One of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry is the use of veneers.Veneers are very thin porcelain shells that fit over your existing teeth after they have been prepared. There are many benefits to having veneers and many celebrities and Hollywood A-listers such as George Clooney, Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta Jones are amongst those who have had this treatment.
Like bonding, veneers are used to cover up discolouration, cracks and chipping, and to change the shape or size of your teeth. Veneers outperform bonding with greater resilience and a greater resistance to stains and dulling.
Most veneer procedures require two appointments to complete, the first of which is dedicated to preparing and taking an impression of the teeth. Veneers are minimally invasive restorations. Therefore, we need to remove only a small portion of the face and top edge of a tooth to achieve a proper preparation design. After the tooth or teeth are prepared, an impression is taken, which, along with accompanying photos and models, is sent to the lab. The lab fabricates porcelain shells, which, not unlike false fingernails on your fingertips, fit onto your teeth. These are your veneers.
During your second appointment, we will cement your veneers onto your teeth. Be sure to leave plenty of time for this appointment, since placing veneers is a meticulous and delicate procedure. Each veneer must be trial fitted and assessed for aesthetic and functional success before final cementation. If required, fine adjustments are made prior to or immediately after final cementation.
Ceramic laminate veneer procedures are exacting, but their results can be extremely worthwhile. Stronger and longer lasting than composite resin restorations, they are the current state-of-the-art procedure to restore and beautify your smile.
This patient has tetracycline staining which occurs when a patient is exposed to the drug while the teeth are developing. The stain is all the way through the tooth (we call it Intrinsic).To hide the stain, we can remove about 0.5mm of tooth structure and replace it will porcelain or composite. The same technique is seen in the before and after pictures below. We closed the space between the two front teeth (a diastema) with the veneers and also re-contoured the other teeth to make up for missing lateral incisors.
Porcelain (Ceramic) veneers FAQ
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anaesthesia, and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve a smile. Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.
Why would you recommend a porcelain veneer?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s colour, size, or shape. Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discoloured fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers.
What happens during the procedure?
The patient should spend time in the decision-making and planning of the smile and understand the corrective limitations of the procedure.
To prepare the teeth for the porcelain veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about a half a millimetre of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anaesthetic. At this appointment, a mould is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. This can take about a week. Because the teeth are buffed or reduced, they will look a little different until the next appointment when the veneers will be placed. If the teeth are too unsightly you, a temporary veneer can be placed, at an additional cost.
Bonding of veneers: First, the dentist places the veneers with water or glycerine on the teeth to check their fit and get a sense of the shade or colour. While the veneers are resting on the teeth, the aesthetic results are viewed with particular attention to the colour. At this point, the colour of the veneers can still be adjusted with the shade of the cement to be used. The colour cannot be altered after veneers are cemented. To apply the veneer, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. Once special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a light beam initiates the release of a catalyst to harden the cement.