Dental veneers are custom-made covering for your teeth to conceal any imperfections such as cracks, stains, and chips. It is the most common dental cosmetic procedure used by dentists. Dental veneers might help boost your self-esteem, but not everyone can have them.
Before you get dental veneers, it’s best to understand the step-by-step process, from consultation to the final result. This way, you will know your eligibility for a veneer and prepare for the process.
How to Get Dental Veneers
Check out this step-by-step guide in getting dental veneers to know what to do and what to expect if you decide to get one yourself:
Step 1: The Initial Consultation
The process starts with the initial consultation. Schedule an appointment with your dentist at the nearest time possible. During the initial consultation, you will explain to your cosmetic dentist the goal you are trying to achieve.
After you lay out your expectations, the dentist will perform tests like x-rays and a physical examination of your teeth and gums. The dentist will decide whether you are ready for a dental veneer according to the result of the tests.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, your dentist will move forward with the design process of your veneers. You will also be shown a veneer before and after photos to help you visualize the result. The dentist will also take photos of your teeth and get some moldings and imprints to help the dentist create the perfect smile. Once you approve of the goal set by the dentist, you will be given a schedule to come back and start the installation of veneers.
Step 2: Tooth Preparation
On your next visit, your dentist will prepare the tooth. During the tooth preparation, a thin layer of your teeth’s enamel will get scraped off. It will help the tooth where the veneers will go to be well-prepared for the installation.
The veneers will attach to the teeth properly by scraping the thin layer of enamel. Aside from scraping a thin layer of enamel from your teeth, the dentist will also shape it according to the look you are trying to achieve.
Many patients ask how much shaping should be done with their teeth. This question has no correct answer, as it will depend on your teeth’ color, size, and position. The result you aim for also significantly influences how much shaping should be done on your tooth.
Step 3: Choosing the Right Shade
Each person has a different tooth color. Some are whiter than others. That’s why a part of the step-by-step process of getting a veneer is the selection of the right shade. You and your dentist will work together to find the best shade similar to your natural tooth.
This step is vital in achieving a more natural look. Having a whiter veneer than the rest of your teeth will be awkward, and people will automatically know that it isn’t a natural tooth. So, you must be patient during this step to achieve the best result.
Step 4: Making Teeth Impressions
Once you have chosen the right shade, it’s time to get the impression of your teeth. The dentist will use a digital 3D scanner or putty to get an impression of your teeth. Once the impression is acquired, it will be sent to the lab.
Step 5: Installation of Temporary Veneers
As you wait for your permanent veneers, your dentist will install a temporary one to conceal the work done on your tooth. Remember, your tooth has been reshaped and may look odd. So, you will need to hide it using temporary veneers.
A temporary veneer will also give you a sneak peek of what you would look like with the permanent veneers. Use this step to tell the dentist your thoughts about how you look and feel. This way, changes can still be made before your impression is sent to the lab. Wait on your next appointment.
Step 6: Try Out the Porcelain Veneers
On your next visit, your porcelain veneers will be ready. Your dentist will let you try your porcelain veneers to ensure you like how it looks and is comfortable. You can still make The dentist remove the temporary veneers installed from your last visit using anesthesia to make it more tolerable.
The porcelain veneers will then be installed using temporary glue. You will now see how the veneers look and could still make some changes if you disapprove. Changes considered minor, like color and length changes, can be done instantly. Any major changes will require your veneers to go back to the lab.
What’s important for this step is to let your dentist know if there is something about the veneers that you don’t like. This is your last chance for changes, and you don’t want to waste it. Once you approve the veneer and it will be permanently attached, you will pay for its replacement.
Step 7: Bonding
Once you approve the veneers or make the changes you want, it is time for bonding. This step is where the porcelain veneers will be bonded into your tooth using permanent bonding glue. The permanent glue will put the veneers in place forever.
Step 8: Final Touches
Once the veneer is permanently attached to your tooth, the dentist will make the final touches. For the final touches, your dentist will determine if your bite is equilibrated. A bite test is then done. The patient should feel smooth just like how they bite normally.
Lastly, the dentist will then proceed with polishing the veneer. Your dentist will make it as shiny and smooth as your natural tooth. It also makes it look like a natural tooth when you smile.
Step 9: Follow-up Visit
The last step for the veneer procedure is the follow-up visit to the dentist. During this step, the dentist will check your gums and see if the veneers are correctly attached. After the follow-up visit, you can flaunt your fully restored tooth that looks and feels natural.
Dental veneers can be durable and last 7 to 15 years. However, they aren’t immune to damage and wear and tear, so it’s best to schedule a visit once a year to check if your veneers are still good.
Dental Veneers Aftercare
There is no special care for veneers after it is installed. You must maintain good oral practices, such as brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing, and using antiseptic mouthwash in rinsing your mouth.
Although porcelain veneers can resist stains, you should still avoid(as much as possible) any food and drinks that can cause stainings, such as tea, coffee, and red wine. Moreover, some precautions are needed to consider, such as:
- Avoid chewing hard food or objects, including your fingernails.
- Don’t use your teeth in opening any packaging.
- Cut up hard food before eating them to avoid using your front teeth in cutting them. Only chew using your back teeth.
- Use a retainer or splint if you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night.
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports.
Dental veneers are significantly helpful in achieving the perfect smile you are aiming for. Its procedure is straightforward, and the steps can be easily followed. You should start the first step of the veneer procedure immediately and discuss your goals with your dentist.