Rockford Dentist - The Teeth People
Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance.
These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Veneers are a less intrusive option than crowns or braces. Veneers can be used to close gaps or correct small misalignments. Patients also choose veneers as a cosmetic solution to enhance the brightness of their teeth and to straighten their smile, correcting issues like discoloration, fractures, or chips.
Getting a dental veneer usually requires one to three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
Diagnosis and treatment planning:
This first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. They also may take X-rays, and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about half a millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. This is only done for porcelain veneers, as composite can potentially be done in one visit. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed.
Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. They will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched -- which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement, causing it to harden very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer's placement