Porcelain veneers are used to hide teeth imperfections and provide people with an aesthetically pleasing smile. Multiple veneers can close spaces, lengthen teeth that have been shortened by wear, fill “black triangles” between teeth caused by gum recession, provide a uniform color, shape, symmetry, and make the teeth appear straight.
To prepare a tooth for a 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. You and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic before removing the enamel.
After the enamel has been removed, impressions will then be taken of the reduced tooth. In most cases, the dentist will do this using an impression material (a putty-like material that is pressed onto the tooth which then sets). This model is sent to a dental laboratory where the veneers will be fabricated. As an alternative, the dentist may take an optical impression using an Itero® machine (this results in a digital, 3D image of your tooth which will then be emailed to the dental labratory). It usually takes 1-2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the lab.
Your second appointment consists of cementation of the veneers. The veneers come back from the lab already etched and ready to be cemented. The tooth surface is also etched at this time and the veneers are cemented into place.