Are Veneers Bad for Your Teeth?

November 24, 2023

Research has proven that most people are unhappy with the appearance of their smile, which is why cosmetic dentistry is a multi-million dollar industry. Every year, millions of adults seek these procedures to improve the appearance of their teeth

One of these procedures is dental veneers. This is a minimally invasive procedure designed to improve the size, shape, color, and more of the upper 6 to 8 front teeth.

What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells, usually made of porcelain or composite resin. These shells are typically placed on the upper 6 to 8 teeth to address a variety of cosmetic concerns such as discoloration/staining, chips/cracks, gaps between teeth, and more. They are minimally invasive and fall under the category of cosmetic dental treatments.

The Pros Of Dental Veneers

There are several advantages of dental veneers, including:

  • Cosmetic Enhancement: Veneers are primarily used to enhance the cosmetic appearance of teeth by addressing imperfections including cracks/chips, discolorations, minor misalignments, and more.
  • Natural Appearance: Veneers are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your existing teeth, providing a natural and aesthetically pleasing result.
  • Stain Resistance: Porcelain veneers, in particular, are highly resistant to stains, offering a long-lasting improvement to the appearance of your teeth.
  • Minimally Invasive: The dentist will only need to remove a small amount of tooth enamel to create space for the veneers, no surgery is required.
  • Durability: Porcelain veneers are extremely durable, able to withstand normal biting/chewing forces, and, with proper care and maintenance, can last for many years.
  • Quick Results: Some cosmetic treatments require multiple visits spread out over a period of time. Veneers, on the other hand, can usually be completed within a couple of visits
  • Improved Self-Esteem: Veneers improve the appearance of the teeth, creating a more attractive smile- which can improve confidence and self-esteem.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Some cosmetic procedures require special considerations for maintenance, but veneers simply require regular brushing and flossing, along with regular dental check-ups.

Cons of Dental Veneers

There are also a few disadvantages to think about when considering dental veneers:

  • Irreversibility: Dental veneers require the removal of a thin layer of the tooth enamel to create space for the veneers. This means that if you decide that you no longer want veneers, you’ll need to undergo some other form of restoration.
  • Cost: The cost of dental veneers can be expensive compared to other procedures depending on the materials used, the number of veneers, the experience and expertise of the dentist, and the location of the dental clinic.
  • Sensitivity: One of the potential side effects associated with dental veneers is tooth sensitivity due to the enamel removal.
  • Potential for Damage: While durable, veneers are not indestructible. They may chip or crack, especially if exposed to excessive force.
  • Color Matching Challenges: Finding the perfect color match between the veneers and neighboring natural teeth can be challenging- especially over time because veneers resist staining, while natural teeth do not.
  • Not Suitable for Severe Misalignments: Veneers are designed to address minor misalignments but are not a substitute for orthodontic treatments in the case of more severe misalignments.

Tips For Making An Informed Decision

Deciding if dental veneers are right for you involves careful consideration of various factors, including your dental health, cosmetic goals, lifestyle, and budget. Here are some tips to help you determine if veneers are a suitable option for you:

Consult with a Dentist

Schedule a consultation with a qualified and experienced dentist. They can assess your oral health, discuss your cosmetic goals, and evaluate whether veneers are the right solution for your specific needs.

Understand the Purpose of Veneers

Be clear about why you want veneers. Veneers are primarily a cosmetic solution, designed to improve the appearance of teeth. If you have underlying dental issues, such as decay or gum disease, these may need to be addressed before considering veneers.

Consider Alternatives

Explore alternative cosmetic dental procedures that may be more suitable for your situation. Options such as teeth whitening, bonding, or orthodontic treatments may be appropriate depending on your specific concerns.

Evaluate Your Oral Health

Consider the overall health of your teeth and gums. If you have good oral health but are bothered by cosmetic issues such as stains, chips, or gaps, veneers may be a viable option.

Budget Considerations

Understand the financial aspect of getting veneers. Veneers can be relatively expensive, so it's important to consider whether they fit within your budget. Some dental insurance plans may not cover cosmetic procedures, so check your coverage.

Be Realistic About Results

Have realistic expectations about the results. While veneers can significantly improve the appearance of teeth, they are not a solution for underlying dental problems or severe orthodontic issues. Discuss what you can realistically achieve with veneers with your dentist.

Consider Long-Term Maintenance

Understand the maintenance requirements of veneers. While they are relatively low-maintenance, good oral hygiene practices are essential to ensure their longevity. Regular dental check-ups are also important.

Evaluate Your Bite and Habits

Consider your bite and any habits that may impact the longevity of veneers. If you have a habit of teeth grinding (bruxism) or frequently engage in activities that could put excessive force on your teeth, discuss these with your dentist.

Ask Questions

Don't hesitate to ask your dentist any questions you may have about the veneer process, potential risks, and expected outcomes. Understanding the details of the procedure can help you make an informed decision.

Seek Second Opinions

If you're uncertain, consider seeking a second opinion from another dentist. Different professionals may have varying perspectives and recommendations based on their experience and expertise.

Millions of people are unhappy with the appearance of their smile, which is why cosmetic dentistry is such a booming industry. Dental veneers are among the most popular procedures due to their benefits.

Unfortunately, many people believe that due to the alteration required, veneers are bad for your teeth. Your dentist can help you decide if veneers are right for you-but the decision is ultimately your own. You must weigh the pros and cons to decide.

Dental Veneers FAQs

If you have questions about dental veneers, your dental team can help. Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions:

Do teeth stay healthy under veneers?

The health of natural teeth under veneers depends on various factors, including the initial condition of the teeth, the quality of the veneer placement, and the individual's oral hygiene practices. However, when veneers are applied by a skilled dentist and the individual practices good oral hygiene, the natural teeth underneath can remain healthy.

Can you go back to normal teeth after veneers?

Once you've had dental veneers placed on your teeth, it's generally not possible to revert to your original, natural teeth. The process of getting veneers involves the removal of a thin layer of enamel from the front surface of the teeth to make room for the veneers. Since enamel doesn't regenerate, the removal of this enamel is an irreversible process. Therefore, your teeth will always need some form of restoration.

Can you get cavities with veneers?

Dental veneers only cover the front portion of the treated teeth. Therefore, since the backs and sides are exposed to the elements, it’s possible to get cavities even when you have veneers.

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