I had my appointment for the temporary veneers 2 weeks after my impressions were taken. I was extremely anxious that morning and was worried whether or not I had made the right decision. When I arrived at the clinic, my dentist could see I was pretty pent-up and we spoke before the procedure began.
The appointment was to be broken down in 2 parts. In the first part I would have the top 10 veneers done. Then an hour break. Then the bottom 6. All in one day. You can split this over 2 days if you prefer.
First I needed to be anesthetised. The dentist sprayed a banana flavoured numbing spray on my gums where I was having veneers. This spray felt quite hot, like a burning sensation (not painful I was just aware of it). The sensation lasted for about 15 seconds. Next he injected the gum of each tooth that was being replaced. I could still feel the injections but it was a lot less unpleasant than it would have been without the numbing spray.
Next the dentist used a plastic ‘cheek retractor’ to keep my lips out the way for the procedure and to give him unrestricted access to my teeth. I found this quite uncomfortable and it rubbed the inside of my mouth. I had this in for about 2 hours straight. I think I kept trying to make it more comfortable – and by moving it I made it rub even more.
First was the gum reshaping. The dentist advised there may be unpleasant smell. I asked if he meant burning flesh, to which he replied yes. I didn’t feel or smell anything unpleasant at all. I could feel the pressure of him working on my gums, but no pain. I had this done on 3 teeth. The front 2 and my left top canine with the crossbite. It took roughly 10-15 mins for these 3, as a gauge.
The dentist then began working on each tooth, one at a time, filing off a thin layer of enamel. If I could feel anything I instinctively flinched, sometimes only a very slight facial movement. My dentist noticed this every time and gave me more anaesthetic until I was comfortable. This filing process took roughly 1 & 1/2 hours.
I touched them with my tongue at one point and they felt pretty horrendous. What felt like – big gaps in between each tooth and a good 1/2 -1mm off the bottom. This is normal, but it feels quite disconcerting. If you have better control of your tongue than me, I would advise against the curiosity to lick them, as nothing good will come of it!
My dentist said some people fell asleep during the procedure. I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine being relaxed enough to sleep during this process. I was so anxious and tense I could barely keep my mouth open properly and my tongue was going all over the place. I was in constant fight or flight mode.
I assume dentists are used to this and I was told to ‘relax’ and ‘calm down’ numerous times during the procedure. If you are worried that you’ll be very anxious, don’t, you are not alone and your dentist will have dealt with worse patients than you! Although I may be my dentist’s new benchmark!
I listened to Harry Potter audiobooks on my iPod during the procedure as a distraction and had it turned up to full volume to drown out the horrendous sound of the drill/grinding machine. I asked about the ‘media goggles’ that some dentists offer, so you can watch films etc during the procedure. My dentist didn’t offer them because they get in his way. He works upside down, sitting behind my head as I lay in the chair. Most of the time his hands were over my face, so I can see they would be impractical for him. I guess some dentists do and some don’t.
After all the teeth filing, it was time for more impressions. This is so the final veneers can be made to the right size to fit over your newly filed down teeth. Thus the new veneers will be the same thickness as your old teeth and won’t feel too alien/big/bulky in your mouth.
After the impressions and mouth swilling, the dentist used a mini dryer thing to dry my teeth off, then brushed them with what I assume to be adhesive. He let this set for a moment and then put another impression-like mould over my teeth. This one contained my temporary veneers. The mould containing the temp veneers was placed over my teeth for about 5 minutes until they ‘stuck’. Then the mould was pulled away, quite forcefully, leaving my new temporary veneers in place. The dentist chipped away at excess adhesive to make them roughly the right shape.
This was the first half of the work done. I had an hour break where I was basically crying in a corner of the waiting room – and then went back for exactly the same process for the bottom 6.
The temporary veneers were on one big strip, like dentures, rather than individual teeth. The final veneers are not like this, they are individual teeth. The temporaries stay on better if they are done in a strip rather than individual teeth. The adhesive/cement they use for temporary veneers is weaker than what is used on permanent veneers. This is because they need to pry off the temporary veneers with ease and also because if each tooth was bonded individually with weak adhesive, the chance of them coming off is much higher.
I was pretty traumatised during and after the temporary veneers were fitted. My mouth was sore from keeping it open for so long and was extremely swollen from the vats of anesthetic I had consumed. The temporaries felt very strange, horrid actually. I had come to the appointment on my own and wished that I hadn’t. I definitely didn’t want to talk to anyone but it would have been nice to have had someone there. If you can get someone to pick you up or meet you after your appointment, I would definitely advise doing so, just for some moral support.
I took this photo in between having my top and bottom veneers done. As you can see, I am extremely swollen around the bottom half of my face, cheeks, lips. On the plus side, the temporaries look pretty good!