Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Are porcelain veneers better for my teeth than composite resin veneers?
- What brand of porcelain veneers are best for my teeth?
- Are there any less permanent procedures you would recommend trying before committing to porcelain veneers?
What To Expect
before the procedure, your dentist should show you what the veneers will look like once applied. Some doctors will show you a computer image. Others will do what's called a fix up or a wax up.
The wax up involves taking a cast of your mouth. You will then need to come back for another visit, when a composite is applied to the teeth to be veneered. The composite gives you a sense of the shape and color of your teeth post-veneer. The wax up typically costs between $200 and $1,000, though some dentists do not charge for the wax up and others waive the cost if you get veneers.
During the actual veneer application process, about half a millimeter of your tooth's enamel will be scraped away with small carvings made on the surface. This process ensures that the veneers won't make your teeth bulky, and the creation of grooves improves the bond so your porcelain stays put. The veneers are then adjusted for color, trim, and fit before removing any excess bonding cement.
Who should do it: Speak with a cosmetic dentist if you're interested in learning more about porcelain veneers
Duration: Porcelain veneers are more of a time commitment than their composite cousins, because the tooth toppers are fabricated off-site in a lab. It could be up to two weeks before they're ready. On the whole, plan on about six weeks from your consultation appointment to the actual porcelain veneer application.
The time required for each session will vary depending on whether you're replacing a single tooth with a porcelain veneer or re-doing your entire smile. One or two porcelain veneers may take under an hour to complete, while an entire row of teeth, or an entire mouth, can take more than four hours to finish.
How Painful Is It?
About a third to half a millimeter of tooth enamel will be removed to make room for porcelain veneers. Before a porcelain veneer can be attached, small etchings will be chiseled into the surface of your tooth to help bind the tooth to the veneer.
With the use of local anesthetics the procedure is tolerable.
Options for anesthesia: Local anesthesia is used while tooth enamel is reshaped.