Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

What’s the Procedure for Getting a Porcelain Veneer?

Porcelain veneers are also called dental porcelain laminates or dental veneers. They are custom-made thin shell-like materials made in the shape of your teeth. You use them to cover the front surface of the teeth to enhance their appearance. Dental veneers also improve the shape, color, length, and size of your teeth.

The Procedure

Getting veneers fixed takes three critical steps: consultation, design, and application of veneers. You may have the procedure done on one or many teeth at the same time.

1. The Consultation

During the consultation, the dentist conducts a diagnosis and comes up with a treatment plan. He examines your teeth and determines whether dental veneers would be useful for you. He then explains the procedure to take and the limitations therein. Sometimes, the dentist may insist on X-rays or want to create impressions of your teeth and mouth.

2. Designing the Veneers

Once the dentist determines the suitable veneer, he prepares your tooth for it. He starts by reshaping the tooth surface. He shaves off some part of the enamel going by the size of the intended veneer. Next, the dentist designs your veneer model and sends out the model to a dental lab. In 2-4 weeks, your veneers will be ready. But, in the meantime, the dentist gives you some temporary ones.

3. Applying or Bonding the Veneers

The dentist takes the veneer and places it over your tooth to confirm its color and fit. He does so repeatedly. He trims the veneer then places it on the tooth again to verify that it’s a proper fit. Once satisfied, the dentist permanently cements the veneer to your tooth.

​​​​​​​The type of cement used may sometimes alter the color of your veneer. To prevent this, the dentist must first clean, polish, and etch your tooth. The etching is similar to sanding. It creates a rough surface on the tooth, making the bonding easier and more robust.

When the veneer is cemented, the dentist picks a special light beam and shines it on the installed veneer. The beam activates the chemicals in the bonding cement, causing it to harden completely and quickly. Any excess cement is wiped away. The doctor also examines your bite and makes adjustments as needed.

You need a follow-up visit to check your veneer placement and your gums in a week or so.

The Benefits of Veneers

Many advantages come with using porcelain veneers:

  • Improves the appearance of your teeth.

  • Can improve the coloration of your teeth, making them whiter.

  • The gums tolerate porcelain well.

  • Porcelain does not stain easily.

  • Porcelain veneers are easier to shape compared to crowns. They are also stronger and look better than crowns.

Risks of Having Veneers

Once done, you cannot undo the process. You cannot repair veneers if they crack or chip. The removal of the tooth’s enamel makes the tooth sensitive to cold and hot food items. Veneers may also fail to match your teeth’s color.

Even with porcelain veneers, you could still suffer tooth decay and end up covering your entire tooth with a crown. Persons who grind or clench their teeth are not a good fit for porcelain veneers. The habit increases the probability of chipping or cracking. Veneers could also fall off or dislodge. So, avoid biting your nails, chewing ice, pencils, and other rigid objects. These habits put undue pressure on the teeth.

Getting your porcelain veneers fixed is easy. In three easy steps, the appearance of your teeth could improve significantly. But, veneers need the care to stay in their pristine state and serve their purpose. Have your porcelain veneers installed by Dr. James Wright at Eagle Gate Dental in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can also call 801-781-5300 to request an appointment.