One of the most recent developments in cosmetic dentistry are porcelain veneers, also sometimes called dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates. Veneers are very thin shells made of porcelain which are bonded to the front sides of teeth. They are used for covering up teeth which are badly stained, chipped, slightly misaligned, or worn down. Porcelain veneers are very aesthetically pleasing for two major reasons. Firstly, they look very life-like and natural. Secondly, they resist staining.
Prior to giving a patient porcelain veneers, a dentist must do an evaluation of the present condition of the patient’s teeth. This examination may include photographs, x-rays, and dental molds of your mouth. There will also be a consultation between patient and dentist to discuss the changes the patient is seeking, and whether porcelain veneers are appropriate for the particular situation.
Once the dentist has determined to use porcelain veneers, the creation process begins. To begin, the enamel on the tooth which will be receiving the veneer must be trimmed back. Next, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth. Most dentists use dental molding for this process. The resulting mold is then sent to a dental laboratory, and the veneer will typically be ready in one to two weeks. Finally, the veneer is compared, shaped, and fitted to the tooth before being bonded into place. Prior to bonding, the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and polished to prepare the surface for the veneer. The cement is applied, and the veneer put in place. The dentist will pass a special light over the tooth, which activates a catalyst in the cement causing it to harden completely in just a few seconds.