Veneer

What is a veneer?

A veneer is made out of thin pressed ceramic (porcelain) material used to recreate the natural size, shape, color, and function of your front teeth. They are similar to crowns but much more conservative and can be used to correct the gaps and crookedness between teeth, any chipping, discoloration, and wear. Veneers are considered a cosmetic treatment since they are usually performed to improve appearance of your teeth.

Woman with red lips smiling

What is the process of a veneer? Does it hurt?

The process of veneers are similar to a crown. Local anesthetic is administered so you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Your dentist should make sure you are completely comfortable in the chair. In general, the procedure takes about an hour but can take longer depending on how extensive the cavity or fracture is.

Before preparing the teeth, impressions are taken and sent to the lab for a model wax-up. This model will demonstrate and propose your final smile design and help you achieve the goals that you desire.

Usually the veneer is a two-appointment process. (Preparation and Final Cementation)

Preparation Stage

  • The dentist minimally prepares the tooth - which means that some tooth structure is removed so that there is room for the porcelain to cover the teeth.
  • An impression is taken to provide the lab the exact model in order to fabricate the veneer. Impressions can be made by a mold or a digital scanner.
  • Temporary veneers are placed in the meantime during the lab fabrication of the veneer. This will shield and protect the tooth for a couple of weeks. While the temporary veneer is in, it is important to avoid direct contact, chewing crunchy, hard, or taffy-like things to prevent the temporary veneer from breaking or coming off. Since the tooth has been worked on, patients will usually feel some soreness around the gums in that area and may have some hot/cold sensitivity. These symptoms usually resolve after a couple of days.

Cementation

Once the veneer is back from the lab, the dentist will make sure your veneer properly fits, and is adjusted to your original bite. The fit can be double checked by taking a radiographic x-ray before the crown is permanently cemented. Once it is permanently cemented you will be able to go back to chewing properly and flossing regularly in that area.

It is recommended after veneer placement that you wear an occlusal (mouth/night) guard to protect your veneers and prevent any damage. If you grind or clench your teeth you are at higher risk for breakage. Please consult with your dentist to see if an occlusal guard is best for you.