Dental veneers are a technique used in modern dentistry to enhance the aesthetics of crooked, damaged, or chipped teeth. Unfortunately, many people shy away from veneers from a lack of knowledge about this process. If your dentist has mentioned veneers as an appropriate treatment option and you would like to learn more, read on. This article will list the three principal phases of the veneer process.
The dental veneer process begins with the creation of what is known as a pre-impression. Here your dentist presses a material known as polyvinyl siloxane around your teeth. This quickly drying elastomer soon hardens and is removed, thus providing a template for the shape of your teeth. Using this impression, the dentist is then able to manufacture temporary veneers. These will allow you to maintain a normal appearance during the time it takes for the rest of the process to be completed.
Next, a dental technician will remove a thin slice of enamel—between 0.8 and 1.0mm—from the surface of the tooth being corrected. The small indentation provided by this removal will make room for the veneer so that it can be effectively "blended in" with the teeth on either side. Otherwise, the veneer would jut out from surrounding teeth, thus being easy to notice.
In order to remove the layer of enamel, the dentist will use an array of specialized drills. Sometimes this process can involve a localized discomfort. For that reason, your dentist may opt to anesthetize the area before beginning. Once the enamel has been successfully removed, the dentist will create a second impression, which will be used as a model when creating the permanent veneers.
It may take up to several weeks for your permanent veneers to be fabricated at a dental laboratory. In the meantime, your dentist will attach the temporary veneers that were created using the pre-impression. These temporary veneers are affixed to the tooth using a special cement that can be loosened when the time comes for the permanent veneers to take their place.
Once your permanent veneers are ready, you will meet with your dentist one last time. During this visit, the temporary veneers will be removed. Then your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and etched with a mild form of acid. This improves the bonding strength between tooth and veneer.
Now a permanent adhesive cement is applied and the veneers are carefully fitted into place. Minor adjustments can be made to promote the most natural fit and appearance. Then, once the veneers are in their final resting place, the teeth are irradiated with a blue light. This causes the bonding cement to cure, thus permanently affixing the veneers to the surface of your teeth.
If you're interested in dental veneers, contact a dentist like Michael G Landy DDS for more information.