Veneers can transform your smile and give you an instant make-over, but they require diligent planning and skill. Getting dental veneers is usually completed in three visits to your dentist so that the preparation work can be completed thoroughly. After your third visit, you will walk out of your dentist’s office with a smile you can feel confident in. Today we’re going to explain how are veneers applied to prepare you for your procedure.
Understand Porcelain Veneers
Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells that are made in the shape and size of your natural teeth, and colour matched for accuracy. We appreciate porcelain veneers because they are translucent like dental enamel, and highly resistant to stains and chipping. With good oral care, you can expect your porcelain veneers to last for 15 years or longer.
How Does The Procedure For Porcelain Veneers Work?
Your first visit to the dentist will be a consultation, during which your dentist will inspect the condition of your teeth and gums. He or she will take an x-ray for a closer look at the health of your teeth below the gum line and make sure you are a candidate for dental veneers. Your dentist will be checking for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, which would need to be addressed before you can talk about veneers.
If your gums and teeth are healthy enough for dental veneers, you’ll book a follow-up appointment for the tooth preparation.
How Are Porcelain Veneers Made?
At your second visit, your dentist will clean your teeth thoroughly before starting the prep for porcelain veneers. Professional cleaning is an important step to make sure that bacteria and plaque do not get caught between your tooth and the veneer.
In order to apply veneers to your teeth, some of your dental enamel needs to be removed. This is an irreversible procedure once it has been done but it’s necessary to ensure that your finished veneers fit comfortably in your mouth. Usually, 0.5mm to 1.5mm of enamel is removed to facilitate this. In order to make it more comfortable, your dentist will use some local anaesthetic to numb the gum around the teeth that are worked on. If there is any decay, it will be removed. Your dentist will also reshape your teeth if there are cracks or irregular shaping that needs to be compensated for.
Once the enamel has been removed, you will have an impression taken of your mouth cavity and your dentist will look at your facial symmetry. This is important to ensure that your new dental veneers complement your face and mouth shape. You will discuss your desired shade for your new veneers with your dentist.
Creating Porcelain Veneers
Next, it will be time to create the porcelain veneers. Some dental practices may be able to do this in-house, otherwise, the impression will be sent away to a dental laboratory. If the veneers are being made in a dental laboratory, you may have to wait 10 to 14 days for them. If this is the case, your dentist will cover your prepped teeth up while you wait.
How Are Veneers Applied?
Before your dentist applies the dental veneers to your teeth permanently, he or she will place them over the front of your existing teeth to see if any adjustments need to be made before they are bonded. Once you are both satisfied with the size, shape and colour your dentist will use dental cement to secure them to each tooth. A blue light will be shone onto the dental veneers to harden the cement and speed up the bonding process.
When they are bonded securely to your teeth, your dentist will polish and buff them. If necessary, adjustments to the size can be made by trimming them down. The bonding material is very strong and, when combined with the preparation done to the surface of each tooth, ensures that the veneers stay securely in place.
Looking After Your Dental Veneers
In order to make your dental veneers last for as long as possible, you’ll have to be careful and pay attention to your oral hygiene. This means
- Don’t use your teeth as tools, to open bottles or jars, or bite anything other than food
- Don’t bite down on very hard foods with your front teeth; where possible use your back teeth
- Wear a mouthguard for sports and physical activity, and at night when you’re asleep. This can protect your veneers against damage caused by teeth grinding
How Are Veneers Applied To Ensure They Don’t Come Off?
The dental cement that is used to apply veneers is very strong and should last for longer than a decade, but as time goes on, it is possible for a veneer to loosen. If this happens, you might notice it wiggles around a bit. If your veneer does fall off and it is still intact, keep it in a closed container and take it to your dentist to be reapplied. If it isn’t damaged, your dentist may be able to apply it again, otherwise, you will order a new one to have bonded to your tooth.
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