Porcelain Veneers FAQ

...the art of individualized care
Dallas, Texas

What are porcelain veneers?
When are porcelain veneers used?
What is the procedure like?
What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?
How do they look?

What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers -- also called ceramic veneers -- are thin shells of ceramic material which are permanently bonded to the front surface of teeth. They are custom-made for your mouth, and are custom colored to match the surrounding teeth.

Porcelain veneers can be applied to multiple teeth on both the top and bottom rows.

Porcelain veneers are a more conservative alternative to crowns.

When are porcelain veneers used?
Porcelain veneers are used to change a tooth's color, size and/or shape. This includes:

-Teeth which are chipped or broken

-Teeth which are crooked or misaligned

-Teeth -- including front teeth -- which have gaps between them

-Teeth which are stained, including staining due to injury, root canal and tetracycline.

-Teeth -- including front teeth -- with discolored fillings

-Teeth which are worn or ground down

What is the procedure like?
Applying porcelain veneers usually requires three dental appointments over the course of about a month.

In the first appointment, the teeth are lightly buffed down. This prepares them for the slight additional thickness of the veneer. Approximately half a millimeter of tooth is removed. Often, a local anesthetic is used during this buffing procedure. A mold is then taken of the teeth. The mold is sent to a dental laboratory, and used to create the veneers.

In the interim period between the two appointments, the teeth will look a little different than usual because, due to the buffing procedure, they will have been reduced in size. In some (usually more extreme) cases, temporary veneers can be placed.

Typically, it takes about two weeks for the dental laboratory to create the veneers.

In the second appointment, the laboratory-created veneers are bonded to the teeth. First, the dentist uses either water or glycerin to place the veneers onto the teeth. This non-permanent attachment is to check the veneers fit, shade and color. The color of the veneers can be adjusted based upon the shade of dental cement used. However, the color cannot be altered after the veneers are cemented.

Once the correct color is determined, the veneer is ready to be attached permanently with dental cement. The cement is sandwiched between the veneer and the tooth, and then a special light beam is applied. This light initiates the release of a catalyst, which hardens the cement and permanently affixes the veneers.

Placing veneers is a meticulous and delicate procedure. Each veneer must be fitted individually. As a result, this second appointment can last several hours.

Once the veneers are applied, there is a one to two week adjustment period, and then a final, follow-up appointment.

What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers can create dramatic dental changes relatively quickly. Veneers can even be used as a substitute for extensive orthodontic work. Multiple gaps, stains, chips and a host of other problems -- on numerous teeth -- can be taken care of in just a few appointments.

Porcelain is also highly resistant to staining. With proper brushing habits, porcelain veneers will retain their whiteness and, compared to other forms of cosmetic dentistry, will be relatively unaffected by coffee, wine and even cigarettes.

How do they look?
Porcelain veneers are among the most natural-looking, esthetically-pleasing restorations available.

However, porcelain veneers are not perfect replacements for real teeth. There may be some slight variations in the color of the veneers, just as there are slight variations in the translucency of real teeth.

Additionally, it's important to note that anything which can break a natural tooth can break a veneer. This means that you should avoid foods or activities which could put your new teeth at risk of damage or destruction.

Back to top

A qualified cosmetic dentist can color and place veneers which will be nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Dr. Taylor, a graduate of the Las Vegas Instituate for Advanced Dental Studies, has been specifically trained in the art of veneer placement. He is considered one of the Dallas-area's best cosmetic dentists. He will give you a natural-looking, beautiful new smile -- contact him today for an initial consultation!


Contact Us

Steven B Taylor. DDS
4514 Cole Avenue, Suite 920
Dallas, TX 75205