Porcelain veneers are thin shells of medical-grade ceramic that are attached to the front surfaces of teeth for an immediate smile transformation. Individually crafted for each patient, these cosmetic enhancements are made from advanced material that closely resembles the appearance of natural dental enamel. Dentists can use veneers for an impressive number of cosmetic corrections, ranging from teeth whitening to orthodontic adjustments. Thanks to their lifelike appearance and wide array of functions, porcelain veneers rank among the most trusted and popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry.
Although veneers have become especially popular in the past couple of decades, they originated nearly one hundred years ago during the early days of the film industry. In the late 1920s, Dr. Charles Pincus, a famed Hollywood dentist, conceived of veneers as a way to enhance actors’ and actresses’ smiles on the screen. He would temporarily apply false fronts to the stars’ teeth, giving them the stunning smiles that quickly became a trademark of Hollywood beauty. However, he lacked the technology to permanently affix the porcelain. In the late 1960s, Dr. Michael Bunocore ushered in the modern era of adhesive dentistry; by lightly etching teeth with a mild acidic solution, he created a stronger bonding surface for dental sealants and restorations.
In 1982, J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen applied Dr. Bunocore’s techniques to the application of porcelain veneers. Suddenly, everyone had access to the stunning Hollywood smiles of days past.
Over the past 30 years, developing dental technology has made veneers more lifelike and convenient than ever before. New types of porcelain are stronger and reflect light similarly to natural dental enamel. Digital imaging systems enable many dentists to create same-day restorations that are a near-perfect match to the natural shape and color of patients’ teeth. Additionally, other advanced dental treatments such as teeth whitening and dental crowns can be combined with veneers to provide patients with comprehensive cosmetic results and truly stunning smiles.