We all dream of having that perfect, pearly white grin that stuns everyone around us. However, daily wear and tear due to eating, injuries, and dental issues cause our teeth to become crooked, chipped, and yellow in color. No matter how many whitening treatments and at-home strips you use, your teeth will refuse to stay white and sparkly! But this is where veneers come in.
You may have heard of veneers being the new ‘in’ thing that everyone opts for. They have recently become wildly popular in the world of cosmetic dentistry, with most celebrities opting for this dental procedure to get that perfect red carpet smile.
But, what exactly are dental veneers?
They are unlike any other teeth whitening procedure that we have experienced so far. They offer better results but higher risks. If you’ve been considering getting veneers, it is imperative to know all the pros and cons beforehand.
In this blog, we will help you analyze all the pros and cons of dental veneers. We will also go over the most frequently asked questions by people interested in getting them. When you reach the end, you’ll be well-informed about everything to do with veneers and can decide whether the procedure would be right for you.
Understanding Dental Veneers
Dental veneers, also known as dental porcelain laminates by professionals, are wafer-thin shells of custom-made porcelain that are placed over the top layer of your teeth. They are designed to resemble the natural shape, color, and positioning of your teeth and cover their front surface completely. Veneers allow your teeth to have a whole new outer look, taking away all of the wear and tear that previously made them look less than perfect.
The best part about dental veneers is that you can get them for one problematic tooth, for example, if you fell and chipped your incisor during football practice. They can even be bonded to your full set of teeth, brightening and improving their appearance like no other dental procedure.
Porcelain veneers work to solve a myriad of dental issues. They can help:
- Tackle discolored teeth due to root canals, drugs, and excessive fluoride intake.
- Worn out enamel.
- Chipped and broken teeth.
- Unaligned, reshaped gums with craters in between.
- Tooth gaps and unevenness.
If you are opting for veneers, what you’ll need to do is list down everything you don’t like about your teeth and what you wish to keep. You can even bring along a picture of what you’d like your teeth to look like. Your dentist will then go over the list with you and perform the procedure accordingly.
An important thing to know and remember is that getting veneers isn’t just a cosmetic procedure; it is also a serious dental surgery. Always ask to see your dentist’s previous work and check for recommendations before going ahead with the procedure. Request some before and after pictures for further support.
Are Dental Veneers Permanent?
It is important to note that porcelain dental veneers aren’t permanent. However, they do have an extended lifetime of 8 to 10 years if they are properly cared for. You will need to regularly brush and floss, never miss an appointment with the prosthodontist, and opt for professional cleaning once every six months to make the most of your veneers.
Remember that dental veneers require your enamel to be filed down before the porcelain shells can be applied. This makes the procedure irreversible. So, while they aren’t permanent, they are still a life-long choice that you will need to get redone every 8 to 9 years.
Pros of Dental Veneers
Some of the most attractive features of dental veneers are that they last for over a decade and offer effective results, unlike any other dental procedure. Moreover, they can be achieved under three dentist visits (the fewer, the better, right?). One session is for consultation and the other two entail the procedure.
Porcelain dental veneers can be the perfect way to improve your smile while also getting rid of any broken corners or build-up. They look natural and don’t give off the fact that you opted for a dental procedure. Moreover, they don’t put extra pressure on the gums or require shaping the way crowns do. Your dental veneers procedure won’t involve drilling or other techniques that add stress to the gums.
The porcelain shells used are strong and long-lasting. They are created to be completely stain-resistant and tough enough to not break off. You can choose the exact color that you want for your teeth as well as the general shape and structure.
Most people who get veneers speak highly of it, calling it the perfect technique for teeth restoration. They enjoy the new alignment of their teeth, and the fact that it lasts for over a decade further sweetens the deal.
Moreover, there is no special case required for veneers. You just need to keep up your regular dental hygiene of brushing and flossing, with the occasional professional cleaning to keep things perfect.
Quick, Pain-free Cosmetic Fix
Veneers can also be considered a quick cosmetic fix. It is a minimally invasive procedure. While braces take years to work and other orthodontic treatments can be quite painful, veneers are simple, easy, and pain-free. They also resist decay and reduce the chances of cavity formation.
Treatment for Enamel Loss
The enamel layer on the surface of your teeth is strong but can be worn off due to acidic waste produced by dental bacteria, acid-reflux, and several other issues. Getting veneers is the perfect remedy for enamel loss as it offers support and strength to your teeth. Veneers are durable, sturdy, and aesthetically-pleasing— giving you the best of all worlds.
Cons of Dental Veneers
The biggest issue associated with dental veneers is that they are irreversible, despite not being permanent. Sounds confusing, right? To understand this point, keep reading!
Dental porcelain veneers require your dentist to shave off a thin layer of the natural enamel on your teeth. That is where all those scary-looking veneer procedure pictures come from. By removing this layer, your teeth become highly sensitive to heat and cold.
Although the added porcelain layer helps with this hyper-sensitivity, it isn’t enough to act as a barrier. Thus, chances are you will have mild sensitivity problems and have to avoid extremely hot or cold foods.
No Turning Back
Once you opt for veneers, there is no going back. Due to the enamel shaving required, your veneers will now be a permanent part of you. Once they start to lose their functionality, you will need to opt for them again (usually after a period of 6 and 8 years). There is no other option.
Inadequate for Deep Restoration
Veneers may be the perfect solution for a lot of dental problems. However, if a patient’s teeth are failing, they won’t be able to do much. In such extreme cases, dental crowns can work better on the deep restoration of the teeth and gums.
Moreover, despite a decade-long lifespan, other forms of dental restoration like bridges and crowns can last you a lot longer than porcelain veneers.
The significance of the previous point (no turning back) will be more apparent when you realize just how expensive porcelain veneers are. The most ‘affordable’ veneers with shorter lifespans and less durability are priced at $950 per tooth. This price can go up to $2,500 per tooth, depending on your specifications and factors like teeth alignment, tooth color, durability, stain resistance, etc.
Also, since it’s a form of cosmetic surgery, it is unlikely that your regular health insurance will cover the procedure. What makes it worse is that it isn’t a one-time thing; you will have to undergo the procedure again within a decade. The uncertainty of your financial condition can be particularly daunting when you think of all the possible consequences of not being able to go for the procedure again.
You Might Not be a Suitable Candidate
The last con to consider is the fact that not everyone can get veneers. So, you will need to consult a dentist who regularly performs the procedure before you even start thinking about whether it would be right for you. People with unhealthy, decayed teeth or active diseases, like periodontal disease, can’t get veneers.
Additionally, if you have a dental fracture, reduced tooth enamel, or struggle with bruxism, then veneers won’t be an option for you.
Can Your Veneers Fall Off?
Unfortunately, yes, they can!
Dental veneers are usually bonded to the teeth quite tightly. However, if your dentist doesn’t apply them properly or doesn’t align each shell to perfection, they can slide right off. Moreover, increased physical contact with the teeth, severe injuries, and the aging process can also cause your veneers to fall off.
If your veneers slide off, do not delay the reapplication process. Try to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible so they can redo them. Otherwise, the increased exposure due to enamel shaving will irritate your gums and pulp. This can be quite dangerous and cause other dental diseases.
Veneers falling off may be a rare occurrence, but it is possible. So, make sure you go to a well-known expert for your veneer application.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s look at the most asked questions about this dental procedure so you can further understand it.
Are Veneers Good for Your Teeth?
You may be rethinking the procedure after all those cons; however, veneers can actually be perfect for your teeth. If you can afford them in the long run, it may even be the ideal dental procedure to perfect your smile in no time.
The adhesive used to bond the porcelain veneers to your teeth isn’t harmful at all. That means veneers won’t affect your teeth adversely. Secondly, since the veneers are made of porcelain, they can have quite a few additional benefits that the natural enamel doesn’t offer.
Porcelain is tougher than enamel, so it doesn’t chip off easily. It is also stain and damage resistant. So, if you’re a regular coffee drinker or smoker, you won’t need to worry about your teeth turning brown.
Can You Whiten Veneers?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you can whiten veneers. Although fairly stain-resistant, some less expensive forms of veneers may darken in color slightly over the years. It depends on how porous the material of your veneers is and whether you opted for a non-porcelain variety.
While the natural enamel of your teeth can be whitened using off-the-counter products, you can not use these on your veneers. Teeth whitening creams and gels can’t change your veneer’s color; however, they will interact with your natural teeth underneath. Thus, your teeth can end up with an uneven tone.
Although veneers can’t be whitened, you can ensure there is no discoloration by maintaining them well through regular brushing and flossing. You should also continue your regular dental check-ups and opt for an occasional professional polish to increase the lifespan of your veneers.
The Final Verdict – Are Veneers Worth It?
There is no particular right answer to this question. Veneers can be an excellent long-term investment that allows you to look and feel great. They can increase your confidence and give you a fresher, more youthful look. Lots of people find them to be worth the cost, primarily due to the relatively hassle-free procedure.
On the other hand, the cost is exceptionally high, especially if you want to get multiple teeth done. Not everyone would like to commit to the irreversibility of the procedure since it involves shaving off your natural enamel. It can weaken teeth and cause gum sensitivity.
So, in the end, whether veneers are worth it depends on if you can afford them and how important it is for you to have that perfect, sparkling smile.
If you have more questions about veneers and whether they’re right for you contact Dr. Owyoung and our staff at Soft Touch and we’ll be able to answer all your questions. The decision is yours so you deserve the best and most up to date information available.