If you want to make cosmetic improvements to your smile, porcelain veneers are a great option. These thin, custom-made shells can treat problems such as discoloration and staining, chipped, broken, or worn down teeth, misaligned or uneven teeth, and gaps between teeth. They are bonded to the front of the teeth and can help to improve the appearance of your smile in as little as two dental visits.
Before getting veneers made or placed, a consultation with your dentist will be needed to determine precisely how you want your smile to look. The teeth will have to be prepared to receive the veneers by having about ½ a millimeter of enamel removed. An impression will then be made and sent to a dental laboratory, which will create the veneers. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to complete the veneers. Temporary veneers can be placed in the meantime to protect the teeth.
When the permanent veneers come back from the dental lab, they will be placed on the teeth to check for the fit and get trimmed as needed. The teeth will be cleaned, polished and etched, which will help the veneers to bond more securely. A special cement is used to place the veneers onto the teeth, and a special light is applied to cure (harden) it. Excess cement will be removed before the end of the appointment, and your dentist will check the fit one more time before you leave.
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