What is the Porcelain Veneer Procedure?

Porcelain veneers are custom-made covers that attach directly to the front of existing teeth. Veneers are designed to provide a solution for difficult to correct aesthetic issues with the teeth, including issues with discoloration, unwanted spacing or gaps between teeth, and misshapen teeth. Additionally, porcelain veneers can be a great fix for cracked or badly damaged teeth. Porcelain veneers are very thin and made to resemble the color of natural teeth. One of the biggest benefits, beyond their perfect appearance, is that porcelain veneers are durable and can last for a long time with proper care. Porcelain veneers can be a big step toward having the smile you have always wanted.

The Porcelain Veneer Procedure Step by Step

If you have decided veneers are the right solution for you, you may be wondering about the installation procedure. The porcelain veneer installation procedure is pain-free and only requires a few visits. Having veneers installed occurs in these steps:

  • Step 1 - Tooth trimming: At the first visit, your dentist will start by preparing the teeth for the veneers by reshaping the existing teeth so that the veneers fit securely. This preparation includes your dentist removing a layer of the tooth enamel. Though it may sound uncomfortable, the tooth trimming process is usually painless.
  • Step 2 - Measurements and impressions: The next step is for your dentist to measure your teeth so that your custom veneers can be made. These measurements involve taking impressions of your teeth to send to the dental lab. Your dentist will also make sure the veneers match the shade of your existing teeth.
  • Step 3 - Bonding to the teeth: Once your veneers have been made, it is time for your final visit and the installation! Prior to bonding the veneers to the teeth, your dentist will prepare the front of the teeth by etching the surface with an abrasive liquid. This step is important to make sure that the veneers bond to the existing teeth successfully. Next, your dentist will apply a bonding cement onto the surface of the teeth and place the veneers over the teeth. Once the cement has dried the process is complete.

It is important to be prepared for recovery after the installation. It is a common for patients who have recently had veneers installed to experience some tooth sensitivity. Many patients report sensitivity when they are consuming hot or cold foods and drinks. For most, this discomfort usually goes away after a few weeks. If you experience sensitivity after your veneer procedure and it lasts more than a few weeks, you should contact your dentist.

Is a Sedative Required During the Procedure?

Whether you will need a sedative for the procedure depends on your dentist and the design of the veneers. A sedative may be required if the porcelain veneers will need to extend below the gum line. The gum line is a sensitive area and you might experience pain during the procedure. If you are nervous about the procedure and how long it will take, you can talk to your dentist about a sedative to help you stay comfortable.

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