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Porcelain Veneers: A Simple Guide To How They Are Performed

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Porcelain veneers are a great long-term solution for individuals embarrassed by their discolored, crooked, or chipped teeth. This is one of the most effective cosmetic dental solutions providing patients a natural-looking, effective way to enhance their smile. Women and men in the Chicago area are considering this cosmetic option with the cosmetic dental professionals at Weller Dental so they can have the smile they have always wanted.

Porcelain veneers is usually a two-part process involving prepping the tooth and then fitting the customized veneer once it is ready. This information is going to highlight how the process of getting a porcelain veneer works for one tooth even though veneers can be placed on several teeth or all of your teeth for a full smile makeover.

Porcelain veneers for Chicago patients

Dental veneers are a thin shell made out of porcelain that are custom fit to provide patients with a durable, long-term solution to improve their smile. In most cases, this cosmetic procedure is broken up into several separate appointments to allow for the tooth to be prepped and then the custom veneer to be made. This typically takes one to two weeks for the entire process to be completed. Here is how it works:

Step 1: Enamel reshaping

During the first phase of getting porcelain veneers, the tooth is prepared by reshaping the enamel area on the target tooth to allow for a veneer to be placed on top of the surface. The enamel on the front side of the tooth is trimmed back, by the dentist, about the same width as the veneer that will be placed there. If a patient has tooth decay or discoloration in certain areas, then the dentist will carefully trim more extensively in those locations in order to prepare the tooth.

One of the main reasons you want a qualified dentist performing this dental procedure is to ensure not too much enamel is removed. This can cause tooth sensitivity as well as future dental problems in the target area. The main goal is for the tooth to have the porcelain veneer placed end to end on tooth enamel, so it is more successful as a long-term solution for the patient.

Will you need an anesthetic for this part? In some cases, a tooth can be prepared for porcelain veneers without the use of anesthesia but in most situations, you will want your dentist to “numb” the area in order to reduce sensitivity or other topical issues during the procedure.

Step 2: Picking the porcelain veneer color

Once the tooth has been prepped, we will present a shade guide to determine what color of porcelain will best match the surrounding teeth. In some cases, different colors will need to be used in order to best suit what the patient needs. One of the advantages about porcelain veneers is the color can still be adjusted once it is made before being put into place.

Step 3: The dental impression

Once the dentist has completed trimming or prepping the tooth and the porcelain veneer color has been chosen, then a dental impression is taken. It is essentially a “copy” of your mouth in order to better customize the porcelain veneer. Most dental impressions are still taken today with the traditional method of using a paste or putty type material placed in dental trays that are then placed on your teeth for a few minutes until the mold is set. Once removed it is a basic “footprint” of your mouth. The impression is then sent to the lab in order to make the custom porcelain veneer(s). Typical turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.

Step 4: Temporary veneer placement

While waiting for their permanent veneers to be ready, some of our Chicago area patients will need a temporary fix to their prepped tooth. Weller Dental utilizes temporaries to give the patient a look at smile design and the ability to preview this smile. We then together with the patient will critique and adjust the temporaries to give patients the ideal dream smile they are pursuing. Temporary veneers will give patient a sneak peak at their smile makeover and allow them to be involved in decision making process of their smile. Temporary veneers are used to also give the patient a new reference of shape, position and color. You will love the changes made to your smile from the temporaries to your finished porcelain veneers.


Step 5: Final step

Once the custom porcelain veneer has been made then it is ready to be bonded to the target tooth. If a temporary veneer has been used, then the dentist will need to remove that first before the permanent one is cemented into place. The dentist will set the porcelain veneer in place then remove it and trim it repeatedly until it fits properly. If the color of porcelain chosen needs to be adjusted then the dentist can fine tune the color with the shade of cement used underneath it before bonding it into place. Once the dentist has determined the porcelain veneer fits properly and is the proper shade of color then they will cement it into place.

Once the porcelain veneer is in place the dentist will make sure there is no cement remnants left and that your bite is not impeded by the placement of the veneer. There is typically a follow up appointment about 1-2 weeks from the final step in order to evaluate how the new porcelain veneer feels, how a patient’s gums are responding and if patients are noticing anything in order to make adjustments.

With today’s advancements with dental technology, it is possible for dentists to provide same day porcelain veneers for their patients. It involves dentists having the necessary equipment to make and place porcelain veneers for patients in a single office visit. Whether it is same day or a 2-step process, porcelain veneers are the cosmetic solution giving patients the smile they deserve. The professional dentists at Weller Dental have two convenient locations in Hinsdale and the Chicago area. If you are interested in porcelain veneers, we invite you to call or schedule your consultation with Weller Dental today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.