Dental veneers are a fantastic way to solve a whole range of cosmetic dental problems – allowing chipped, broken, misaligned, or discoloured teeth to be completely transformed into a perfect, white, beautiful smile.
Having veneers fitted is also a less invasive and costly procedure compared to other treatments, such as dental implants, but it will still involve several visits to the dentist. Read on to find out what the process entails and how long it typically takes from start to finish.
What Does The Dental Veneer Procedure Involve?
Having dental veneers fitted involves multiple steps and will generally require three visits to your dentist.
During the initial consultation, your dentist will diagnose any dental problems you have, determine if you are a good candidate for veneers, and, if so, construct a treatment plan. Your smile will also be examined carefully, and X-rays may be taken of your mouth.
At the second appointment, your dentist will prepare your teeth to receive the veneers by removing a thin layer of enamel (typically around 0.5mm). The process of filing down teeth can be uncomfortable so some dentists will carry this out with the patient under a local anaesthetic if necessary.
Next, your dentist will apply a thick dental paste to your tooth (or teeth) and gums, then ask you to bite down onto a tray. This will provide an impression of your teeth which will be used in the construction of your new veneers.
As it can take two to three weeks for your veneers to be made, most dentists will fit a temporary veneer to protect your teeth in the meantime. These will be made from a composite material and will give you a good idea of what your new smile will eventually look like.
When your new veneers are ready, a third appointment will be made during which they will be fitted. Before the veneers are fixed in place, the dentist will place them over your teeth and make any final adjustments – this can involve the veneer being trimmed and reshaped to ensure a perfect fit.
Once they’re happy with the shape and aesthetics of the veneer, the dentist will begin the bonding process. After cleaning and polishing your teeth, the dentist will apply an acid gel to their surface in a process known as etching – this creates a roughened texture which will allow for a strong bond between the tooth and veneer. The gel is washed off after less than 30 seconds, and then a powerful bonding agent is used to affix the veneer to the surface of the tooth. An ultraviolet light will then be used to harden the adhesive and ensure a strong connection.
Finally, your teeth will be cleaned and any excess bonding agent will be removed before the dentist evaluates the veneers and makes any small tweaks as required to make sure they are fitted and aligned perfectly.
You’ll then be the proud owner of a beautiful new smile!
Your dentist may schedule a followup visit to ensure everything is fine and address any issues, but overall the process of having dental veneers fitted should take no more than 3 to 4 weeks.