What's the Procedure for Getting a Porcelain Veneer?

Getting a porcelain veneer requires three trips to the dentist one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers.

Diagnosis and treatment planning

This first step involves your active participation. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.


To prepare a tooth for a porcelain veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. Temporary dental veneers can be placed in the interim.

Veneer Process

Types of Porcelain Veneers

Veneers can actually be made from several types of ceramic, including:

Pressed ceramic: Veneers made from this kind of ceramic are quite strong, but they are typically thicker than other types of veneers.

Stacked ceramic: Stacked ceramic veneers allow ceramists to create veneers that are more precisely customized for each patient.

Lithium disilicate: This new type of dental porcelain is so strong that even severe bruxers may be candidates for veneers made from this material. Lithium disilicate veneers can only be created with CAD/CAM technology.

Is the Porcelain Veneer Process worth it?

Advantages over Other Procedures

Porcelain Veneers are stain resistant and last for years at a time. When patients choose teeth whitening treatment, they often receive less dramatic results and must undergo touchup treatments approximately twice a year. Veneers look more lifelike than similar enhancements. Cosmetic dental bonding can correct similar flaws, but the material is opaque, meaning it does not reflect light the way porcelain does. Porcelain Veneers are stronger than composite resin. Although veneers typically cost more than bonding or teeth whitening, they usually have a smaller price tag than dental crowns.

Increased Confidence and Happiness

One of the biggest advantages of porcelain veneers is the effect they can have on a patient’s self-assurance and emotional wellness. When patients feel good about the appearance of their teeth, they are more likely to smile. Neurotransmitters called endorphins are released when you smile. Smiling in turn can increase your mood, social life, and even professional success. Not only are veneers a great investment in a patient’s appearance, they could also be an investment in their overall well being.

Oral Health Benefits

The primary benefits of porcelain veneers are cosmetic; however, there are several ways that they can boost overall dental health. First, they can lend some strength to damaged teeth. Patients should note, however, that veneers cannot restore a severely damaged or weakened tooth. In these cases, a dental crown will provide better protection for a patient’s oral health.

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