Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel. It is often the material of choice for those looking to make slight position alterations, or to change tooth shape, size, and/or color.
Visiting an AACD member dentist and asking about veneers is the first step in determining if veneers are the best option for you, or if there are alternate solution available. Communication with your dentist about what you want corrected is critical for a successful result. Spend time clearly identifying what cosmetic improvements you want to accomplish.
You’ll often hear people say that celebrities have veneers and this may seem like the best way to replicate picture-perfect teeth, but each mouth is different and veneers need to be carefully researched.
Your prosthodontist will most likely begin with a smile analysis to determine what steps are necessary to achieve the smile you desire. In addition, your dentist may create a diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try on” veneers and other procedures to see if the final result is actually what you’re looking for.
Your prosthodontist will show you a photo of how your new smile will look. This is called cosmetic imaging.
Deciding that porcelain veneers will create the look you want is only a part of the process. There is much more to learn before proceeding further.
What Are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain laminate veneers consist of a compilation of several thin ceramic layers which replace original tooth enamel, and an adhesive layer. To apply a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed, usually less than a millimeter. This is essential as it creates room for the porcelain veneer to fit within the mouth and quickly restore natural tooth function while creating a more cohesive appearance than the original tooth.
The bond between original tooth and porcelain veneer is critical as it not only provides the esthetic perfection desired, bit also a strong bond which is essential for correct veneer and then hardened using a special curing light.