Previewing your new smile before the final veneers are finished

Previewing your new smile before the final veneers are finished

Aug 09, 2021

Q: I am interested in finally doing porcelain veneers for a new smile. I just wish I could see how they will look beforehand. Any thoughts?

A: I learned long ago that you never want to hear patients say: “I liked the temporaries better than the final work!” That can ruin the dentist’s whole day; worse than a staff mutiny!

Over the years there has been some gadgets that allow you to take a photo of your smile and then allow a software to “photo-shop” in some tooth designs giving you a preview of your new smile. I have tried them all and have not been pleased with the results. They are very fake looking, one dimensional and really do not give a realistic image of what your smile will look like.

Instead we use a technique that creates temporary veneers which you will wear for three weeks while the permanent veneers are being created in the lab.

  1. Pre op photos and 3D digital impression are taken at the start of treatment. (Not the gagging goop type of impressions.)
  2. These models on a computer will be digitally mocked up with newly shaped teeth acting as veneer replicas.
  3. A hard model of this mocked-up model is printed with a 3D printer and sent to the dental office
  4. We then take rubber mold of these teeth.
  5. At the tooth preparation visit, we use a diamond drill to shape the patient’s enamel, reducing it by a finger nail’s thickness, .8mm.
  6. We fill the rubber mold with a tooth-colored acrylic liquid and place the mold on the patient’s teeth. The liquid turns hard, and “presto”! You now have a beautiful set of temporary veneers!
  7. You will be asked to come back on a day when you are not numb to discuss changes you would like in shape or color. With 34 years of doing veneers under my belt, I pretty much know what looks good and rarely have to make any changes. Once you give the thumbs up on the temps, we take a picture and a mold of them so the lab knows EXACTLY what to copy for the final veneers.

We have a wonderful veneer gallery on our website and allow prospective patients to speak with our many veneer patients on their awesome experience with us.

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