Many patients are interested in improving their appearance. One option is porcelain veneers. This involves the removal of less tooth structure than for a crown. In a crown the final appliance covers the entire tooth. A veneer only covers the front portion of the tooth and a small amount of the biting edge. It has advantages and disadvantages. The main advantages are the fact that less tooth structure is removed and they are very aesthetic looking. A downside will be on an individual basis because not all teeth are well suited for veneers. A person should be an adult before a veneer is considered, for example. There have been reported cases where a dentist will place veneers on younger persons. In these cases the teeth may not be entirely erupted and over time the edges may be visible with an unsightly line. As well in many younger patients orthodontics might have a better result. A patient’s exaggerated expectations can be a factor that is a warning to a dentist who may not perform the veneer process. Veneers should not be put on patients who have a heavy under bite. That is the front teeth are always in heavy contact in closing. In such cases the veneers can easily split or chip. Read more on Veneers.
When a individual is picked, the process for veneers is usually very satisfying on good clinical grounds. The teeth are minimally reduced, in most cases from 1 -1,5 mm. If a tooth is out of line with the next one to it, the reduction will be more likely to allow a final alignment of veneers that aesthetically line up. It takes the interpretation, and sends the case to the laboratory. Temporaries are not always indicated because of minimal decrease.
Porcelain veneers are made by the manufacturer, and the shade is arranged with the dentist. In certain cases a dark tooth or teeth may be covered by the veneers and the veneer may be less transparent. For cases where the underlying color of the tooth is natural a more translucent veneer may be created. There are some precautions that are followed before the veneers are returned to the dentist. When veneers were first developed in the late 1930s, they didn’t adhere well to the structure of the tooth so they really were a temporary measure. New techniques were developed in the 1980’s to allow the veneer to adhere to the structure of a tooth. The veneer inside is initially ‘etched’ with hydrofluoric acid. This is a type of acid that can etch glass, of which one type is porcelain. It is etched, and then cleaned off with water for about a minute. The etched within the veneer is then rinsed with a milder solution, orthophosphoric solution. This step neutralizes the hydrofluoric acid which is solid. The veneer is rinsed out again at this point. Then a drying solution, typically an acetate solution, is used to extract inside portion of any water in the veneer. At this point a relatively new material is being used, Propanone, with Den-Mat-s Connection Bond being the brand name of the one I use. It is painted on veneer inside. It is a chemical polymer with a branch that can bind to porcelain. This is dried slightly, and the veneer is ready to place on the tooth.