Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments offered at Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky’s dental practice, due in large part to their impressive versatility. Porcelain veneers are thin, ceramic shells that bond to the facial surface of the teeth, where they are able to conceal common dental flaws such as discoloration, gaps, and minor structural damage.
While porcelain veneers are widely used today to improve the appearance of the smile, they have not been around very long. Here, our Edmonton, AB, patients can learn a little more about the history of porcelain veneers, and the discoveries that led to the cosmetic treatment as we know it today.
It should not come as much of a surprise to our Edmonton patients that the earliest form of porcelain veneers can be traced back to the golden age of film in Hollywood. As the world was introduced to movies, it became important that film stars looked their best. Like most people, many actors did not have a naturally perfect smile, so a solution was created.
In 1928, Dr. Charles Pincus created what is widely recognized as the first set of porcelain veneers, though they were slightly different than those available today. Dr. Pincus used an acrylic material to make dental facades that attached to the front of the teeth to give the appearance of a straight and beautiful smile. These pieces were attached with an adhesive that typically lasted a couple of hours, just long enough for actors to film their scene.
It wasn’t long before dentists began to realize that porcelain veneers could be enjoyed by the general public as well. During the 1930s and 40s, dentists started to use porcelain to create dental prosthetics that more closely resembled the natural teeth. However, the bonding process continued to be a problem. The adhesives used to hold these prosthetics in place only lasted a couple of hours, which didn’t make them a practical option outside of Hollywood.
In the 1950s, Dr. Michael Bunocore made the first discovery that would change the porcelain veneers bonding process. Dr. Bunocore introduced dental etching. This technique relied on the application of an acidic solution to create a rougher texture on the surface of the teeth. The rough exterior made it easier to bond porcelain veneers to the teeth so they could stay in place longer.
Even with dental etching, the bonding techniques used could not be described as permanent. That finally changed in the 1980s, when Drs. J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen took Dr. Bunocore’s etching technique and combined it with the use of a composite dental resin. Together, etching and resin created a strong bond that essentially made veneers and dental restorations a permanent part of the smile.
Today our Edmonton patients can enjoy porcelain veneers. Today's porcelain veneers are fabricated using strong materials that closely mimic the look and feel of the natural teeth. These veneers are able to endure normal oral functions while maintaining their attractive appearance and white color. And because of the effective bonding techniques that are used, patients can expect their porcelain veneers to last for 15 to 20 years with proper care.
If the appearance of your smile has been compromised by discoloration or other cosmetic blemishes, you may be an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers. To discuss treatment with Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky, call (780) 428-6846 and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.