How Close Should Temporary Veneers Look Like the Permament Ones?

How Close Should Temporary Veneers Look Like the Permament Ones?

Doctor Answers 10

Temporary Veneers vs Permanent Veneers

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The temporary veneers I make are highly aesthetic.  They are made from a wax-up on models of your teeth -- I call this wax-up my architectural blueprint or model, and it is supposed to lead us to the final smile design.  After a week wearing the temps, you and I would meet back up so we can discuss how you like the temps (color, shape of the teeth/smile, etc) -- and we can make modifications to the temps if needed -- until you like them.  Ideally I like to get your temps to a place where you REALLY like them -- and then I will design the porcelain based on these temps that you like.  Doing it this way reduces the guess-work and helps me to ensure my patients are getting just what they want for their new smile.  It's a big investment -- I need to be sure my patients get the results they want.


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Thanks for your question. Porcelain veneers start with a planning phase where we take impressions and photographs and we get a mockup from the lab where we can create a trial smile. You can actually see in our mouth what your smile with veneers would look like. Then after your teeth are prepared you wear temporaries for a few weeks and come in for your final restorations to be cemented permanently. These temporaries are an integral part of the smile design process. Your final restorations should look extremely close to what the temporaries look like. We often take impressions and photographs of the temporaries for the lab to use as a guideline. The temporaries are a great opportunity for you as a the patient to let your dentist know what you do and don't like about the aesthetics of your new smile and see how you feel when you function (chew and speak). Good luck! 

Temporary Veneers are an IMPORTANT Guide to the Design of the Permanent Veneers

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The temporary veneers are an essential part of the design process for the permanent veneers. These are often made from an initial design prepared from a diagnostic wax up prior to the process beginning. The shaping and refining of the temporary veneers gives the patient and the dentist a better idea of the look, and feel, of the new restorations and modifications can be more easily made to the temporary veneers that can be translated into the permanent veneers by the dental ceramist.

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How Close Should Temporary Veneers Look Like the Permament Ones?

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Temporary veneers should look and feel just the way that you want the final veneers to look and feel.  In fact, we no longer use the term temporaries, but rather they are called prototypes.  This an important distinction because the purpose of these prototypes is to guide the laboratory in fabricating your final veneers.  The protypes should be tweeked until you are truly satisfied with the look, feel, and phonetics.  Once this is accomplished, impressions and photos of the prototypes should be sent to the lab so that they can be used as a blueprint.

Hope that this was helpful....Dr C

Richard Champagne, DMD
Freehold Dentist

Temporary Veneers should look Fantastic

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Temporary Veneers should look similar in shape size and alignment.  Your smile is often undergoing a dramatic change when you have veneers placed.  As a consequence pre-planning is critical.  A wax up which acts a template is a great way to plan out you case.  This model is what I use to make temporaries.  Some Dentists will not do this step and use your existing teeth as the template.  Although that is faster and less costly way of practicing, the problem with that method is that you do not get to "try-out" your new smile. 

Wax-ups clear up a lot of issues such as size, shape, length and alignment.  If you do not like these temporaries, you will not love your smile.  Any issues need to be cleared up at this stage.  Once you are happy with the temporaries, then we take pictures and models to send to lab, often sending the patient to lab as well.  Our goal is to mimic this new smile. 

Keep in mind I did not mention the "feel" of temporaries.  Many patients mention the plastic, artificial feel of temporaries.  Modern science has not solved this problem yet.  In addition, color with plastic temporaries is never the same as porcelain, they are just too different.  That said, veneers are fabulous and the temporaries should start you towards feeling great.

Madeleinne Zapantis, DMD
Long Island Dentist

How Should Temporary Veneers Look

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I feel the temporaries are the most important stage in determining the smile you want and to establish how the permanent restorations should look.  Imaging and wax ups can be useful but until you see it in your mouth for a few days, and get feedback from those in your life, its really a guess.  The permanent restorations should be a continuation of the process of making and adjusting temporaries to how you like them.

Esthetic temporary veneers

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Temporary veneers should look pretty  close to the permanents. They should be made from the diagnostic wax-up which was made to simulate an ideal desired final outcome.

They are made of an acrylic/plastic type material which is not as life-like as the final porcelain. Temps tend to be slightly duller and less translucent. However, the general shape, size, and color should be very close the finals. 

After wearing the temps for a couple of days, you should give some feedback as to anything you don't like before the finals are made. I usually make a mold of the temps after I have modified them to the patients liking so the lab can copy them to the finals.

Hope this helps

Dr. T  

Mauricio C. Tijerino, DMD
Miami Beach Dentist

How Closely Should Temporary Veneers Look Like the Permament Ones?

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The answer is that the plastic temporary veneers ought to look pretty good.  They ought to be a sketch of the aesthetic changes that you and your cosmetic dentist are transforming.

I tell my patients that these are an approximation of the final result. In complex cases they provide a "test-drive" so that you can get an idea of the changes and both you and the cosmetic dentist can see if these are the results you want.

I also make clear to my patients that the final porcelain veneers will look significantly better than any of the plastic temporary ones. We use a master ceramist who will also look at your plastic temporary veneers and you and he would discuss any improvements that could be added to the final porcelain. 

The process of creating fantastic porcelain veneers (or a smile makeover) involves a lot of communication. In my practice each step that is done is an opportunity for you and I to discuss what to expect and move you closer to your dream result.

As a closing comment, use this opportunity to discuss your concerns with your cosmetic dentist. He should be able to keep you feeling confident about the journey.

Every dentist has their own technique

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A sign of a well trained and experienced cosmetic dentist is how well the temporary veneers look like the final porcelain veneers. In MY office, I have a wax blueprint created of the final smile, BEFORE I begin. This allows the pt to preview the final outcome. If a dentist skips this step, it doesn't mean the final result will be poor, but it will be less predictable and there is a risk the pt won't be happy and it will be too late.

Look of temporary veneers

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If made with enough precision and detail, temporary veneers should look very closely like the permanent veneers.  The shade of temporary veneers should also be the right match as the permanent ones. One of the purposes of temporary veneers is for the patient to get an idea of what to expect of the permanent veneers in terms of shape, size, and shade, and also the bite if the bite is to be altered.  Best, Dr. Elizabeth Jahanian   

Elizabeth Jahanian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.