile makeover.
Often during the first appointment, your dentist will gently buff your teeth to remove 1 to 2mm of enamel in preparation for your new veneers. Tooth reduction will allow the veneers to lie flat, in line with surrounding teeth. Reshaping of teeth may also be required to create the look you want.
Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth to send to the lab. Before you leave the dental chair, temporary veneers will be placed. Your teeth may feel sensitive until the permanent veneers are placed.
Behind the Scenes
After your first appointment, your dentist will order your veneers from a dental lab. A talented ceramist will handcraft the porcelain veneers from durable materials that look and function like natural dentition. The information your dentist provides the lab will ensure that you receive veneers that will create a smile that complements your appearance. The lab will ship your veneers to your dental office.
Local anesthetic may be administered to ensure your complete comfort during veneer placement. Your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and check the fit of your permanent veneers. You can look at the shape, color, and fit before they are attached. If adjustments need to be made, you should tell your dentist at this time. Veneers cannot be altered once in place.
If all is well, your dentist will permanently bond the new veneers to the front surface of your teeth. First, he will apply a mild acidic solution to clean the surface of your teeth, then he will bond the veneers in place. A small light will cure the bonding material. The dentist will make sure that the veneers allow adequate flossing space.