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How Veneers Are Applied

December 22nd, 2023 | 5 min read

By NYC Smile Design

A radiant smile can significantly boost confidence, yet not everyone is naturally endowed with immaculate teeth. Veneers have emerged as a sought-after remedy for those aspiring to enhance their smile. Comprehending the veneer application process is pivotal for individuals contemplating this cosmetic dental option.

At NYC Smile Design, we’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of veneers. Our patients often share stories of renewed self-esteem and the joy of flashing a smile they’re proud of. Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib have mastered the art of veneer application, ensuring each step is performed with precision and care. Whether you’re considering veneers to correct discoloration, chips, or gaps, or simply to achieve the smile you’ve always desired, understanding the journey from consultation to the final reveal is essential. Let’s embark on this journey together, as we lay out the path to achieving the smile that reflects the true you.

This detailed guide walks you through each step of the veneer application, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed choice.

Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning

The path to your new, enhanced smile begins with a crucial first step: the initial consultation. This is more than just a meeting; it’s the start of a collaborative journey between you and your dentist. During this visit, you’ll have the opportunity to share your vision for your smile and discuss what you hope to achieve with veneers. Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth to ensure that veneers are the right option for you. This is a perfect time for an open dialogue where you can ask all the questions you have and express any concerns that might be on your mind.

Your dentist will take detailed X-rays to get a clear picture of your oral health. This isn’t just about looking at the current state of your teeth; it’s about planning for a future where your smile is brighter and more confident. You might also have impressions taken of your mouth and teeth. These impressions are crucial because they serve as a blueprint for crafting your unique veneers. They need to be precise to ensure that your veneers fit perfectly and look natural.

X ray of teeth

This stage is all about setting the foundation for a successful treatment. It’s about making sure that every step that follows is tailored specifically to you and your needs. By the end of this appointment, you should feel informed, comfortable with the process, and excited about the changes to come. Remember, this is your smile and your journey, and it all starts with this first, important consultation.

Preparing Your Teeth for Veneers

Once you’ve decided to enhance your smile with veneers, the next step is to prepare your teeth for their new additions. This stage is about precision and care, ensuring that the veneers will look like a natural part of your smile. Your dentist will reshape the surface of your teeth, a process that is carefully calibrated to the thickness of the veneers that will soon be adorning your smile. It’s a meticulous procedure, removing just enough enamel from the front and sides of your teeth to make room for the veneers without compromising the integrity of your natural teeth.

This preparation is essential because it ensures that the veneers will not only fit in seamlessly with your existing teeth but also function as they should. The goal is to create a surface that the veneers can bond with securely, providing a stable and durable result. Although the thought of enamel removal might sound daunting, it’s a common practice that’s done with your comfort in mind. The amount of enamel removed is minimal, and it’s a necessary step to ensure that the veneers don’t appear bulky or out of place.

During this phase, your dentist will take every precaution to make sure you’re comfortable and that your teeth are prepared with the utmost attention to detail. At NYC Smile Design, for instance, Dr. Mello or Dr. Tabib would ensure that this process is not only effective but also as minimally invasive as possible. They understand that the preparation phase is the groundwork for a successful veneer application, and they take great care to set you up for a smile that you’ll love.

Taking Impressions to Make Veneers

After your teeth have been prepared, the traditional next step in many dental practices is to take an impression or mold of your teeth. This mold is crucial as it serves as the blueprint for the dental laboratory. There, technicians use it to craft your custom veneers with precision, ensuring they address your specific dental needs and aesthetic desires. While this process unfolds, which may take a few weeks, temporary veneers are provided to protect your prepared teeth and maintain the aesthetics of your smile.

However, at NYC Smile Design, we’ve embraced the future of dental technology, foregoing the traditional impression methods that can sometimes be uncomfortable. Instead, we utilize advanced 3D scanning technology to create a digital impression of your teeth. This state-of-the-art approach is not only more comfortable for you but also provides a more accurate representation of your teeth for the dental lab. The 3D scan captures every nuance of your prepared teeth, ensuring that the final veneers are a perfect match for your unique dental structure.

3D scan of teeth

This digital precision streamlines the entire process, from preparation to the final placement of your veneers. With this technology, Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib can offer a more efficient, precise, and comfortable experience for those looking to enhance their smile with veneers. They can also digitally communicate with the lab that is making the veneers in real time to get their feedback on the preparation design and make any changes to enhance the results. The use of 3D scanning is just one of the ways NYC Smile Design is at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry, providing our patients with the best care possible.

Bonding the Veneers

The transformation of your smile reaches a pivotal moment with the bonding of the veneers. When your custom-made veneers are ready, your dentist will carefully place them on your teeth to check for the perfect fit and the right shade, making any necessary adjustments to ensure they look natural and meet your expectations. This trial fitting is crucial because it’s the last step before the veneers become a permanent part of your smile.

Once everything is set to your satisfaction, the actual bonding process begins. This is where the precision of modern dentistry really shines. Your teeth will be meticulously cleaned, polished, and etched to create the ideal surface for the veneers to adhere to. The etching process slightly roughens the surface of your teeth to allow for a stronger bond between your tooth and the veneer.

Next comes the application of a special dental bonding luting agent, which is carefully applied to the veneer. Your dentist will then position the veneer on your tooth, making sure it fits seamlessly into your smile. A special light beam is directed onto the veneer, which activates the cement’s hardening process. This light-induced curing ensures that the veneer will be securely attached to your tooth, providing a durable and long-lasting result.

Veneer Bonding


Post-application, any surplus cement is removed, your bite is assessed, and any requisite adjustments to the veneer are performed. A subsequent appointment is typically scheduled to monitor your gums’ adaptation to the veneers and to reassess the positioning and bite when you are no longer numb.

Now Which Veneers?

Opting for veneers can markedly elevate the aesthetic appeal of your smile while also fortifying your teeth against potential damage. Regardless of choosing porcelain or composite, the process is notably straightforward and promises enduring benefits. It’s crucial to remember that despite being a cosmetic intervention, sustaining optimal oral hygiene and regular dental visits is paramount to the health and longevity of your veneers.

Picking Veneers

When considering veneers, it’s essential to understand that the structure of your teeth and bone can significantly influence the type of veneer a dentist may recommend for you. Each option has its unique benefits and may be better suited to different dental conditions and aesthetic goals. For a deeper dive into the specifics and to help you make an informed decision, we invite you to read our detailed blog on “Composite Bonded Veneer vs. Porcelain Veneer,” where we explore the nuances between these two popular choices.