Article by Benjamin S. Fiss, DDS
Chicago Cosmetic Dentist
Veneers are extremely strong thin porcelain “shields” that are bonded onto the surfaces of your teeth. They have the ability to change an ordinary smile into an extraordinary smile. Porcelain veneers can close gaps, improve color as well as create the look and feel of instant orthodontics.
Once the veneers are bonded onto the surface of the teeth, they are able to recreate all of the depth of color and translucency that naturally occur in enamel. To create a natural look, as if the patient were born with the veneers, each veneer is individually seated and personalized to blend with the patient facial features. In an older patient with a worn dentition, placing veneers can improve lip contour and take years off of the patients physical appearance.
The process begins by taking impressions of the patient’s teeth. These impressions are sent to the lab where the lab technician is able to make a wax up of the teeth to be veneered. This wax up allows the lab technician to alter the models using wax, making changes the patient is looking for. This also allows the patient to see how their smile will improve once the porcelain veneers have been placed.
Approximately one week later, the patient returns. Anesthetic is once again administered. The temporary is lifted off and each veneer is individually cemented. It is during this procedure that we customize the veneers to make them look natural until the ideal result is achieved.
Sometime patients may feel post-operative temperature sensitivity. This sensitivity is normal and may last a few days. If a patient clenches or grinds their teeth, a night guard may be recommended to protect the existing teeth as well as the veneers. Caring for your porcelain veneers follows the same regimen as caring for your natural teeth. Anything that can break a natural tooth can fracture a veneer. The patients oral hygiene remains the same, including flossing, brushing and regular professional cleanings. Given the proper care, veneers can preserve a smile for decades.