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Preparing Teeth for Porcelain Veneers: Understanding the Process

By William Stofer on January 24, 2017


A porcelain dental veneerSmile makeover treatments can take many forms. Sometimes there are issues with tooth discoloration, while other times there are problems with chips and cracks. In a number of cases, the team at our Warsaw practice tends to rely on porcelain veneers to enhance the look of smiles given their versatility.

We'd like to consider the basics of porcelain veneers right now, with a focus on the preparation process before the final veneers are placed.

About Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental ceramic that are designed to mask cosmetic imperfections from view. The veneers themselves fit over the fronts of people's teeth, and their semi-transluscent appearance makes them indistinguishable from your natural tooth structure. Sometimes all it takes for a full smile makeover to be completed is a few properly placed porcelain veneers.

Ideal Candidates for Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are ideal for treating the following flaws:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Minor spacing issues
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Uneven size
  • General asymmetry

Good candidates for porcelain veneers should have teeth that are generally healthy. It's important that these patients have realistic expectations about the treatment process and what it entails. Patients should also be committed to proper oral hygiene after initial placement to ensure that their veneers last for as long as possible.

Prepping the Teeth for the Procedure

In order to place porcelain veneers, it's important that the teeth be prepared. This means the removal of a small amount of tooth structure. Typically this means less than 1 millimeter of tooth structure to remove since the porcelain veneers themselves are so thin. The procedure is painless and carefully performed.

Taking Impressions of the Prepped Teeth

Once a tooth is prepped for a porcelain veneer, it is cleaned off and an impression is taken. It is from this impression that the porcelain veneer is crafted. In order to create the veneer, the impression is sent to a dental lab, which custom crafts the veneer.

Temporary Veneers

It can take a little time for the final porcelain veneers to be completed. In the meantime, patients will wear temporary porcelain veneers that protect their prepped teeth from harm. Keep in mind that these temporary veneers will not fit like your final veneers, and there may be some restrictions on what you eat just to ensure the temporary veneers do not slip out of place.

When Will the Final Porcelain Veneers Be Ready?

Typically it takes about a week to two weeks for your final porcelain veneers to return from the dental lab. Once they're in, you'll come back to the practice to have the temporary veneers taken off and the final veneers placed.

The overall results of the process can be quite stunning. And as noted above, the thinness and composition of the porcelain veneers means that teeth with porcelain veneers will look indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Learn More About Porcelain Veneers

For more information about porcelain veneers and how they can help you have a healthy and beautiful smile, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters with you in greater detail.

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