Understand What to Expect | Prepping For Veneers

13254 State Road 54,
Odessa, FL 33556

Prepping Teeth for Veneers: Understand What to Expect

Dental patient looking at sample veneers
If a chipped tooth or extensive staining is holding back your smile, then having your teeth prepped for veneers may be the right solution for you. Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are placed over your existing teeth to effectively mask imperfections like chips, gaps, staining, and irregularly shaped teeth. While this treatment can drastically improve your smile’s appearance, the process does involve multiple appointments, as your teeth will need to be prepared beforehand to ensure that the veneers properly fit and look natural. With this said, here is what to expect during the initial appointments.

The Consultation & Initial Exam

The first step involved in prepping teeth for veneers is a consultation appointment with an oral exam. During this initial appointment, one of our specialists here at Spring Haven Dental will take a closer look at your smile, and examine the overall health of your teeth and gums to assess their condition. If necessary, diagnostic tests such as x-rays may be performed to evaluate your teeth in more detail, to help us get a better understanding of what is causing your smile to look less than perfect. From here, we’ll answer any questions that you have about dental veneers, and discuss the different treatment options that are available to you based on whether you’re a good candidate. If we think veneers are a good fit for you, we’ll ask about your smile goals, and discuss what you hope to achieve with them. This will help us determine the right size, shape, and shade of your veneers.

Preparing Your Smile for Veneers – Dental Work & Cleanings

Before moving forward with dental veneer impressions, enamel trimming, and surface reshaping, you may need some dental work done first. If you have any underlying oral health issues like gum disease, or tooth decay, then these issues will be treated first before moving onto the veneers. If your smile is free from any issues and your oral health is great, then a simple cleaning may be all that’s needed before your teeth can be prepped for veneers.

The Teeth Prep Process – Reshaping, Enamel Trimming, & Impressions

Once the initial exam, consultation, and any immediate dental work that’s needed is complete, the teeth prepping work for veneers can begin. This process involves the following steps:
  1. You may be given a small amount of local anesthetic to numb the area around the teeth being prepped.
  2. A small amount of enamel is removed from your teeth, as this is necessary to make room for the veneer. This is most commonly done by reshaping the surface of your teeth. The enamel amount removed will be equal to the thickness of the dental veneer that is being added to the tooth’s surface.
  3. An impression is taken of your teeth. This is done by using dental putty (a thick paste), placing it into a molding tray, and then inserting the tray into your mouth. You will need to hold the tray in place for a few minutes until the paste hardens and sets. This is done to ensure a customized veneer that will precisely fit your smile and give you a natural-looking result.
  4. You will be given temporary coverings that simulate the veneers you will receive when you come back for your final appointment.
If all the impressions taken are good, meaning that they are clear and without any distortions or gaps, then the impressions will be sent off to a dental laboratory, where your veneers will be fabricated.

The Final Appointment – Cleaning, Etching, & Bonding

Once your custom dental veneers are finished being constructed, they are returned to the office and are ready for placement. The final appointment required for prepping your teeth for veneers involves checking the fit and appearance of them. If adjustments are needed, they are discussed with you before moving forward with the cleaning, etching, and bonding steps. If no adjustments are needed, and you’re happy with the veneer’s shape, size, and shade, then the final prepping steps begin with a cleaning. This eliminates any contaminants that would interfere with the bonding process. From here, the teeth are etched to create a rough texture to ensure that the veneer bonds correctly to the tooth. Etching (conditioning) can be done with a grinding tool, or it can be done with phosphoric acid in either liquid or gel form. Finally, the dental veneers are bonded to your teeth. This process involves placing a thin layer of bonding cement onto the back of the veneer, and pressing it into place on your tooth. A curing light is then used to harden the cement and bond the veneer tightly in place.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking for a way to transform your smile with minimal impact on your teeth and oral health, then dental veneers are an excellent option. We hope that this guide has helped you better understand the process involved in prepping teeth for veneers, and what to expect throughout the process. If you have questions about this multi-appointment treatment, or are interested in learning more about dental veneers, please reach out to us at 813-448-6885 or book a consultation online.

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