The Origins of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are one of the best ways to dramatically transform your smile. They change the shape, length, position, and colour of your teeth. Veneers are a long-lasting solution to a beautiful, healthy looking smile. But, this wasn’t always the case.

Porcelain veneers have existed for nearly 100 years. In this time, their function and capabilities have changed drastically. Born in Hollywood, they began as temporary pieces to be used during scenes. We dive into the incredible history of porcelain veneers.

Porcelain Veneers History

1770 - The First Porcelain Dentures

Today, porcelain is one of the most popular materials in cosmetic dentistry. The first porcelain dentures mark an important turn in the history of cosmetic dentistry. Besides being long-lasting and effective replacements, porcelain looks like real teeth.

This is when a demand rose for dentistry to satisfy form, not just function. Throughout the 1800s porcelain dentures became very popular. Other materials like ivory, gold, and hippopotamus tusks were tried as well. But George Washington’s wooden teeth are nothing but a myth. By his time, dental materials had progressed well beyond wood.

Of all the materials tried in this period, it was porcelain that stood the test of time.

1928 - Porcelain Veneers Hit The Big Screen

Tinseltown 1928, the first porcelain veneers are made. Talkies, or movies with recorded voices have broken into the mainstream. But there are concerns about actors not having taken the best care of their teeth. Dentist Charles Pincus creates porcelain veneers as the solution.

These first porcelain veneers are temporary. They are bonded to the front of actors’ teeth using dental adhesives. The veneers are used in only during filming. The adhesion could not yet last long-term, through heavy use, or eating.

1937 - The Switch to Acrylic Veneers

Dr. Pincus continues to work on improving veneers. He experiments with acrylic veneers. Acrylic does not match the durability or stain resistance of porcelain. But veneers are still temporary at this point, so longterm isn't as big of a consideration. Acrylic veneers used a denture adhesive and could stay on longer than earlier veneers.

Today, acrylic is no longer used. It was replaced with the advent of better bonding techniques and adhesives.

1959 - Etching Enamel

Dr. Michael Buonocore etches enamel on teeth. This is a key step towards modern porcelain veneers. Etching of the enamel results in better adhesion. Two smooth surfaces - tooth and porcelain - do not bond as strongly. By etching the enamel it allows for a longer lasting bond. This means veneers now last longer. Porcelain returns as the preferred veneer material.

1982 - Etching Porcelain

The other side of the etching equation. Simonsen & Calamin discover that porcelain can be etched with hydrofluoric acid. By etching both the tooth enamel and porcelain, the veneers can be bonded strongly. This marks the beginning of permanent veneers. Techniques and adhesive solutions improve over time for stronger, longer lasting adhesion.

Modern Porcelain Veneers

Today, porcelain veneers are one of the least invasive ways to correct your smile. Natural looking, long-lasting, and versatile, the best cosmetic dentists can renew or repair damaged teeth with veneers. Although they can be made from composite resin, porcelain is the preferred material.

Getting Porcelain Veneers in Toronto

If you are looking to create the smile of your dreams, porcelain veneers are one of the best solutions. A Toronto cosmetic dentist can help determine the right service for you. Contact Dr. Judy Sturm & Associates for personal service from the best Toronto dentists.

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Dr. Judy Sturm Dentistry Professional Corporation
77 Bloor St West, Suite 1202
Toronto, ON, M5S 1M2
(416) 967-4212

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