How Porcelain Veneers Are Applied - Smile Stories
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How Are Porcelain Veneers Applied? How Are They Fixed To The Teeth?

how porcelain veneers are applied to the teeth

Porcelain veneers are a popular, long-lasting, aesthetic solution to transform your teeth and your smile. If you’re about to have them fitted you may be wondering how they’re fixed onto your teeth. This post explains how porcelain veneers are applied.

If you’re wondering what steps you need to take to get veneers – our post on how to get porcelain veneers will be a good place to start.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers give people a healthy, natural-looking smile. They are thin shells of dental ceramic. A special adhesive fixes them to your teeth.

They are made from several materials including

  • Feldspathic porcelain
  • Lithium disilicate
  • Lucite-based porcelain
  • Newer ceramics made from zirconia

A skilled ceramist makes the veneers using one of three techniques. They may make them by hand, press in a mould under high pressure or mill (cuts) from a block or porcelain.

Veneers are available in different thicknesses, strengths and translucency. The veneer best for your aesthetic concerns and oral health is determined during your initial consultation. 

How Are Porcelain Veneers Applied?

It takes 2 appointments to fit porcelain veneers. This is in addition to the initial consultation. Some dental clinics can make veneers onsite, they offer same-day veneers.

The process of applying veneers starts during your first (or second if you include the consultation) appointment. During this appointment, several things happen. These are

  • Tooth preparation
  • Models of your teeth are made and sent to the dental lab for fabrication.
  • Trial Smile. Not all dentists include this trial – it’s an important step in the process which we include here at Smile Stories as standard.

When the teeth are ready (usually 7-10 days later) the veneers are bonded onto your teeth with special dental cement.

Tooth Preparation

Depending on the straightness of your teeth, your teeth may need no preparation, a little or a lot. The amount of preparation also depends on the condition, shape and colour of your teeth.

Teeth which are mildly discoloured, chipped, broken or worn will need less preparation than teeth that are misaligned, badly discoloured or have lots of gaps and spaces.

Why Does The Enamel Need Preparing?

Tooth preparation is needed for two reasons. These are to

  1. Ensure the veneers fit in your mouth and don’t look big and bulky stuck on the front of your teeth.
  2. Increase the strength of the bond between the tooth and the veneer – Without this, the veneer may fall off. The stronger the bond the longer it will last.

How Are The Teeth Prepared?

The enamel is reduced using a special tool called a burr. The process is painless and leaves a nice rough surface for the dental adhesive to stick to.

How Much Tooth Is Prepared?

The amount of tooth preparation depends on the type of veneer and the condition of your teeth.

The aim of treatment is to retain as much enamel as possible – this is for 2 reasons. Dental adhesives bond best to the enamel and it’s in your best interest to retain as much of your tooth as possible.

Here is a guide to how much tooth preparation takes place.

  • No Prep Veneers – In some cases, the teeth need very little preparation. Some areas of the enamel will need reshaping and the surface roughened up.
  • Minimal Preparation – When only minimal shade or shape changes are needed. The tooth is reduced by 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm.
  • Classic Preparation – When the veneers only need to hide small degrees of misalignment, spacing or discolouration. Around 0.8 mm to 1.00 mm of enamel may need preparation.
  • More Aggressive Veneer Preparation – When you have a flat papilla or large gaps between your teeth, a little more preparation is needed. 1.0 to 1.5 mm of enamel will be prepared.

Veneers Are Bonded To Your Teeth

When your veneers are ready you will return to the dental clinic.

The first thing to do is remove your trial smile veneers. Next, your teeth are cleaned to ensure plaque and any traces of the trial veneers are removed.

Try In

The veneers are checked for shape, colour and fit before being bonded permanently to your teeth.


Your teeth are etched with a mild acid. This is a process to roughen up the enamel. It creates microscopic “holes” in the tooth surface that you cannot with the naked eye.

The enamel is treated with a special agent. This reduces postoperative sensitivity and bonding resin.


The etched surface is coated with a primer. This helps increase the bond strength.


Cement is placed on the back of the veneer and the surface of your tooth. The veneer is carefully positioned. It is checked for fit, and any necessary adjustments are made.

There are different kinds of dental cement and the dentist will choose the shade and type. If the wrong shade is selected by untrained professionals it will show through the veneer making them look stained.

Sometimes we need to make the bond extra secure and a double bonding system is used. If this is required another cement called a “catalyst” is used. When the catalyst cement is mixed with the base cement, a chemical reaction starts setting the cement hard.


Next, the adhesive is hardened using a special light. This process, called curing, helps to ensure that the veneers are securely bonded to the teeth.


Once the veneers are in place, your dental professional will make any final adjustments. This will ensure a comfortable and natural-looking fit. The veneers and teeth are cleaned.

They may also provide you with instructions on how to care for your veneers and maintain good oral hygiene.

Final Thoughts On The Process Of Fixing Porcelain Veneers

The final result of your veneers is affected by the design and fabrication of the veneers. The final result is also affected by the skill of your cosmetic dentist applying porcelain veneers to your teeth. 

The Aesthetic Dentists here at Smile Stories love what they do and have invested time in perfecting their skills. This ensures we deliver the best in porcelain veneers.

If you’re ready to get porcelain veneers fitted. Book a FREE consultation with highly skilled aesthetic dentists here at Smile Stories today.