The 4 Basic Steps of the Dental Veneer Procedure

Posted on: 15 January 2021

For many suffering from poor self-esteem and embarrassment because of bad teeth, dental veneers can provide relief. They can also strengthen weak and worn teeth and close gaps that cause discomfort. If you're considering dental veneers, you might wonder if the procedure is quick and painless or if it involves more than you want to take on. Here are four basic steps in the dental veneer procedure to know before making your decision.

1. Assessment/Consultation

The first step in the process is an assessment or consultation by a prosthodontist or dental professional that specializes in dental veneers and prosthetics. She or he will examine your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for veneers. The process may involve x-rays or tooth impressions. You'll be able to discuss what you're hoping to achieve through the procedure and your prosthodontist will be able to outline the procedure and talk through any concerns. Dental veneers are most effective in restoring discolored, gapped, crooked, chipped, or misshapen teeth. Keep in mind you may not be a candidate for veneers if you're experiencing more serious dental problems.

2. Tooth Preparation

Veneers are typically composed of either porcelain or composite resin. Both materials are effective. Composite resin is typically shaped and hardened on-site and porcelain is prepared in advance in a lab. Porcelain tends to have a more natural tooth-like appearance and is more stain resistant. The resin is bonded to your existing teeth. To achieve this, your teeth will first need to be prepped by removing a small layer of the existing surface enamel. This improves the bonding process and prevents the veneer from adding too much bulk. Your prosthodontist may offer a local anesthesia during this process to prevent any pain or discomfort. Afterward, she or he will take an impression of your newly prepped teeth to create the final veneers and then likely put temporary veneers in place to protect your teeth before your next appointment.  

3. Bonding

The next step is the bonding of the veneers to your existing teeth. Before bonding, your prosthodontist will ensure that the veneers are the right size, shape, and color to create your desired outcome and make adjustments as needed. Next, your teeth will be cleaned, polished, and etched to create a proper bond. Finally, the veneer is bonded to your teeth using a dental cement product that hardens quickly. Your prosthodontist will check your comfort level and bite to ensure everything is satisfactory. 

4. Follow-Up

After the procedure, your prosthodontist will likely schedule a follow-up visit to ensure that everything is working properly and comfortably without any unexpected side effects. You can use this time to inform them whether you're experiencing any discomfort and they can address those concerns.