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Dental Veneers: A History

Dental Veneers - A History

They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile. But aesthetic issues like cracks, discoloration, gaps, or misalignment can put a damper on flashing those pearly whites. To address this, dentists offer porcelain veneers that are bonded to the front of the teeth, creating a flawless smile with a more balanced, uniform appearance.

You might be surprised to learn that cosmetic dentistry isn’t a new fad—porcelain veneers have been around since the 1920s! Let’s dive in as Taylor Dental explores the history of porcelain veneers and see how they’ve continued to transform smiles over the years.

What Are Porcelain Dental Veneers?

If your teeth have aesthetic imperfections like discoloration, cracks or chips, gaps, and misalignment, you might be looking for a way to create a perfect white smile. Porcelain veneers are a standard solution in cosmetic dentistry because it’s a relatively quick, non-invasive procedure. During this procedure, thin shells of medical-grade ceramic are bonded to the fronts of teeth to create a uniform appearance. Dental veneers can be used to fix one tooth, a small section, or your entire smile.

History of Porcelain Dental Veneers

While dental veneers have become quite popular as of late, they’ve been used in cosmetic dentistry for a century! Let’s take a look at the major advancements over the years.


In early Hollywood, celebrities were often looking for ways to enhance their smile—looking for a cosmetic treatment that would allow them to look their best on-screen! With this in mind, Dr. Charles Pincus invented the perfect smile for his Hollywood celebrity clients. He created the first iteration of dental veneers using acrylic shells that were temporarily bonded to the fronts of teeth with adhesive.


By the 1930s and 1940s, more than just Hollywood actors were interested in dental veneers. Former cosmetic dentistry solutions for diseased teeth like fake teeth were noticeable. Dentists wanted to provide a solution for everyone, so dental veneers made of porcelain or composites became more accessible. However, while the veneers looked beautiful, dentists struggled to find a bonding agent that would permanently hold the veneers in place long term.


Instead of merely bonding the veneer to the front of the tooth, Dr. Michael Buonocore discovered that etching the teeth with a mild acidic solution helped create a stronger bonding surface for the veneers to adhere to.


Combining the techniques invented by Pincus and Buonocore, J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen discovered a new method of making the bonding surface strong and adhering the dental veneers to the teeth permanently. Over the years, this process was refined and modernized, making dental veneers more accessible and affordable.


You’d be surprised to learn how many people you know have veneers! When installed well, porcelain dental veneers seamlessly blend in with your smile to create a natural and uniform look. Veneers aren’t only used to create a beautiful smile but are used in emergency restoration procedures or to fill gaps of missing teeth. Through proper care and diligent oral hygiene, porcelain veneers can last an upwards of 30 years!

Call Dr. Taylor for Cosmetic Dentistry in Billings Montana

If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry to enhance or correct your smile, Dr. Taylor and his staff can help you determine if porcelain veneers and crowns are the right solutions for you. Contact our team to schedule a free smile design consultation, during which you can sit down with Dr. Taylor and have him answer any questions you might have.

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