Having a great smile can make a huge difference in the way you look & feel. We offer a complete range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to create the confident smile you’ve always wanted. We begin with a detailed smile assessment, discussing with you which aspects you like & dislike about your smile. Once our assessment is complete, we will discuss with you treatment options to help your smile look more natural, healthy & youthful.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Veneers are the most conservative restorations we offer. They consist of a thin strip of porcelain that covers the front side of a tooth. We use porcelain because we can change the color to closely match your natural teeth. Unlike crowns, which cover the entirety of a tooth, veneers require less enamel removal, so most of your original tooth structure stays intact. Rather than replacing your whole tooth, a veneer gives your tooth a “new face.” Because they are minimally invasive, dental veneers are essential tools of cosmetic dentistry.
Getting a veneer requires at least two appointments. At the first appointment, the dentist prepares your tooth so a veneer can be placed. A couple weeks later, they will permanently attach the veneer to your tooth.
- A dental veneer procedure begins with the dentist removing a very small amount of your front tooth enamel (usually less than one millimeter). Depending on how much enamel needs to be removed, this process may not require local anesthesia. Veneers bond more easily with the outer tooth structure than the inner tooth structure, so the dentist wants to remove as little as possible. They use a rotating device known as a dental bur to gently shave down some of the tooth’s surface.
- After the tooth is shaved down, we need to take an impression (or mold) of your teeth. We send this impression to a lab so they can make a veneer that comfortably fits your smile. To expose more of your tooth for the impression, the dentist uses a small retraction cord to move the gums away from it. This is temporary; your gum line returns to its original position once the impression is complete. The final step is to bite into a tray filled with paste to a make a mold of your teeth. This takes a few minutes to set, so be patient!
- When the mold is ready, we make any final adjustments & send it to a dental lab. It takes a couple weeks to receive your permanent veneer from the lab. In the meantime, you may receive a temporary veneer to cover the prepared tooth. This is not necessary in all cases. Temporaries are only needed if the dentist must remove a large amount of enamel, which can make your tooth more sensitive or prone to damage.
- At your last appointment, we attach your personalized veneer. The dentist may need to make adjustments so the veneer looks good & feels right. If you have any concerns about the look & feel of your smile at this stage in the process, please feel free to tell us! We want to make sure you are satisfied with the result.
- Once any last-minute trimming & refitting is finished, the dentist coats your tooth with bonding cement & attaches the veneer to your tooth. Then they use a special blue light to harden the cement & secure the veneer. After one final check to make sure the fit is still snug & comfy, you’re good to go!
You will be given special instructions on how to care for your veneer, including a list of foods to avoid. You may also need a night guard if you grind your teeth at night. Carefully following any directions or warnings will ensure the longest lifespan for your veneer, which can last over ten years.
Call us to find out how veneers can beautify your smile.