Surprisingly strong and exceedingly lifelike, porcelain veneers make up a crucial part of many smile makeover treatment plans. While many people assume that “getting veneers” means having these thin sheaths of porcelain placed on all the front teeth, some cosmetic treatment plans only include veneering one or two teeth. Our frequently asked questions are designed to help you learn whether porcelain veneers might be the right cosmetic dental treatment for you.
What is a Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers are a type of dental restoration, like a crown or filling but with more emphasis on looks than reparative ability. Veneers are crafted by skilled ceramists (technicians trained in using dental porcelain) and can mask a wide range of cosmetic smile imperfections.
What Problems Does Porcelain Veneers Address?
Porcelain veneers earned the nickname “instant smile makeover” for a reason: they can take the place of several smaller cosmetic treatments in a single procedure. Patients who often opt for veneers have cosmetic flaws like:
- Teeth with severe extrinsic stains or intrinsic stains teeth that will not respond to traditional teeth whitening.
- Gapped teeth and uneven teeth (they can even stand in for orthodontic treatment in some cases).
- Chipped teeth.
- Teeth with rough or pitted surfaces.
- Oddly shaped teeth.
How are Porcelain Veneers Placed in My Smile?
Placing porcelain veneers requires at least two separate visits the dentist’s office. At your first visit, your dentist will prepare the teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel. This step helps the veneers look natural and blend with the rest of your smile. Next, your dentist will take impressions of the prepared teeth and send these impressions off to the lab. On average, it takes about two weeks for the veneers to come back from the lab.
At the second appointment, your dentist will check the veneers for fit and shading. If slight adjustments to the fit are needed, your dentist can make them in the office. However, if the overall shape or shading is off, the veneers will need to go back to the lab. Once they’re perfect, your dentist will apply a special conditioning liquid to micro-etch the enamel to ensure a stronger bond. Once this step is complete, dental cement fixes the veneer in place, creating an incredibly robust, long-lasting bond.