How are Dental Veneers Fitted?

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A dental veneer is effectively a porcelain cap that fits neatly over your original tooth to correct a number of issues. For the dental veneer to look natural your original tooth must first be shaved back – this way the veneer will sit at the same level as your other teeth creating a flawless smile. The preparation as well as the actual placement of the veneers is extremely important so choose your dentist with care! Note that this guide to the procedure applies to the fitting of standard porcelain veneers and that different types of veneer (Lumineers or MAC Veneers have different procedures).

The first stage will involve a consultation with your dentist who will be able to offer you specific prices and explain exactly what is necessary to correct your dental problems.

Before the procedure the dentist will numb the affected teeth and gums and shave off a thin layer of the tooth’s surface. To make sure that your veneers aren’t noticeable the dentist will aim to shave off the same thickness of tooth as the veneer that is being fitted. If you are having dental veneers to correct crookedness or slanted teeth the dentist may shave off more than just the width of the veneer.

Once your teeth are prepared an impression is made of your teeth using dental putty – as is common with orthodontic treatment. This is used to create a mould of your teeth, and from this mould the new veneers are created. This ensures they fit your mouth exactly. The length of the creation process varies according to dentist. Once the mould comes back you should have a chance to discuss the colour and shape of your veneer with your dentist. It is important to check your veneers before they are cemented on!

Before the veneers are fitted preparation must be done to make your teeth more receptive to the bonding. The dentist will roughen the surface of your tooth enamel using an etching gel made up of a small quantity of phosphoric acid. The rough surface texture means a firmer bond is created with the veneers.

The veneers are fitted with dental cement, which is placed onto the veneer before it is attached to your tooth. To speed up the curing (a process where the temperature and moisture content of the cement is maintained carefully to ensure high quality and effectiveness) the dentist will shine a light that permeates the veneer and regulates the cement. This takes only a few minutes and once finished your veneers should be firmly attached.

The final step is to trim away any excess cement and to polish the veneers to a shape that you are happy with. You may wish to discuss this with your dentist to agree on the best size and shape for your teeth. Once trimmed and polished you should have achieved your desired smile.

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