Porcelain Veneers: An Origin Story
People have invented methods to improve the appearance of their smiles since the dawn of time. The ancient Egyptians used shells and animal teeth to replace missing teeth. The ancient Romans soaked their teeth in urine-based solutions to whiten their teeth.
Today, many people improve the look of their smiles with porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are bonded to the front of the teeth to create a straighter, natural-looking smile. After more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Bruce Wilderman has perfected the art of cosmetic dentistry in Philadelphia, Bucks County, and Doylestown, PA.
Learn more about the history of porcelain veneers.
The Invention of Porcelain Veneers
The origin of the popular phrase “Hollywood smile” may have been coined when veneers were invented in 1928. The concept of veneers came from Max Factor (the inventor of Hollywood glamor with makeup) and Dr. Charles Pincus (a Californian dentist). Max Factor needed a solution to correct what his makeup could not fix. He wanted a glamorous smile: straight, proportionate, and white.
After receiving a request to alter the appearance of an actor’s teeth, Dr. Pincus invented the first temporary dental veneers from a thin ceramic prosthesis. Original veneers were held in place by denture adhesive powder but didn’t last very long.
Perfecting Permanent Bonding
Dentists worked hard for decades to make veneers a permanent smile-perfecting solution. In 1959, Dr. Michael Buonocore experimented with enamel etching. Etching lightly buffs the surface of the tooth to strengthen the bonding of sealants and dental restorations. This process also helps the veneers fit comfortably in the mouth to avoid protruding over the patient’s existing teeth.
In 1982, Drs. R.J. Simonsen and J.R. Calamia increased bond strength by applying hydrofluoric acid in etching and composite resins to bond porcelain to teeth permanently. Hydrofluoric acid creates delicate pores in the teeth. The bond compound seeps into these pores to create a stronger bond.
By preparing teeth with etching and hydrofluoric acid, veneers stay attached to teeth for much longer. Porcelain veneers can last between 10 to 30 years.
Current Porcelain Veneers
Dental veneers have evolved immensely since the early years when actors were fortunate if veneers lasted a single movie shoot. Modern veneers are available to everyone (not just movie stars) and can last a lifetime when patients practice proper oral hygiene.
Veneers are completely customizable and color-matched to the adjacent teeth for a seamless look. Patients have the option of only placing a few veneers on chipped, discolored, or oddly-shaped teeth or placing a veneer on each tooth in the “smile zone” for a complete smile makeover.
Veneers are a shortcut to an A-list smile. Experienced cosmetic dentists typically install them in only two dental visits: preparation and application.
Book a Consultation Today
Today, veneers are not just an exclusive luxury to the rich and famous. Porcelain veneers are an easily accessible enhancement for the general public. If you are interested in refining your smile with veneers, call (215) 340-1199 or message us online to schedule an appointment at Artistic Expressions Dentistry.