Dental or porcelain veneers are thin shells of tooth-colored material that are designed to cover the tooth surface in order to improve their appearance. These custom-made shells are bonded to the teeth in order to change their length, size, shape, and color. Most commonly, they are created from porcelain and other composite materials. These materials are often selected because of their stain-resistant and light reflective properties.
Porcelain Veneers Procedure
The first step toward placing your porcelain veneers involves a thorough examination in which your dentist determines if veneers are appropriate for your situation. During this consultation, you will discuss the procedure and what it involves. It is also highly likely that your dentist will want to take dental x-rays and may create impressions of your teeth and mouth.
After the consultation period, your dentist will prepare for the veneers by removing about 0.5 millimeters of enamel from the surface of the tooth to make room for the veneer to be added. A local anesthetic will be used to keep you comfortable during this process. Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and will send this model to a dental laboratory that is responsible for constructing your veneer. This process can take up to two weeks.
The final step in the process is the bonding process. Your dentist will temporarily place your veneers onto the teeth to examine the color and fit; any portion that needs to be altered will be trimmed. The teeth are then polished, etched, and cleaned in order to be prepared for the bonding process, and special cement is used to adhere the veneer to the tooth. Finally, any extra cement will be removed. Your dentist will make final adjustments if necessary to provide you with the appearance that you desire.
Veneers vs. Crowns
Deciding between veneers and crowns will be based on what you and your dentist are looking for in terms of treatment. While both treatments can improve the aesthetic of the teeth, they have two different primary uses. Veneers are most commonly used when patients hope to improve the color and shape of their teeth, but issues regarding excess space and crowding can also be corrected. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain customized for the patient.
Crowns, on the other hand, are more commonly used in situations where tooth structure is limited due to decay. Crowns are also better options when teeth have gone through root canal therapy. While crowns can achieve many of the same aesthetic benefits of veneers, they should only be used when necessary. See also our page on CEREC same-day crowns.
If you’re interested in changing the appearance of your teeth to get the smile of your dreams, contact us today to discuss dental veneers. Our offices are located in West Linn, Oregon, convenient from Lake Oswego, Oregon City, and Portland.