Porcelain Veneer Process - Greenbelt, MD
Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
During your dental appointment, we’ll examine your smile and discuss your treatment goals. Then, we’ll talk with you about all of your cosmetic dentistry options, including porcelain veneers. We may recommend combining porcelain veneers as well as other cosmetic dentistry options for a complete smile makeover plan. If we decide veneers are the right solution to create your ideal smile, we’ll walk you through the rest of this process, including how long the process will take, how many veneers you may need, and all of your payment and financing options. At the consultation appointment, we may also capture digital x-rays and bite impressions and take photos your teeth. We want to make sure your smile and bite are healthy before moving forward with cosmetic dental care. If we do find signs of common oral health concerns, we will recommend treatments to renew your oral health and repair dental damage before we continue. If you are going to receive traditional veneers, we are often able to begin the dental preparation process at this initial visit.
Smile Preparation & Porcelain Veneer Design
We may begin this part of the process during your consultation (time permitting). Otherwise, we will prepare your tooth or teeth and design your porcelain veneers during the second visit to our dental office. For traditional veneers, this will include removing surface tooth enamel to accommodate the additional porcelain veneer structure. For all veneer types, we smooth and shape the tooth structure. We will discuss whether or not to use local anesthesia or other sedation dentistry solutions before we get started to ensure your complete comfort. Most patients only need mild local anesthesia to complete their porcelain veneer preparation.
Then, we capture impressions of these prepared teeth in order to design your flawless porcelain veneers to blend seamlessly into your smile. The design is sent to one of our trusted dental labs where your porcelain veneers will be hand crafted to our exacting specifications. If we removed surface tooth enamel to prepare your teeth, we may need to place a temporary veneer to protect your smile until the custom restoration arrives in our dental office. We usually receive your final porcelain veneer one to four weeks after your preparation appointment.
Porcelain Veneer Placement
After we receive the custom porcelain veneers from our dental lab, you’ll return to our dental office for one final visit. This last appointment is typically very short, between one and two hours, depending on whether or not you use local anesthesia or sedation dentistry options. The dentist will first check that the color, size, and shape of your porcelain veneer is as expected, so you will achieve your desired end result. Once the dentist is sure the veneer is perfect, they remove temporary restorations, as necessary. Next, the dentist carefully cleans and dries your teeth to ensure no bacteria or other substances are trapped between your veneer and the surface of your tooth, and they apply an etching material to create a more porous surface to ensure a tight bond between the tooth and porcelain veneer.
Then, we affix the final porcelain veneers to the surface of your tooth, using dental cement. A curing light is used to harden the cement after it seeps into the porous tooth structure, bonding to your smile and holding the veneer firmly in place. Finally, we smooth and polish your teeth, remove excess cement, and test your bite to ensure the teeth fit together properly. At last, you’ll leave our dental office with a gleaming new smile. We may recommend a follow up appointment in about a month to ensure your veneers look and feel as you hoped.