What is the Procedure for Getting a Porcelain Veneer?
While there may be some differences between offices and from one porcelain veneer to another, I will describe the procedure for having porcelain veneers placed in my office (see AACD Accredited dentist, Julie Gillis DDS, Grand Junction, CO 81501). The same steps are followed whether you are receiving just one porcelain veneer or multiple restorations.
When your arrive at our office for your porcelain veneer appointment, we first make sure that all of your questions are answered and that you are as comfortable as possible. Our office is very concerned about your safety during the Covid Pandemic and we follow all state and local recommendations. The tooth or teeth to be treated will be anesthetized for your comfort. Sometimes our preparations for porcelain veneers are so conservative that dental anesthetic is not even needed. We offer headphones with your choice of music, blankets, nitrous oxide or medications, and lip balm to name a few things that our office does for your comfort. We use lots of water to protect your teeth and keep them cool during your appointment. We use continuous suction for your protection and comfort. We can provide a special means of isolating your teeth that also provides a place for your other teeth to rest if this would make you more comfortable.
We take a series of photos to communicate the desired result and your existing situation with our dental laboratory technician. We take custom shade photographs and sometimes a video of you showing how your teeth work within your smile and while talking. It is important that your teeth have not dried out when we take these photos so that we get an ideal match.
If present, defective existing restorations, decay, and weak areas in the tooth or teeth are removed. The tooth is treated to minimize sensitivity and improve bonding. Missing areas of your tooth that are needed to support the porcelain veneer are replaced as needed with a strong restorative material often called a buildup restoration.
Once there is no more decay or loose tooth structure, the tooth is shaped as required to allow the smooth placement of a porcelain veneer. Porcelain veneers are often delicate and must be handled with care as they are placed or bonded on your tooth. Once bonded to your tooth, they are much stronger! The ideally shaped tooth should not have any sharp or rough areas that could create stress for the porcelain veneer and make it not last as long.
Impressions are taken of your tooth or teeth for the dental laboratory that will be making your porcelain veneer. An impression is also taken of the opposite arch and an impression of your bite so that the porcelain veneer can be custom made to fit the prepared teeth and fit into your bite ideally. Your dentist should make sure that these impressions are as close to perfect ax possible as this is the information used by the laboratory technician to fabricate your restoration(s). We usually take photos of your prepared tooth as the final shade of your veneer is based on the color of your tooth and the overlying porcelain. This is why our office’s porcelain veneers look so ‘lifelike.’ When we are not trying to hide the color of your tooth, we can allow your underlying tooth to show through and the final restoration is not opaque.
Models of your teeth are poured from the impressions taken and the models are specially treated so that all sides of your teeth can be visualized and your porcelain veneer can be fabricated. To get an ideal color match, the skilled laboratory technician will incorporate specialized porcelains and stains to fabricate your porcelain veneer. Different porcelains and stains are layered onto a model of your tooth with a fine brush to get an ideal color based on the information provided to the dental laboratory by the dentist. The porcelain is fired to create a smooth, strong porcelain veneer which is then polished and finished by treating the internal surface of the porcelain veneer to maximize the ability of that restoration to bond to your tooth. Our office’s goal is beautiful restorations that match the adjacent teeth and look ‘real’.
If needed we custom create a temporary veneer to cover your tooth while the final porcelain veneer is being made. We review all instructions with you on the care for your temporary restoration and we reschedule you for an appointment to try in and place your porcelain veneer.
Our office is happy to have you bring a friend or family member to your appointment to try in and bond your porcelain veneer. We use local anesthetic when needed for your comfort to remove the temporary veneer and try in the final veneer. We consider the porcelain veneer ours until you say that you love it and sign that you would like to have the porcelain veneer bonded to your tooth. Once both you and Dr. Gillis are happy with the shape, fit, color, and size of your porcelain veneer we isolate your tooth and use special bonding and desensitizing solutions to adhere the porcelain veneer to your tooth. The bond is very strong and once adhered to your tooth, the porcelain veneer cannot be removed without grinding it off!
Excess cement is removed and the porcelain veneer is polished and checked for an ideal bite. We will review all the directions with you both before and after you receive your new porcelain veneer to assure that your restoration lasts a very long time. Our office loves porcelain veneer restorations! And, we work with an exceptional dental lab and laboratory technician to create restorations that will look good, feel good, and last a long time. We would love to answer any questions you have about porcelain veneer restorations and schedule you for a consult with Dr. Gillis and her team in our Grand Junction, Colorado dental office to determine if porcelain veneer restorations are right for you! You can call our office at (970) 242-3635 for more information.
Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis, DDS, AAACD
Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles