An Overview of the Dental Veneer Process
Typically, it takes about two appointments for a dentist to finish the dental veneer process. Why does it take that long? Here’s a breakdown of the whole process from Dr. Mark Costes in Chino Valley, AZ.
Prepping the tooth
Before installing the veneer shells, your dentist will need to trim enamel off the front portion of your tooth. The amount to be trimmed is equivalent to the thickness of the veneer. That can vary from one patient to another, but typically, that can range between 0.5 to 0.7 millimeters. In some instances, your dentist may need to trim off more if a thicker veneer is to be used.
In some cases, the use of an anesthetic is not necessary. However, you may ask for one if you have teeth and surrounding tissues which are sensitive to cold sensations or if the veneer will extend below the gum line.
Choosing a color for the veneer
After trimming the enamel off your tooth, your dentist will use a shade guide to find the color of porcelain which matches the color of your tooth. In some cases, your dentist may choose and use different colors for the different areas of the veneer.
Taking an impression
After selecting the right color for your veneer, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth. This impression is important in the veneer fabrication process.
Typically, dentists take impressions using a putty or thick paste that is loaded on a dental tray. Afterwards, you will need to bite on this tray for a few minutes. The resulting impression will then be sent to a dental laboratory which will fabricate the veneer.
Another way that dentists take an impression is through the use of a dental milling machine which is fitted with a camera. This camera takes an image of your mouth while the machine grinds veneer from a block of synthetic porcelain.
Once your veneer has been fabricated, your dentist will need to check a few important things first before bonding the veneer permanently.
First, he has to check whether the veneer fits properly on your tooth. In some cases, he may need to trim portions off it until he is satisfied. He may also modify the shape of the veneer until it looks right.
Finally, your dentist will use a trial paste to temporarily attach the dental veneer onto your tooth. This allows him to evaluate if the color of the veneer matches your other teeth and helps him find the right color of cement to use.
Once you and your dentist have agreed that the shape and color of the dental veneer is right, the veneer can be permanently bonded onto your teeth.
First, your dentist will clean your tooth by washing and polishing its surface. After that, he will etch the surface of your tooth using an acid etching gel. This creates a texture which allows the cement to bond to your tooth.
After this, the gel will be washed from your tooth. Once your tooth is dried, the dentist will apply a layer of bonding agent on your tooth and cement on the veneer. The veneer will then be attached to your tooth and will be cured into place using a special lamp.
The dentist will then clean off the excess cement and evaluate the veneer.
If your wondering if dental veneers are right for you, contact the dental professionals at Horizon Dental Group. With plenty of knowledge and experience, you are surely in good hands.