A History of Porcelain Veneers: From Hollywood to Mainstream Dentistry By John Meola on March 16, 2020

Illustration shows veneer hovering in front of prepared toothPorcelain veneers owe a surprising debt to early and mid-20th century Hollywood stars. Temporary veneers were first developed to improve the smiles of actors and actresses like Judy Garland, May West, Bob Hope, and many others. Those early attempts only lasted around 10 days.

Advances in modern dentistry allow our skilled dentist, Dr. John D. Meola, to place porcelain veneers that last 10 years or much longer. If you live in or around Boston, MA, and have wondered about the history of porcelain veneers, the most versatile cosmetic treatment, read on to learn how a desire for a Hollywood smile fueled the development and widespread use of veneers.

Hollywood Roots

Dental technology continues to improve and refine the quality and appearance of dental veneers. The cosmetic treatment has been around since the 1920s, when a dentist named Charles Pincus started offering the treatment. The Los Angeles dentist developed a loyal following of Hollywood stars. While many parts of the U.S. economy were crumbling under the effects of the Great Depression, movies were enjoying a golden era.

As movie stars became more aware of the appearance of their teeth on-screen, Pincus saw an opportunity. With the help of the Factor brothers (of Max Factor fame), Pincus developed an innovative mixture of porcelain and powdered plastic that was then shaped into tooth-like caps that were placed over the actors’ teeth. Pincus is credited with making the world’s first dental veneer.

The attachments were only temporary fixes, though. It would take a few more decades for scientists and dentists to develop a long-term means of attaching the porcelain shells.

Advances in Dental Cements

Dr. Michael Bunocore pioneered etching as a means of providing superior bonding results for restorations and sealants in the 1950s. Etching is an acidic solution that opens up the natural pores on enamel. This creates a greater surface area for dental cement to cling to.

R.J. Simonsen and J.R. Calamia are credited with developing a process that combined the benefits of etching with the cosmetic possibilities that veneers offered. Their work in 1982 allowed veneers to become a practical cosmetic solution for patients.

Modern Porcelain Veneers

After nearly 40 years of continual refinement, veneers now offer a safe and reliable cosmetic solution for damaged, worn, or discolored teeth. At Dental Associates of New England, we use medical-grade porcelain to achieve incredibly natural-looking results. With proper care and maintenance (including regular visits to our office), your veneers can last 25 years or longer.

Veneers can be placed within the span of a few weeks. Our doctors will be careful to shade-match your veneers to your natural teeth.

Schedule Your Porcelain Veneer Consultation Today

Porcelain veneers have come an incredibly long way. One thing hasn’t changed, celebrities and actors continue to use the advanced cosmetic treatment to deliver beautiful cosmetic results.

To schedule your porcelain veneer consultation, please contact our office online or call (781) 890-4900.

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Dental Associates of New England

At Dental Associates of New England, we have a team of talented experts in restorative and cosmetic dental care who can give you the dazzling and healthy smile you deserve. We are affiliated with many prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • The American Academy of Periodontology

For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (781) 890-4900 today.

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