What is the Porcelain Veneer Procedure?
Bismarck Porcelain veneers are a very popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that can correct teeth that are aligned incorrectly or gapped, stained or discolored, and chipped or cracked. The procedure uses very thin but highly durable sheets of porcelain material, tinted to resemble the color of the natural teeth, to camouflage these cosmetic concerns and restore a person’s smile and boost their self-confidence and happiness. While the porcelain veneer procedure is painless and relatively brief, it is considered a permanent treatment and should be approached with full awareness and thorough information.
Following your consultation with your cosmetic dentist, the treatment begins with the modification of the tooth or teeth to be restored. Your dentist will trim the surface of the tooth, taking special care to remove any areas where decay may be present before sculpting the rest of the tooth by modifying the outer layer of enamel. This step is necessary so that the surface of the tooth can receive the veneer correctly. When the tooth is being trimmed, your dentist will also remove old fillings, replacing them with fillings that will bond properly with the veneers. In most cases, about .5 to .7 millimeters of enamel will be trimmed from the teeth. If the teeth need to be trimmed below the gum line, you may receive a sedative, though many porcelain veneers are placed without sedatives. Of course, if you would prefer a sedative because of anxiety or a fear of the dentist, tell your dentist, and they will accommodate this in your treatment plan.
Your dentist will assess the color and tint of the teeth that surround the dental veneer, matching the shade of porcelain with these teeth so that they create a natural-looking row. They will also assess which areas should be more or less translucent so that they reflect light the same way the natural teeth do. After the tooth or teeth are trimmed and prepared and the area has been cleaned, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth or teeth and the surrounding teeth and gums. With this impression, the dentist will make a rendering of your jaw to determine the perfect placement and positioning of the porcelain veneer. Some dentists will also take pictures of the mouth to see how the veneers will look from different angles. Then, the porcelain veneer is prepared. This can take a week or two, so a temporary veneer may be placed in the interim.
Once the porcelain veneer has been made, the dentist will place it on the tooth and assess its fit. Most of the time, the dentist will remove the veneer to trim it and then replace it to assess fit multiple times, making sure to get a perfect fit that doesn’t interfere with the proper functioning of the bite or cause any discomfort. When the fit has been perfected, the dentist will polish the veneer and the surface of the tooth, preparing their surfaces, and will then etch acid gel onto the tooth for about 15 seconds. This alters the surface of the tooth to create a more effective bond with the veneer and is washed off and replaced with bonding cement that affixes the porcelain veneer to the front of the tooth. The pigmented layer is pressed into the veneer, and a blue light is used to cure the bond, held over the veneer for about a minute. This process is repeated for each tooth to be treated. Once all the veneers are placed, your dentist will clean the teeth and floss them, making sure they all look white and shiny and that your smile is all you could ever want it to be.