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What Are Porcelain Veneers Or Laminates?
Porcelain Veneers, sometimes called laminates, are thin shells of porcelain placed over the front surfaces of teeth.
How Can I Change The Shape Of My Teeth?
Porcelain Veneers are ideal for making changes to the shape and/or colour of your teeth. Generally, a more aesthetic effect can be achieved by placing multiple veneers/ laminates rather than a single one. If you have existing dental work or very misaligned teeth, you may require more extensive cosmetic treatment. Porcelain crowns or orthodontics may be required to give you the best result.
What’s The Procedure?
Patients generally need three appointments to complete the procedure, start to finish. The appointments can be summarised as
- Diagnosis and treatment planning,
- Preparation, and
- Final cementation.
Diagnosis and treatment planning: Your dentist should discuss with you all of the treatment options available; if you’re a candidate for veneers, make sure you understand their limitations. It’s critical that you take an active role in the decision-making process – it’s your smile. It’s ok to have more than one consultation; what’s important is that your dentist understands your objectives and needs.
Tooth preparation: This appointment usually takes between one to two hours. In preparation for veneer placement, the teeth to receive the veneers are recontoured (on the outside surface, lip side) to allow for the added thickness of the veneers. Usually, between 0.3 – 0.5 mm of tooth surface is removed, which may require a local anaesthetic. Once the teeth have been prepared, an impression is taken of the teeth, which is sent to the laboratory for veneer fabrication. Depending on the lab and your location, they’re usually back to your dentist within 1 – 2 weeks.
Veneer cementation: The final appointment will take between one to two hours. Your dentist will place the veneers with water or glycerin on your teeth to check their fit and evaluate their colour match. While the veneers are temporarily resting on your teeth, make sure you get a good look, pay particular attention to the colour. At this point, the colour of the veneers can still be adjusted through the shade of the cement your dentist uses. Once the veneers have been cemented, the colour cannot be altered. The tooth is then cleansed with specific chemicals to prepare it for cementation. Once a special cement is sandwiched between the veneer and tooth, a light beam is used to initiate the release of a chemical catalyst used to harden the cement.
What About Maintenance?
It will take about a week for you to get adjusted to your new veneers. Make sure you continue to brush and floss daily. After one or two weeks, your dentist will have you return for a follow-up appointment.