History of Porcelain Veneers

Dr. Degel Jun 26, 2020

Clinician holding a porcelain veneer on the fingertipIf you have researched cosmetic dental treatments, you are probably familiar with porcelain veneers. One of the most popular enhancements performed at our dental practice, veneers can conceal a number of aesthetic imperfections, including chips, gaps, cracks, discoloration, and more.

Here, Drs. Clifford Degel and Carmen Every-Degel, serving Queens, NY, Long Island, NY, and NYC, explore a brief history of porcelain veneers and explain how we arrived at the cutting-edge veneers we use today.

When Were Porcelain Veneers Invented?

It should come as no surprise that dental veneers have their roots in Hollywood. During a 1928 film shoot, an actor needed to change the appearance of his smile. Dr. Charles Pincus, a local dentist at the time, attached tooth-shaped pieces of acrylic to the front teeth surfaces. They were held in place with a temporary adhesive, and were removed immediately after the scene was captured.

Early Versions of Veneers

Once the world realized all the possibilities that veneers could offer, dentists began to design veneers for the general public. Instead of acrylic, dentists started using composite and porcelain to create these restorations.

While the veneers looked incredibly natural and lifelike, permanently affixing them to the teeth became a challenge. In fact, most of the time, they only stayed in place for an hour or two. In the 1930s and 1940s, strides were made in porcelain veneer design. However, because no one had discovered a proper bonding method yet, they were not realistic for most individuals.

Etching: A New Discovery

Dental etching is the process of roughening the tooth’s surfaces with a mild acidic solution to improve bonding strength. This process was discovered in the 1950s by Dr. Michael Bunocore, and played a crucial role in the development of porcelain veneers.

Throughout the decades and on into the 1980s, dental experts continued to experiment with bonding methods. The findings of Bunocore were explored by Drs. J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen. Eventually, they were able to use bonding resins and dental etching techniques to prolong the lifespan of porcelain veneers.

Today’s Porcelain Veneers

Advances in dental technology allow for incredibly lifelike veneers. Today, most dental veneers are fabricated from glass ceramics such as lithium disilicate and leucite-reinforced ceramics. Both materials are layered by hand to achieve truly natural-looking restorations. In fact, today’s veneers offer translucency that is similar to natural tooth enamel.

To place porcelain veneers at our Astoria, NY practice, your dentist first removes small amounts of enamel from the front surfaces of the teeth. Next, impressions are taken and sent to a laboratory. There, a technician carefully crafts your new veneers according to your unique dental anatomy.

Once the veneers are ready, you will be scheduled for a second office visit. During this appointment, your dentist will check your new veneers to ensure they are the correct size, shape, and color. Lastly, your veneers are bonded permanently in place using a high-quality dental cement.

Schedule Your Porcelain Veneer Consultation Today

Dental veneers have come a long way since their early Hollywood days. If you want to enhance the appearance of your smile, veneers could be a solution for you. To schedule a consultation, call us at (718) 278-1123 or contact us online anytime.

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