Previewing your new smile before the final veneers are finished
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.
- Pre op photos and 3D digital impression are taken at the start of treatment. (Not the gagging goop type of impressions.)
- These models on a computer will be digitally mocked up with newly shaped teeth acting as veneer replicas.
- A hard model of this mocked-up model is printed with a 3D printer and sent to the dental office
- We then take rubber mold of these teeth.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.