The Surprising History of Porcelain Veneers By Dwight D. Peccora, DDS on April 13, 2020

Illustration shows a porcelain veneer about to be placed on patient anterior toothPorcelain veneers can deliver a dazzling smile by covering the front of a misshapen, gapped, or discolored tooth with a beautiful porcelain shell. The fully customizable treatment can leave people looking healthier, younger, and more attractive.

Modern veneers came into widespread use in the 1980s, and there have been continual improvements in the quality and durability of the cosmetic attachments since then. Today, Fort Bend Dental places beautiful veneers for patients in Missouri City, TX, Richmond, TX, and Fort Bend County. To educate our patients on this important cosmetic procedure, our doctors offer this brief history of porcelain veneers.

Porcelain Veneers’ Hollywood Roots

The first industry to see the potential of porcelain veneers was Hollywood. The cosmetic treatment dates back to the 1920s and a Los Angeles dentist named Charles Pincus. Early Hollywood stars found that close-up shots were unforgiving for the appearance of their smiles. Even minor cosmetic blemishes were unattractive on the big screen.

Charles Pincus, Dentist to the Stars

Pincus saw an opportunity to offer a cosmetic solution. With the help of the founders of Max Factor cosmetics, Pincus was able to fabricate attachable covers for teeth using a mixture of powdered plastic and porcelain. The material was shaped into tooth-like coverings that could snap onto an actor’s or actress’ teeth.

The cosmetic treatment worked wonders, and Pincus soon became the dentist of choice for celebrities like Bob Hope, Judy Garland, May West, and many others. Unlike modern-day veneers, the early shells had to be replaced every few days. Porcelain veneers were shaping Hollywood smiles, but it would take decades for a permanent attachment process to be developed.

Advances in Bonding and Etching

Porcelain veneers represented an early leap in cosmetic dentistry, but the attachments were not a permanent fix. The dental cements used during Pincus’ time were simply not strong enough to reliably hold a veneer in place.

Etching offered one solution. The acidic compound opens small pores on the surface of teeth without damaging the tooth structure. Etching allowed bonding compounds to attain a firmer grasp. Dr. Michael Bunocore pioneered the use of etching compounds for bonding restorations to teeth in the 1950s.

J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen realized that etching could be used to attach porcelain veneers to the front of anterior teeth. Their work in 1982 showed that veneers placed using etching and bonding compounds could remain in place for several years or longer. With their findings, veneers were finally a realistic and viable option for Americans.

Modern Porcelain Veneers

Some 40 years later, veneers continue to be refined and developed. Modern-day veneers offer natural-looking results that can last well over a decade. The doctors of Fort Bend Dental in Missouri City work with the finest quality, medical-grade porcelain available. Your veneers will be fabricated by a trusted dental laboratory that specializes in the manufacturing of porcelain veneers.

Schedule Your Porcelain Veneer Consultation Today

Porcelain veneers can deliver a smile that’s fit for the red carpet. Since the earliest days of Hollywood, veneers have revamped smiles with dazzling results. To schedule your cosmetic consultation, please contact our office online or call (281) 499-3541.

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