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Porcelain Veneer Bonding - The Procedure

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1. There are different types of restorations that we use to reconstruct a dentition.
The types of restorations we use depend upon various factors, which can be determined after a comprehensive examination. Ideally, we prefer to use bonded porcelain veneers, onlays and crowns. We prefer to use the bonded porcelain because it has the ultimate optical properties, displaying depth of color and opalescence. It looks the most natural.

2. Comprehensive Examination and Full Mouth Series of x-rays
The first requirement that we have is to perform a comprehensive oral exam with a complete x-ray series. We need to determine the overall dental health status and make sure there are no underlying dental infirmities that will preclude us from proceeding with a cosmetic makeover. If there are problems, we need to deal with them first.

3. Diagnostic/Digital Photographic Imaging
Diagnostic photos are taken and sent out for imaging. The photos are digitally manipulated, based upon patient input, so that the patient may have an idea of what to expect. However, one must realize that an imaged photo is only 2-dimensional and is a graphic artist's interpretation of your future smile. The diagnostic photo also is sent to the lab, where the ceramist is able visually see what the patient sees. It also enables the ceramist to identify with a person rather than a stone model. In order to get a more realistic idea of how one's teeth will look or to correct the crowding, a diagnostic wax-up is made.

4. Diagnostic Wax-up
To do a diagnostic wax-up, impressions are made of the teeth, which are in turn used to make stone model replicas of the teeth. The stone model of the teeth are shaped and then built back up in a white wax to simulate the reconstruction in porcelain. The wax-up serves as a road map or blueprint. It tells us where we are and shows us how to get where we want to go. It helps us determine how much tooth structure needs to be shaped to get the desired result.

The diagnostic wax-up also allows us to fabricate temporary veneers and crowns for the patient to wear while the ceramist fabricates their new teeth. With the temporaries in place, the patient is able to visualize how they will look.

Additionally, it is at this time that we can confirm the length and shape. If the patient is pleased with the length and shape, an impression is taken of the temporary veneers and an index is made so that the ceramist can more accurately create what the patient is seeing. In other words, the more information we give the ceramist, the more accurate the outcome.

5. Smile Design
Once all the diagnostic work is done, a date is set for the preparation of the teeth. Impressions are taken of the prepared teeth and in as little as two weeks you have a Dazzling new smile.

Editorial Staff

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